Prisoners of Profit: ACLU Challenges Georgia's Immigration Jails

"The report, “Prisoners of Profit,” was based on documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, as well as tours and interviews at Georgia's four federal immigration facilities.  Three of those facilities, including the 1,750-bed Stewart Detention Center, are run by private corporations. The report challenges the wisdom of the private model, alleging the “systemic violation of immigrant detainees’ civil and human rights while detained in substandard prison-like conditions ill suited for civil detainees.”  The report highlights a number of instances in which detainees were allegedly coerced by staffers at the centers into signing “Stipulated Orders of Removal,” which allow them to be deported without a court hearing.  In some cases, guards at the jails allegedly screamed at and threatened immigrants who would not sign the orders. In two cases, a officer allegedly physically forced immigrants to sign.  The report also alleges that detainees are not given information about pro bono legal services, denied adequate medical care, and subject to regulations that could violate attorney-client confidentiality rights." - L.A. Times, May 16, 2012.