Officials from the western Wisconsin city of New Richmond announced Friday that a privately-owned detention center for undocumented immigrants may open in town.
Private prisons are a failed experiment. For-profit lockups don’t save taxpayer money or improve outcomes for inmates. Evidence shows that these institutions neither save money nor improve outcomes.
Traditionally, ICE has put its jails in border states close to where most people were caught. But immigration agents under Trump have been much more aggressive in the interior.
There are nearly 200 immigration detention facilities in the United States, usually located far from major cities. Some house several thousand detainees at any one time, mixing aliens who have criminal records with others who don't. Human rights groups, including Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, Detention Watch Network and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have compiled reports of medical neglect and deaths in custody. They claim corporations skimp on detainee care in order to maximize profits. The Obama administration took the extraordinary step of phasing out contracts with private prisons that house immigrants convicted of crimes committed in the U.S. The Justice Department found these prisons fall short on safety and security, and are no cheaper than those run by the federal government.
Since Trump took office, the Bureau of Prisons has restored those contracts.
The city of New Richmond will hold a “community conversation” about the detention center on April 25 at 5 p.m.
Make your voice heard: No more prisons, no more private prisons, and definitely no more ICE detention centers in our state!