Banning private sector contractors hurts those who depend on us for safe and dignified care:

Eliminating contractor-operated facilities from Colorado’s corrections system could worsen the state’s existing prison overcrowding problem and reduce critically important reentry programs, putting the safety and well-being of Colorado’s incarcerated men and women at risk.

  • In recent years, Colorado’s prisons have at times operated at more than 100% capacity.
  • Removing contractors as a tool in government’s toolkit would harm the ability of future Colorado leaders to address public safety challenges like prison overcrowding.
  • Contractor-operated facilities provide critically important reentry programs that help reduce recidivism, which benefits Colorado’s taxpayers and our communities.
  • Each year hundreds of Colorado inmates earn their GEDs and learn employable job skills in contractor facilities, better ensuring they can support themselves and their families and not return to prison. Banning contractor-operated facilities means reducing these valuable programs.

Eliminating contractor-operated facilities from the U.S. immigration system would create a humanitarian crisis for undocumented immigrants.

  • If contractors were barred from operating ICE processing centers tomorrow, tens of thousands of immigrants would be transferred to local jails, where they would be housed alongside dangerous criminals, likely in overcrowded conditions and with less access to the critical services they receive in current contractor facilities. Over the course of a year, hundreds of thousands of immigrants would be negatively impacted.
  • Instead, contractor facilities are built specifically for housing migrants processing through the immigration system, treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve.
  • Contractors’ modern detention facilities provide in-house health care services, access to the US legal system – including lawyers and online courtrooms – as well as immigrant-rights advocates, religious services, recreation, and more.

Key Facts:

  • The private sector plays a small but valued role in the U.S. criminal justice system, housing just 8 percent of the prison population
  • For more than 35 years, private sector contractors have worked with both Democrats and Republicans to help ease prison overcrowding and other serious challenges in states like Colorado, and provide professional, humane, and dignified treatment to the men and women in our care. These flexible public-private partnerships help states meet their public safety needs in a cost-effective manner.
  • Private sector contractors are among the nation’s leaders in programming aimed at reducing recidivism and helping incarcerated people develop the skills they need to become productive members of society when they are released – including GED programs, vocational training, chaplaincy and religious training services, drug and alcohol treatment, and victim-impact training.
  • D1A members strongly support criminal justice reform efforts, including the bipartisan First Step Act, a landmark prison reform and recidivism reduction bill passed by Congress and signed into law last year.
  • D1A members do not operate facilities housing unaccompanied minors, or isolate children from their parents – and never have. By contrast, contractors such as CoreCivic and The GEO Group actually worked with the Obama Administration to establish and operate facilities specifically designed for migrant parents and their children to be cared for together, with health care, legal support, and education services provided.
  • Private sector contractors are subject to multiple levels of oversight, including frequent, regular audits by government and independent entities, and hundreds of government employees working onsite as facility monitors to ensure accountability.

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