NEW YORK, JUNE 10 (RIA Novosti) – Researchers have uncovered a pattern of abuse and inhumane conditions in privately-run US facilities for jailing immigrants, most of whom were only convicted for minor border-crossing offences.
On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas, two rights groups, released the report Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison Industry after a four-year probe into so-called Criminal Alien Requirement (CAR) prisons.
"At the CAR prisons we investigated, the prisoners lived day to day not knowing if their basic human needs would be met, whether they would get medical attention if they were hurt or ill," said Carl Takei, an ACLU lawyer. "The Bureau of Prisons creates perverse incentives for the for-profit prison companies to endanger human health and lives."
Researchers describe 13 CAR prisons across the country holding more than 25,000 immigrants. The management firms – CCA, GEO Group and MTC – work with the US government’s Bureau of Prisons to "cover up" the shocking conditions inside, it says.
"Every year we lock away tens of thousands of immigrants simply for unlawfully crossing the border," added Terri Burke, director of the ACLU of Texas. "Why waste hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars on inhumane prisons when we could use civil proceedings to process these cases?
"The CAR prisons come with a moral and economic price tag we can’t afford," he added.