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Texas Southern University Private Prison Conference Now Accepting Papers

An academic conference discussing the private prison industry will be held at Texas Southern University in Houston August 6-8 of this year.  Here's a description of the conference, entitled "The International Prison Privatization Experience: A Transatlantic and Transpacific Dialogue,"

Criminal justice scholars, community activists, law enforcement personnel, community development specialists, juvenile justice advocates, and immigration officials are cordially invited to attend the first international conference on prison privatization. This conference will highlight the inimical effects of prison privatization on women, minorities, and the poor. Please join us as we explore alternative strategies for sentencing, economic development in rural communities, re-entry prevention, and prison privatization. With nationally and internationally recognized speakers and presenters, conference participants can look forward to thought-provoking, energetic, and cutting-edge discussions and information to share with their organizations and communities.

Conference sponsors include the Barbara Jordan Institute for Policy Research, the Administration of Justice Department from the Barbara Jordan and Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, Grassroots Leadership, and Justice Strategies.
Confirmed Speakers:
  • Judith Greene, Justice Strategies.
  • Si Kahn, Grassroots Leadership.
  • Michael Hallett, Professor and Chair, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice University of North Florida.
  • Stephen Nathan, Prison Privatisation Report International, published in London by the Prison Reform.
  • Byron E. Price, Texas Southern University, BJ-ML School of Public Affairs Political Science Department.
  • Jeffrey Ian Ross, Fellow of the Center for International and Comparative Law at the University of Baltimore.
Papers should investigate comparative aspects of prison privatization and grassroots initiatives geared toward reducing prison privatization. Proposals should be between 200-400 words and examine critical issues such as race, gender and crime and the impact on families' and prisoners' communities. Papers should fit into one of the following categories:

Session 1:      Financial and Social Costs of an Increasing Use of Imprisonment

Session 2:      Commodification of Prisoners and Human Rights

Session 3:      Constitutional Implications of Private Prisons

Session 4:      The Commercialization of Justice

Session 5:      Interjurisdictional Issues and Common Concerns

Session 6:      Demystifying Prison Privatization

Session 7:      Privatized Detention of Immigrants

For more information contact:

Prof. Byron E. Price, the Conference Chair at 713-313-4809. Please send proposals, preferably as a Word or pdf attachment, to pricebe (at) tsu (dot) edu by April 1st of 2009.
We'll keep you posted as the conference develops.



A “SINGLE VOICE PROJECT” is the official name of the petition sponsored by: The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) THIS PETITION SEEKS TO ABOLISH ALL PRIVATE PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES, (or any place subject to its jurisdiction) The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) is a grass roots organization driven by a single objective. We want the United States government to reclaim sole authority for state and federal prisons on US soil. We want the United States Congress to immediately rescind all state and federal contracts that permit private prisons “for profit” to exist in the United States, or any place subject to its jurisdiction. We understand that the problems that currently plague our government, its criminal justice system and in particular, the state & federal bureau of prisons (and most correctional and rehabilitation facilities) are massive. However, it is our solemn belief that the solutions for prison reform will remain unattainable and virtually impossible as long as private prisons for profit are permitted to operate in America. Prior to the past month, and the fiasco of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and now the “Big Three” American Automobile manufacturers, the NPSCTAPP has always felt compelled to highlight the “moral Bottom line” when it comes to corrections and privatization. Although, we remain confounded by the reality that our government has allowed our justice system to be operated by private interests. The NPSCTAPP philosophy has always been “justice” should not be for sale at any price. It is our belief that the inherent and most fundamental responsibility of the criminal justice system should not be shirked, or “jobbed-out.” This is not the same as privatizing the post office or some trash pick up service in the community. There has to be a loss of meaning and purpose when an inmate looks at a guard’s uniform and instead of seeing an emblem that reads State Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons, he sees one that says: “Atlas Prison Corporation.” Let’s assume that the real danger of privatization is not some innate inhumanity on the part of its practitioners but rather the added financial incentives that reward inhumanity. The same logic that motivates companies to operate prisons more efficiently also encourages them to cut corners at the expense of workers, prisoners and the public. Every penny they do not spend on food, medical care or training for guards is a dime they can pocket. What happens when the pennies pocketed are not enough for the shareholders? Who will bailout the private prison industry when they hold the government and the American people hostage with the threat of financial failure…“bankruptcy?” What was unimaginable a month ago merits serious consideration today. State and Federal prison programs originate from government design, and therefore, need to be maintained by the government. It’s time to restore the principles and the vacated promise of our judicial system. John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is while the sun is shinning”. Well the sun may not be shinning but, it’s not a bad time to begin repair on a dangerous roof that is certain to fall…. because, “Incarcerating people for profit is, in a word WRONG” There is an urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of cynicism, indifference, apathy and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope. It is our hope that you will support the NPSCTAPP with a show of solidarity by signing our petition. We intend to assemble a collection of one million signatures, which will subsequently be attached to a proposition for consideration. This proposition will be presented to both, the Speaker Of The House Of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi) and the United States Congress. Please Help Us. We Need Your Support. Help Us Spread The Word About This Monumental And Courageous Challenge To Create Positive Change. Place The Link To The Petition On Your Website! Pass It On! The SINGLE VOICE PETITION and the effort to abolish private “for profit” prisons is the sole intent of NPSCTAPP. Our project does not contain any additional agendas. We have no solutions or suggestions regarding prison reform. However, we are unyielding in our belief that the answers to the many problems which currently plague this nation’s criminal justice system and its penal system in particular, cannot and will not be found within or assisted by the private “for profit” prison business. The private “for profit” prison business has a stranglehold on our criminal justice system. Its vice-like grip continues to choke the possibility of justice, fairness, and responsibility from both state and federal systems. These new slave plantations are not the answer! For more information please visit: or email: To sign the petition please visit: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! William Thomas National Community Outreach Facilitator The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons P.O. Box 156423 San Francisco, California 94115

I really enjoyed this!! What a good read. Jill xx