Saturday, October 8, 2011

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and other NYC Elected Officials call for Federal Investigation of Alleged Abuses in Queens For-Profit Prison

As big business takes over our public school systems with charter schools, some of which pay a whopping $1 a year in rent to public schools financed by taxpayers, there is another big business privatization taking place that is just as scary. Not only are private for-profit prisons big business in America, there growing exponentially.

The recent "Cash for Kids" scandal where judges in Pennsylvania were convicted of taking millions of dollars in bribes from private prison corporations to incarcerate youth for minor offences has already shown the potential for abuse. For anyone who has children and believes this could never happen to them, please watch the NBC clip below where a mother mourns the death of her son who was a victim in this travesty.

The next alleged scandal is taking place closer to home. El Diario reported wide spread abuse to inmates by a Queens based for-profit prison corporation. Fortunately, we still live in a democracy where our public officials are taking action to verify alleged abuses and if necessary stop the abuse.

Please do review the following e-mail sent by NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office related to the allegations. For profit business are an abomination and must be stopped. An America littered with for-profit prisons is a recipe for disaster. It’s not the American I remember from my youth or the America I want for my children.

Dear Friends:

If you walked by a news stand today, you may have seen the cover of El Diario with the headline "Abuso en Queens".

The story highlights Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's call for an investigation into allegations of abuse at privately run detention facilities contracted by the federal government to hold undocumented immigrants. The allegations are very serious - sexual abuse, rioting and guard brutality - at facilities accross the country - including one in our own city.

Regardless of a person's immigration status, this isn’t how our country should treat human beings. Standing with the New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road New York and City Council Members Daniel Dromm, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Jumaane Williams,, Public Advocate de Blasio demanded that the federal government immediately terminate contracts with any company found to have mistreated immigrant detainees. Our office will keep working on this issue to ensure that a full investigation occurs and changes are enacted to ensure that our government is not doing business with companies that seek to profit off of the mistreatment of human beings.

Jeff S. Merritt
Senior Advisor
NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio
Footage taken from NBC related to the "Cash for Kids" scandal:

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