Throughout this fight people have taken sides or decided not to depending on how vocal or politically involved they feel they should be. Today, the American Civil Liberties Union has taken a side in the fight against this prison in the Town of Southwest Ranches.
They published an Op Ed piece in the Sun Sentinel today (4/21/2012) calling on leaders to stop the project. The ACLU argues that,
Privatized incarceration presents a grave threat to human rights.This part will continue to fall on the deaf ears of the town council and "leaders" in Southwest Ranches who seem to not care about the proliferation of private prisons and the violence that goes on inside them. I think the more poignant statements that they may/may not actually listen to is when they combat CCA's claims that this will bring jobs and growth.
CCA claims that its prisons "can mean a real difference in the quality of life for local residents." But new prisons, whether public or private, deliver few benefits. A 2010 study by researchers at Washington State University and Ohio State University noted "the failure of prisons to spur growth."The town's ardent prison supporters keep claiming that this prison will create growth, jobs or even lower taxes... I think that this argument can finally be put to rest. What we see is a new town that has over committed to parks, museums and similar liabilities. Combine this with much needed road and infrastructure improvements and you've got a hole in a budget so huge you're looking for anything to fill it. Is this poor budget management on the Town Council's part?
Two weeks ago, the government announced the deal was off, only to backpedal hours later. What that dance means is anyone's guess, but this much is certain: the project should be stopped.
Another reason why the Town should not be obligated to this prison scheme comes directly from CCA attorney Sam Poole. He said that the "Town is not obligated to enter into the IGSA with ICE" (public statement made at Country Estates HOA Meeting on April 2, 2012). CCA is free to exercise it's property rights, however bringing the Town into a deal for them to exercise those property rights should never have been on the table and is in no way apart of CCA being able to exercise those rights.
For what possible reason could there be now for the Town to sign the IGSA with ICE? I will leave you with your own conclusions...
This article was written by Ryann Greenberg