Prison Companies’ Bid to Withhold Documents Fails

Source: Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal, February 9, 2017

Two of the nation’s largest private prison companies who handle immigration detention for the federal government have lost their bid to keep proprietary business information from being released.The GEO Group Inc. and CoreCivic intervened to appeal a Freedom of Information Act ruling where civil liberties groups are seeking details about immigration detention practices, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found they lacked standing. The Detention Watch Network and the Center for Constitutional Rights sued the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the FOIA seeking a raft of documents on detention policy. The civil liberties groups allege that the government has misinterpreted a funding requirement to provide 34,000 immigration beds at any time by requiring that at least 34,000 beds be filled at any given time. In July, Southern District Judge Lorna Schofield ordered the government to release details of its contracts with private prison corporations. … The government declined to appeal, but Schofield stayed disclosure while allowing The GEO Group and CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corp. of America) to intervene an appeal. … But on Wednesday, Judges Barrington Parker, Reena Raggi and Christopher Droney issued an order dismissing the appeal in Detention Watch Network v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 16-3141. …

Related:

New Report: Aggressive Immigration Enforcement Quotas Also Used to Detain Mothers and Their Children
Source: Center for Constitutional Rights, June 17, 2016

Today, Detention Watch Network (DWN) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) released a new report that reveals for the first time that mothers and their children are jailed under guaranteed minimum bed contracts for local jails. The report shows the extent to which ICE grants financial benefits to private and public entities that detain immigrants through government contracts requiring ICE to pay for a set number of beds at detention facilities, rendering immigrants, including children and families, a source of profit for contractors. … The widespread use of local lockup quotas throughout the immigration detention system was exposed in DWN and CCR’s report, Banking on Detention: Local Lockup Quotas and the Immigrant Dragnet, in June 2015. Since then, the government has released additional documents that shed light on the continued use of local lockup quotas, covering at least 24 detention facility contracts. … The new documents reveal that guaranteed minimums account for at least 12,821 of the 34,000 beds funded by the detention bed quota, nearly 40 percent. Of these 12,821 beds, 93 percent exist in facilities that contract with private companies. …

Read full report.