TUCSON– Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement in response to a recent Supreme Court decision obligating private prison giants, GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America, to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and release their government contract details to the American people and breaking news that the Trump Administration would be increasing federal immigration jails.
Earlier this year, Rep. Grijalva re-introduced the Justice Not For Sale Act, which bans private prisons and private detention centers, private transportation, ends family detention, and removes Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) daily mandate to fill 34,000 beds with immigrant adults & children.
“While the President wants to double down on private detention centers that would directly benefit his business web, the SCOTUS ruling last week proves that America is ready to move away from the inhumane use of private prisons and their secretive practices,” said Rep. Grijalva. “We have known for some time now that the detention quota only serves to add to the bottom-lines of the already bloated for-profit prison industry which is why it comes to no surprise that Trump wants toexpand on his collusion with this industry. The fact that the private prison industry is so desperate to keep their government contracts a secret sends a clear signal about the abuse and egregious living conditions they are trying to hide. Not only are these prisons barbaric, but they are much more expensive to operate, costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year.
“The mass incarceration epidemic sweeping our country is slowly crumbling our justice system and disproportionately impacting immigrants and communities of color. Although the SCOTUS ruling is a step in the right direction, now is the time to pass legislation that will put an end to the malpractices of the private prison industry once and for all. The Justice Is Not For Sale Act does just this by barring federal, state, and local governments from contracting with private prisons and detention centers. It is long overdue that we restore integrity to our broken criminal justice system and ensure that inmates and detainees are not treated simply as profit tokens by companies zealously finding any way to make a buck.”