Press Releases

Statement On VICE Cutting D1A Interview From So-Called “Documentary”

April 12, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Day 1 Alliance, the trade association representing private sector contractors working in the criminal justice and immigration systems, released the following statement about VICE refusing to air any part of a one-hour interview they conducted with D1A National Spokesperson Alexandra Wilkes in their “documentary” episode airing on Showtime last night:

“Yesterday evening, Showtime aired an episode of its VICE ‘documentary’ series focused on government contractors working in corrections and immigration that was obviously and completely biased and one-sided. In fact, VICE refused to air any footage from a one-hour interview its producers conducted with Day 1 Alliance National Spokesperson Alexandra Wilkes at VICE’s headquarters in Brooklyn on March 17th. Why? Because the facts she articulated debunking the myths and misinformation spread about contractors would contradict VICE’s pre-determined narrative.

“In fact, not only did VICE refuse to air any part of our one-hour interview, but every single named person VICE showed in the 15-minuite piece supported its anti-contractor perspective. If VICE had included the interview, viewers would have all the relevant information and could have separated myth from fact. Here are just a few of the key myths pushed in the ‘documentary’ and the truth, which would have been available to viewers had VICE not deliberately silenced the other side of the story:

MYTH: Contractors cut costs on food and healthcare in order to turn a profit.

FACT: Residents are provided with three nutritious meals daily. Each meal is reviewed and approved by a registered dietician, as outlined in the relevant contract with the state or federal agency. Cost savings are mainly achieved by not having to provide employees with pension plans and retiree healthcare, although contractors provide good benefits including 401(k) plans.

MYTH: The “story” contractors “have to tell is not a good one.”

FACT: Contractors have provided valuable services to government agencies for the past 40 years, including quality rehabilitation, education, substance abuse, vocational, and life skills programs and courses to reduce recidivism and empower individuals to improve their futures. The stories of triumph and personal success that contractors have been part of through this work far outweigh the anecdotal, agenda-driven narratives featured in the VICE documentary.

MYTH: Contractors “lock people up for profit.”

FACT: Contractors don’t have the authority to “lock” anyone up. Contractors don’t make or enforce laws, nor do they determine the length of sentences or where an individual is incarcerated. These are all strictly government functions. Contractors simply provide quality services, and are held highly accountable and audited regularly by government agencies and independent third-party entities.

MYTH: Quote from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley in VICE program: Contractors “don’t care about the quality of services.”

FACT: Quality is one of the primary reasons government agencies have partnered with contractors over the past four decades, and continue to do so. Contractors adhere to rigorous standards in many areas including safety and security, programming, treatment of residents, food service, and recreation.

“The truth is, for nearly 40 years, contractors have played a small but valued role in America’s criminal justice and immigration systems across both Democratic and Republican administrations. Today, just 8% of incarcerated people are cared for in contractor-operated facilities at the state and federal levels. What’s more, contractors have long been recognized as key incubators of highly effective evidence-based programming to fight recidivism. But you’ll hear none of that from VICE, because it didn’t fit their pre-established anti-contractor narrative.

“We welcome the conversation on these important issues. But a ‘documentary’ implies that all perspectives are included, a test that VICE obviously failed.”


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