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This Can’t Be Happening – 03.30.17

Host Dave Lindorff updates the case of incarcerated black journalist and activist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been left untreated by Pennsylvania prison authorities for two years with a virulent case of active Hepatitis-C he contracted in prison, explaining that an Appellate Court just shot-down an effort by the Department of Corrections to delay giving him needed medicine indefinitely until the court could hear his case. Lindorff also talks about the need to move from fighting to defend Obamacare to fighting for Medicare for all. Also on the program, guest Chris Goldstein, communications director of Philadelphia NORML, talks about the federal government’s efforts to bar financial aid to college students busted for even minor drug offenses.

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Lauren-Brooke “L.B.” Eisen – Private Prisons Are Poised for a Comeback Under Trump. Here’s How to Reform Them.

Just a few months ago, things were looking very bleak for the private prison industry. In mid-August, the Justice Department’s inspector general issued a report finding that privately operated federal prisons are more dangerous than those managed by the federal Bureau of Prisons and need more oversight. Within a week, the Justice Department announced it would phase out private prisons …

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Andrea Germanos – In ‘Tacit Admission’ of Cruelty, DHS Says It Too May End For-Profit Prisons

On the heels of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) “important and groundbreakingdecision” to phase out the use of private prisons, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has just signaled that it may follow in those footsteps—a move that would heed human rights advocates’ call for the agency to end “prison profiteers in our inhumane immigration system.” In a statement …

Dilley, Texas, is home to the South Texas Family Residential Center, a detention facility for immigrant women and children, which opened in 2014. The facility is managed by the private Corrections Corporation of America on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (MUST CREDIT: Photo for for The Washington Post by Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Chico Harlan – Inside the administration’s $1 billion deal to detain Central American asylum seekers

DILLEY, Tex. — As Central Americans surged across the U.S. border two years ago, the Obama administration skipped the standard public bidding process and agreed to a deal that offered generous terms to Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest prison company, to build a massive detention facility for women and children seeking asylum. The four-year, $1 billion contract — details …

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Nika Knight – Revealed: Private Federal Prisons More Abusive and Violent

Private federal prisons are more abusive, violent, and dangerous than their government-run counterparts, according to a frightening report published this week by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. “Federal officials should be reconsidering their alliance on private prisons and developing plans to begin cancelling these contracts, rather than continuing this experiment.” —Carl Takei, ACLUThe report [pdf], which examined …

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Zaid Jilani – Private Prison Company Is Getting Rich Locking Up Kids

An explosive new report from the Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff looks [3] at how the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), one of America’s two large private prison corporations, has seen its profits explode, thanks to a little-noticed move by the Obama administration. Woodruff notes that before last summer, there was virtually no “family detention,” referring to the detention of migrant families crossing …

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Christian Parenti – The Making of the American Police State

How did we get here? The numbers are chilling: 2.2 million people behind bars, another 4.7 million on parole or probation. Even small-town cops are armed like soldiers, with a thoroughly militarized southern border. The common leftist explanation for this is “the prison-industrial complex,” suggesting that the buildup is largely privatized and has been driven by parasitic corporate lobbying. But …

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Lee Fang – Private Prison Lobbyists Are Raising Cash for Hillary Clinton

As immigration and incarceration issues become central to the 2016 presidential campaign, lobbyists for two major prison companies are serving as top fundraisers for Hillary Clinton. Corrections Corporation of America and the Geo Group could both see their fortunes turning if there are fewer people to lock up in the future. Last week, Clinton and other candidates revealed a number of lobbyists who …

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‘Profiting From Misery’: Private Prison Corporations Driving Harsh Immigration Policies – Sarah Lazare

Private prison companies are spending millions of dollars to lobby the U.S. government for harsher immigration laws that, in turn, spike corporate profits by driving up incarceration levels, a new report from the national social justice organization Grassroots Leadership reveals. Entitled Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, the report’s release on Wednesday coincided with a renewed …