girls in jail
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Locking Up Refugees for Profits

Detainees at the Northwest Detention Center, an immigrant detention center operated by GEO Group in Tacoma, Washington, initiated the first of repeated hunger strikes on March 7, 2014. A note from one of the hunger strikers passed to his lawyer read, “Please contact the local news. There’s 1,200 people not eating—better food, better treatment, better pay, lower commissary, fairness.”

The story of the hunger strikers is documented in a new report released by Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies detailing how immigrants detained in privately run detention centers across the country are routinely exposed to shocking levels of violence, sexual abuse, neglect, filth and wrongful death. 

The report titled For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions By Locking Up Refugee Familiesexposes how Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group are both banking on a massive expansion to immigrant family detention. These private corporations are making exorbitant profits that are paid for by taxpayers while causing extreme suffering to immigrants, including those seeking refuge from violence and poverty at home. 

I strongly encourage you to read the report. It’s yet another example of how the private prison industry is taking advantage of Washington’s failure to pass comprehensive and humane immigration reform.