To round out 2012, Texas Prison Bid'ness is highlighting the top private prison stories of the year, based on stories covered by our blog. Our number five story is the growth in the national movement against private prisons and subsequent victories.
Private Prison Story #5 - Momentum Grows Against Private Prisons Nationally
2012 saw the movement against for-profit private prisons grow dramatically across the United States. In perhaps one of the biggest victory for anti-privatization activists, the Florida legislature rejected what was considered a "slam-dunk" proposal to privatize 29 prisons. Similar mass privatization proposals were defeated in Louisiana and have thus far been staved off New Hampshire and Michigan. What's more, immigrant detention centers proposed by Corrections Corporation of America outside of Miami and Chicago were both defeated with help from anti-privatization activists, immigrant rights organizations, and community groups.
The year also saw increased activity from faith and community organizations calling for divestment from for-profit private prisons corporations. A national prison divestment campaign, coordianted by worker organization Enlace, gained momentum. In January, the United Methodist Church announced it would divest from the private prison industry and a screen against future investments in private prisons. The Presbyterian Church USA followed suit by passing a resolution encouraging its members and congregations to divest from the private prisons.
Finally, pressure on board members of private prison corporations ramped up, as seen in this flash mob action against Corrections Corporation of America board member and former Senator Dennis DeConcini: