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June 2009

TSU's August private prison conference accepting registrations

Texas Southern University's Barbara Jordan Institute will be hosting an academic conference on the private prison industry August 8-10th 6-8th, and registrations are still open.  Confirmed conference speakers include, 

Judithe Greene, Justice Strategies and Texas Prison Bid'ness founder

Si Kahn, Grassroots Leadership

Byron Price, Texas Southern University and conference planner

Stephen Nathan, Prison Privatisation Report International

Allen M. Hornblum, PA. Crime Commission 

Jeffrey Ian Ros, University of Baltimore 

Texas Prison Bid'ness bloggers Nicole Porter and myself will also be presenting papers.  For a complete schedule or to register, visit the Barbara Jordan Institute website or email Byron Price.


Saturday: World Refugee Day protest at CCA's T. Don Hutto detention center

Corrections Corporation of America's controversial T. Don Hutto immigrant family detention center in Taylor, Texas will be the target of a march, vigil, and protest concert this weekend in conjunction with World Refugee Day. 

National organizations Amnesty International and the League of United Latin American Citizens will join a host of Texas groups including my organization Grassroots Leadership what should be the largest protest at Hutto since the World Refugee Day vigil in 2007. 

JUNE 19: Live Music Fundraiser: Dragon Rojo, Karma, Bajo Influencia, DJ Murdock, DJ Victima. Show starts a 8pm at the Twin Palms (214 Anderson Lane, Austin, Tx). Suggested Donation: $3. For more information, call Matt (512.669.9968) or Omar (469-396-7815).

JUNE 20: March and Vigil at T. Don Hutto.  Please join us for a vigil in Taylor, Texas, to honor World Refugee Day June 20th. The vigil is being organized by a coalition that includes Williamson County residents, the Border Ambassadors, Amnesty International, and the national chapter of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens). For more information, please contact Jay J. Johnson-Castro Sr. (830)-734-8636; jay at villadelrio dot com.

Noon: Meet at Heritage Park, 4th and Main Street, Taylor, Texas.*
1 pm: Walk from Heritage Park to T. Don Hutto Family Residential Center.*
2-4 pm: Vigil at TDH, including music and speakers.

More information, including an impressive list of vigil endorsers, is available at the T. Don Hutto blog

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Dan Rather Reports to cover private prison industry tonight

Dan Rather Reports, the HDNet investigative show by the longtime CBS anchor, will be covering the private prison industry on a show premiering tonight called "Bed of Controversy".  According to the press release,

HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports” presents a unique look at how your tax dollars are fueling the “recession proof,” billion-dollar prison prospecting business. The episode reports on a federal agency charged with managing a detention system that this year alone will cost taxpayers $3.1 billion, a price tag that has doubled since 2003.   

The federal government has more than 90,000 people in custody on an average night, and only 25,000 beds to put them in.  So the U.S. Marshals, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been outsourcing more than 65,000 detainees to a far-flung network of more than 1,800 state, local and private contract prison facilities.  The Marshals Service itself has custody of tens of thousands of prisoners, but does not own nor operate a single detention facility.   

While HDNet is a premium cable channel, the show will apparently be available on I-Tunes shortly after its 7:00pm CST airing.  We'll post a link when it's available.