Report Shows Federal Bureau of Prisons Incentivizes Mistreatment, Shields Immigrant Prisons from Scrutiny

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, NM, is one of the 13 little-known CAR (Criminal Alien Requirement) prisons for immigrants in the United States. For the new report Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison Industry, the ACLU and the ACLU of Texas have investigated one CAR prison in Texas run by the Corrections Corporation of America, the same private prison company that operates the Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico. The report reveals inhumane conditions and egregious mistreatment of immigrants in prisons that enrich the for-profit prison industry at tremendous costs to taxpayers.
“Every year we incarcerate thousands of immigrants at the cost of millions of tax-dollars that line the pockets of for-profit prison corporations like the Corrections Corporation of America,” said ACLU-NM Regional Center for Border Rights Director Vicki Gaubeca. “These are not dangerous criminals, they are simply people who entered the United States without authorization in the hopes for a better future for their children. Yet, we allow prison corporations to warehouse these people in facilities rife with abuse and neglect.”
The culmination of a four-year investigation, the report shows how the federal Bureau of Prisons incentivizes private prison companies to keep CAR prisons overcrowded and understaffed. The companies provide scant medical care that is often administered incorrectly, if delivered at all. CCA,
As Carl Takei, Staff Attorney at the ACLU’s National Prison Project, explained, “The shameful conditions inside CAR prisons come from the government’s decision to allow the suffering inside these for-profit prisons. For instance, 10% of the bed space in CAR prisons is reserved for extreme isolation—nearly double the rate in normal federal prisons. I spoke to prisoners who spent weeks in isolation cells after being sent there upon intake—simply arriving at prison was the reason why they were locked in a cell and fed through a slot for 23 hours a day.”
CAR prisons hold non-citizens who have been convicted of crimes in the U.S., mostly for immigration offenses (such as unlawfully reentering the country).
Read the report: