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Moratorium on prison privatization
Petition Background (Preamble):
Also for a re-examination of the process of prison privatization to establish the motives behind such efforts and the safety of the inmates housed in them.
Keeping inmates confined for longer periods of time also increases the demand for prison supplies and prison management services.
This form of profit making could be extremely dangerous to the continuance of a fair justice system not only in the U.S but also worldwide since corporations or "private prisons" are not limited by national or state boundaries as governments are and need democratic government oversight to establish rules governing safe, fair and just treatment of inmates confined in them.
This petition also calls on investigations or examinations to be conducted on the local, state and federal level in the U.S. and by all governments of the world supported by the citizens who they represent, to examine the actions and/or motives of any public official including judges and lawyers who are advocating for tougher sentencing guidelines or promote "get tough on crime" agendas to make sure that they are not in fact profiting on such legislation through ownership of stock or outright ownership of any construction firm/company or service supplier who builds and services prisons and prison populations who then would be able to reap profits with corrupt officials through longer sentencing for inmates based on "get tough on crime" measures or campaigns.
This petition also calls federal, state and local governments worldwide to call for legislation and debate concerning lobbying by private lobbying organizations that advocate for tougher sentencing and the privatization of prisons who in fact may benefit and profit from the tougher sentencing laws and the building of private prisons and do not have the well being of the public or inmates in mind but simply wish to increase personal wealth and profits at the expense of the greater public good and justice.
There are numerous examples of privately run incarceration facilities that have been poorly run and abusive to inmates or individuals incarcerated in them such as "Straight Incorporated" a private "behavioral modification facility/drug rehab" which operated in America for nearly 20 years and incarcerated and horrendously abused and mistreated thousands of children and young adults from 1977 through the 1990's when it was finally shut down through repeated lawsuits and criminal charges which involved the brainwashing and attempted brainwashing of families an
inmates (children, young adults), sexual abuse, physical assault, pinning inmates (children, young adults) on floors for extended periods of time...often in an extremely brutal fashion which physically injured them or broke bones, sensory deprivation, lack of ability to communicate with family and friends or use the phone, deprivation of freedom to go to school or to use the bathroom, inmates (children) being moved to different facilities around the U.S. when they didn't cooperate or progress in the program, inmates (young adults, children) being restrained on floors by other inmates and locked in cinderblock isolation rooms and bathrooms for days on end under intense confrontation by fellow inmates when they were not able to or were not progressing in the program and intense secrecy by the program management and staff about the living conditions and treatment of the inmates (kids, young adults) when questioned by the press, families and government regulating bodies.
Another tactic which was repeatedly used without proper documentation or verification by an outside democratic government regulatory agency was resentencing or "starting over" kids and young adults to the "first phase" of the program which extended the kids stay or sentence sometimes by years and potentially increased the programs profits. Often this was done based on the kids mispeaking or simply on suspicion by staff or other youth inmates that they weren't "working their program" with enough enthusiasm or that they were getting into their heads about druggy thoughts or druggy music etc.
Inmates in the program were required to sit in two groups of 30-50 or more blue plastic chairs (sometimes more) with females on the right and males on the left "motivating" or pumping their arms up and down in a violent fashion in order to get picked by staff to aggressively confront or attack fellow inmates when they were not perceived to be working their program enthusiastically enough.
"Straight Incorporated" clearly illustrates the horrific potential for abuse which exists in the privatization of prisons and drug rehab facilities which was compounded by intense resistance by the program to outside or democratic government oversight.
There is further documentation of this abuse on various websites which now exist which include "Mel Sembler's Staight" and "The International Survivor's Action Committee" (I.S.A.C) which documents and attemps to expose abuse going on now in various "behavioral drug rehab facilities which operate now not only in the U.S. but worldwide...many of which are based on the "Straight Incorporated" model which was founded by Mel Sembler who was appointed Ambassador to Italy by President George Bush and then resigned in 2005 when reports of Straight Inc. abuses surfaced.
Other more publicized examples of abuse by private prison contractors include the Abu Gharaib prison abuse scandal in Iraq where American military personel were ordered by private/civilian contractors/managers to participate in the torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners many of which were later believed to be innocent Iraqi civilians who were arrested and accused falsely based on hysteria and propaganda generated by various individuals in the American government and also in the private sector concerning suspected Iraqi terrorism.
This petition once again calls on all local, state and federal governments in the U.S. and worldwide to regulate, restrict and re-examine the expansion and building of privatized prisons and the drug rehabs until better democratic government oversights are established concerning inmates safety and human rights.
Also to restrict private lobbying for the privatization of our nations criminal justice and prison systems until better democratic government oversights are established.
We also wish for better oversight of our elected officials, judges, lawyers, construction companies, and prison servicing companies which may stand to profit from legislation which advocates tougher sentencing which inevitably increases prison populations and demand for such for profit services.
We in America and worldwide believe that justice should be based on democracy, morality, ethics and humane treatment of human beings for the greater good of our societies and citizens and not based on profit, greed or political grandstanding by those who wish to enrich themselves at the expense of justice.
We the people request that our governments make the issue of prison privatization oversight a priority now and in the future placing the interests and well being of the people they are elected to serve and protect including the humane treatment of prisoners above the interests of those who simply wish to profit off the incarceration of human beings.
The Moratorium on prison privatization petition to People who wish for criminal justice and sentencing to be based on public policy not private profit was written by Devin Baker and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: privatization, prisons, for profit, justice, drug rehab, private lobbying