“What happens if you privatize prisons is that you have a large industry with a vested interest in building ever-more prisons.” -- Molly Ivins, 2003

Dept. of Justice urged to investigate ADA violations in Karnes family detention center

 

Grassroots Leadership reports that an Austin-based immigration attorney has urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate why the school inside of the Karnes Family Detention Center is inaccessible to students or others with mobility impairments.

In a September 19 press release, Grassroots Leadership writes:

"Attorney Virginia Raymond, in a September 17 letter to the DOJ Civil Rights Division, described how one of her child clients, who had broken her leg while in detention and uses crutches, was unable to attend the charter school at the Karnes facility due to it being on the second story. There is no elevator at the for-profit detention facility.

The letter goes on to explain that the charter school for the children detained in the facility has been operated by the John H. Wood, Jr. Public Charter School District, but it is unclear if the company still operates it.

Raymond says by being inaccessible to those with mobility impairments, the facility is in violation of at least three federal laws: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Individuals with Education Act (IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Austin's Chief Acevedo to help review privately-run prisons

Chief Art Acevedo
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is on the 40-person review board that will review the use of privately-run immigrant detention centers in the US, reports the Statesman.

Chief Acevedo and Annise Danette Parker, former mayor of Houston, are the only Texans on the review board. They have been asked to review the use of for-profit corporations in the detaining of immigrants throughout the country. Chief Acevedo will be on a subcommittee to investigate private detention centers, while for mayor Annise Danette Parker's role is unsure. The review must be completed by the end of November. 

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Private prison bonds downgrade after Dept. of Justice announcement

The Bond Buyer reported that bonds for three privately-owned prisons in Texas had been downgraded to junk-status after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it would be phasing out the use of private prisons. The Justice Department's announcement was a major factor in the downgrading of the bonds.

While the DOJ announcement only affects private prisons run by the federal Bureau of Prisons, the announcement has also led Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to order a review of the Department of Homeland Security’s reliance on private prisons. The announcement by Sec. Johnson has added more stress to high-level bonds that are used to build detention centers that detain immigrants.  

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Private prison bonds downgrade after Dept. of Justice announcement

The Bond Buyer reported that bonds for three privately-owned prisons in Texas had been downgraded to junk-status after the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) announced they would be phasing out the use of private prisons. The Justice Department's announcement was a major factor in the downgrading of the bonds. 

While the DOJ announcement only affects private prisons run by the Bureau of Prisons, the announcement has also led Secretary Jeh Johnson, director of Homeland Security, to consider a similar review for the Dept. of Homeland Security. The announcement by Director Johnson has added more stress to high-level bonds that are used to build detention centers that detain immigrants.  

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