Advocates Want Halt to Expansion Of Private Prisons For Non-Citizens
Published: September 14, 2012
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When Angelica Moreno’s brother died of cancer after nearly three years locked in a private prison in Mississippi, she vowed to fight so that he’d be the last to suffer such a fate. “I want to fight for every other person inside that jail,” she told me in July, weeks after her brother died. On Wednesday, Moreno joined a group of human rights and criminal justice advocates and a member of Congress for a briefing on Capitol Hill to halt the expansion of private federal prisons like the one that Moreno says killed her brother. “No other family should have to go through this.”
The federal government is poised to expand a little known part of the American incarceration system—privately operated facilities that hold immigrants convicted of crimes. Many of the inmates are charged criminally for what’s called “illegal reentry” when they’re picked up by Border Patrol trying to return to the country after a previous deportation. The facilities are among the only ones that the Bureau of Prisons has privatized and their expansion promises more profits for companies, like the Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the Adams County Correctional Center where Moreno’s brother was held.