What’s going on?
The federal prison system currently includes 11 prisons called Criminal Alien Requirement facilities. Built to house non-citizens convicted of federal crimes—many of whom were arrested for simply crossing the border—CAR prisons are managed on a day-to-day basis not by the Bureau of Prisons, but by private companies. These privatized facilities are held to lower standards than others in the BOP system—with devastating results for the men held there.
These men are suffering from shocking neglect of their health. For an investigation published in The Nation, reporter Seth Freed Wessler obtained 9,000 pages of healthcare records from these immigrant-only prisons. Medical doctors who Wessler asked to examine the records said that in one third of the reviewable cases, inadequate medical care likely contributed to premature deaths. Men sick with cancer, HIV/AIDS, mental disabilities, and liver and heart disease faced critical delays in obtaining care that may have saved their lives.
A previous report published by the ACLU also found widespread abuse and neglect within CAR prisons, and further confirms that the United States must end this privatized, immigrant-only prison system.
What can I do?
We must put a stop to the grave abuses of the CAR facilities. The Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, a bipartisan group tasked with developing practical, data-driven policy changes in our federal corrections system, recommended a large package of legislative and executive reforms that will substantially reduce the number of people in BOP custody—so we don’t need to build more poorly managed prisons.
We’ve joined with the ACLU, Detention Watch Network, and Grassroots Leadership to call on the Bureau of Prisons to adhere to these recommendations as well as to cease new solicitations for CAR prisons contracts and immediately phase-out all existing CAR prisons. Sign our petition and share it on Twitter and Facebook.