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Big Stories of 2011 - #3 - ALEC and Private Prison Lobbying Exposed

Over the next several days, Texas Prison Bid'ness will be highlighting the top five private prison stories of 2011, and looking forward to the new year.   Our #3 story is the increased exposure of the American Legislative Exchange Council and the role of private prison lobbyists in influencing legislation.

Earlier this year, The Nation and The Center for Media and Democracy released ALEC Exposed.  ALEC Exposed brought to light the actions of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that unites corporations with state legislators to “discuss” public policy and draft model legislation.  One of the most concerning areas of this public/private partnership is in the realm of criminal justice and prisons.  In fact, criminal injustice may be a more appropriate phrase.  Thanks to ALEC, the for-profit prison industry has a lot to be thankful for during this holiday season.

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Business of Detention Nominated for SXSW Interactive Awards

The Business of Detention website, a project of Columbia University journalism students Renee Feltz and Stokely Baksh which analyzes CCA's growing business in immigrant detention, has been selected as a 2009 Finalist in the "Student" category at the South by Southwest Interactive Web Awards.  The website also features interviews from TPB founder Judy Greene and myself.

Here's a sample:

 

The website will also compete for a People's Choice Award, which you can vote fore here.  Winners are announced March 15, 2009.

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