Today, Monday, May 13, from 4 to 5 p.m. in front of the DeConcini Federal Courthouse, 405 W. Congress, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) will hold a special birthday uncelebration for the private prison company, Corrections Corporation of American (CCA).
The company is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the AFSC wants to point out that its track record and practice, of which AFSC has reported on, isn't really something Arizonans should celebrate. Read the AFSC report on private prisons right here.
There will be the usual for a demonstration, including some street theater. But this is for a special birthday, and in Tucson you can't do birthday without a pinata. So maybe you'll want to get in on that action and see what comes out of that CCA pinata.
Here in Arizona, CCA operates 6 facilities, holding prisoners from Arizona (in 2014), California, Vermont, and Hawaii as well as federal prisoners. CCA is one of the main beneficiaries of harsh immigrant enforcement and detention policies, such as SB 1070 and Operation Streamline. A publicly-traded company, in 2010, CCA saw record revenue of $1.67 billion, up $46 million from 2009.
The event is part of a week of national actions against Corrections Corporation of America, which will celebrate its anniversary on May 16th at a shareholder meeting in Nashville, TN, where its corporate headquarters are located. There will be demonstrations there as well in other states including Ohio and Washington, DC.
Organizers cite widespread problems in CCA and other for-profit prisons around the country, including prisoner abuses, cost overruns, staffing problems, lawsuits, and violence.
The American Friends Service Committee released a report in 2012 on private prisons in Arizona that showed that the private prisons under contract with the state cost more than equivalent units operated by the Department of Corrections. The report also reveals the extensive political and economic influence wielded by the corporations, which spend millions every year on lobbying and campaign contributions.