There is a story in this month's LareDos about the private prison bribery scandal that caused two Willacy County Commissioners to resign. Read it here.
November 23, 2004:
Letters to the editor against the superjail have been added to the Media Coverage section.
August 10, 2004:
New Press Release in our Resources section - Response to national study finding that prisons can hinder economic growth
South Texans Opposing Private Prisons (STOPP) was formed in the fall of 2003
in an effort to stop the expansion of the incarceration industry in south Texas - starting with the construction of the Laredo “superjail.” The “superjail”
is a proposed 2,800 bed detention facility solicited by the US Marshals Service.
The STOPP Coalition attempts to bring together immigrant rights organizations, civic organizations,
labor unions, criminal justice reform organizers, and student activists to oppose the construction of private jails in south Texas.
Some of the numerous reasons to oppose the “superjail”
would hold mostly immigrant detainees convicted of low-level
non-violent crimes such as immigration violations. It is a
waste of human lives and taxpayer money to lock people up
for such small crimes.
would most likely be operated by a private prison company.
Private prisons pose serious moral questions about operating
prison for profit and have been rocked by a series of scandals.
would be bad for Laredo’s economy. New research indicates
that prisons can hurt small cities and rural areas by driving
away other, more attractive businesses.
If the “superjail”
is built and fails, Laredoans all pay. Webb County will probably
be asked to issue bonds to build the superjail. If the prison
doesn’t stay full, the County can have its credit rating
lowered making it more difficult to finance other projects
like parks and schools.