Saturday, January 23, 2010

Expanding Freedom of Information Act Accountability to all Federal Prisons and Detention Facilities

(Note: The Private Corrections Working Group is helping to organize a congressional briefing this Monday on the need for Congress to pass legislation aimed at ensuring accountability and transparency in the private prisons run by such corporations like Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group, and Cornell Corrections that depend on federal contracts for more than 40% of their revenues.)

Monday, January 25, 2010, 2pm - 4pm
2226 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee will hold a congressional briefing concerning H.R. 2450, a bill to ensure fiscal accountability and reduce fraud and waste by expanding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to include all correctional facilities that hold federal prisoners or immigration detainees.  The briefing will be held on Monday, January 25, 2010 from 2:00PM - 4:00PM in 2226 Rayburn House Office Building.

Currently, some federal prisoners and detainees are housed by state, local and privately-run prisons under contracts with various federal agencies. By enacting this legislation, privately-operated prisons would be obligated to live up to the same public information reporting standards as federal correctional facilities. This measure is supported by corrections officers, civil liberties advocates, prison reform supporters and media organizations. Speakers will include:

Tom Barry – Transborder Project: A senior analyst at the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC, Mr. Barry directs the TransBorder Project of the Americas Policy Program at the Center for International Policy. The author of numerous books, Barry writes regularly on immigration imprisonment by private companies and the increasing merger of immigration enforcement and the criminal justice system. 

Alex Friedmann – President, Private Corrections Institute; associate editor for Prison Legal News, a monthly criminal justice publication; and a former Corrections Corporation of America inmate.

Judy Greene – Justice Strategies. A criminal justice policy analyst whose essays and articles on criminal sentencing issues, police practices and correctional policy have been published in numerous books, as well as in national and international policy journals.

Joshua Miller – Mr. Miller has worked for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for 15 years. During that time he has been involved in numerous collective bargaining issues and has specialized in the area of corrections and public safety.  Mr. Miller’s work in the area of corrections has focused
on improving working conditions and fighting privatization. 

David Shapiro – Staff Attorney at the ACLU National Prison Project. Since arriving at the ACLU in 2008, Mr. Shapiro has overseen the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act litigation that has unearthed thousands of pages of government documents revealing systemic abuses of immigration detainees by ICE officials that have contributed to 107 in-custody deaths since October 2003.

Phil Glover – AFGE Council of Prisons (invited).
For more information please contact:
Talib I. Karim, Esq., Chief Counsel
202-226-1690 (direct)

Photo: Reeves County Detention Center, the prison in Pecos, Texas that holds immigrants incarcerated by the Bureau of Prisons but under the custody of the infamous GEO Group.

Funds are running low. With no foundation grants or institutional support, Tom Barry and the TransBorder Project of Center for International Policy count on individual financial support to continue this investigative, analytical, and advocacy work. Independent thinking guaranteed!

Go to the CIP online donation page, and write TransBorder Fellowship in comment section when making your donation. Or mail a check to CIP, noting this project. Thank you!

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