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Constantine Cannon Files Amicus Brief in Support of California’s Effort to Curb Private Prison Company Abuses

Posted  March 13, 2020
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander

Constantine Cannon is proud to represent three leading immigrants rights organizations, Human Rights Watch, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Freedom For Immigrants in filing a “friend of the court,” or amicus brief, in two cases related to California’s right to ban private prison companies.  Last year, California enacted AB 32, which barred private prison companies from operating within the state.  The state determined that these companies failed to comply with their contractual obligations to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of persons in their care, including immigration detainees, asylum seekers, and others.  The state thus banned all private prisons and private immigration detention facilities from operating within the state.

Currently, four out of five of the immigration detention facilities in California are run by private prison companies.  As is recounted in our brief, these facilities regularly fail to provide adequate health care, mental health treatment, or even basic services such as food that isn’t rotten and clean underwear.  These issues with private prison companies are longstanding and well-known.  Such failures have led different government and quasi-government inspectors to call the facilities’ violations “egregious” and “dangerous.”  California decided the only way to fix these issues was by outright banning the facilities from operation under the state’s “police powers.”  That law is now in effect.

One of the private prison companies, GEO Group, is fighting the legality of the law and has challenged it in court.  The United States government is also challenging California’s right to ban these facilities.  Constantine Cannon is supporting California’s efforts to hold these companies to their contractual obligations to meet the federal, state, and local regulations and standards that dictate that immigrants and other detainees should be treated with basic human decency, provided necessary healthcare and mental healthcare, and protected from unnecessary risks.

Read our brief here.

If you know about any fraud in private prison companies, please contact us.

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Tagged in: Correctional Services Fraud, Government Procurement Fraud, Human Rights,