Tag Archive: ICE

Prison Smells Like Balls: The Hidden Stench of Mass Incarceration

stenchFrom Playboy

“Jail smelled cold,” Adam told me. He only spent one night in a county jail nearly a decade ago, but still, he can immediately conjure the scent. “It’s the cold of, like, old plaster and metal,” he said. That, mixed with sweaty feet and greasy pillowcases—the stifling odor of shared air and nutsacks. “Plus, I was housed with a crack addict,” Adam (who asked me to change his name for this piece) added, “who smelled of urine and just not showering for months on end.” Adam was talking about a jail in Connecticut, but it could have any correctional institution in the country. No matter where you go, it’s the same wall of rancidity that hits the minute you’re buzzed through the secured gate—the stench of thousands of men crammed into much too tiny space, raw humanity in all its disgusting nakedness.

The number of Americans who know this smell continues to grow, although it’s difficult to quantify exactly. Some, like Adam, are arrested and discharged, go to court and never serve an actual sentence. Others cycle in and out of the system their entire lives. We know that in 2012 there were some 6.9 million adults under correctional supervision in the US. That includes not only those housed in jails and prisons, but people on parole and probation—all of whom have likely spent at least one night locked up. That means one out of every 35 adult Americans knows the smell of which I write, likely a larger percentage than ever before. In the past four decades, our country’s prison population exploded 500 percent (with non-violent drug offenders making up much of that population), and continues to grow . At the same time, prison construction has slowed, and overcrowding persists.

Though recent attention on incarceration has been mainly focused on for-profit prison corporations and the treatment of juvenile offenders—both worthy subjects—it’s the visceral grotesqueness of human warehousing that outsiders never hear of, and likely never want to. In acknowledging how these conditions affect millions of Americans, how such scenes and scents literally change lives forever, you are forced to recognize just how foul mass incarceration has become.  (more…)

Third Hunger Strike Begins at the Tacoma Detention Center

hungerstrik2From Common Dreams

At least 200 people stopped eating on Fri. Oct. 31st, and more people will join today (Monday)

Tacoma, WA – Immigrant detainees are putting their bodies on the line for the third time this year, to call attention to the inhumane treatment in the GEO Group detention center. Geo Group, a corporate giant that profits off the unnecessary suffering of those it imprisons for the convenience of ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while their civil immigration status is investigated. Advocates are concerned that hunger strikers will suffer retaliation similar to the retaliation inflicted during previous hunger strikes. Hunger strikers were placed in solitary confinement for up to 30 days and threatened with force-feeding. Last spring hunger strikers received promises from ICE officials that have never been implemented.

Geo Group has been allowed to supplement their lavish compensation of more than $100 per day per person with a cluster of self-reinforcing schemes to profit even more from the people placed in their “care.” Those schemes include: (more…)

Vigil Brings Demands from Detainees on Hunger Strike to GEO Group CEO’s Neighborhood

geocropFrom Earth First! Newswire

Demonstrators visually and vocally presented the suppressed demands of immigrant detainees on hunger striker to George Zoley, CEO of for-profit prison giant GEO Group. Zoley resides in a wealthy gated community in Boca Raton, Florida, just miles away from the company headquarters.

“We are here in front of George Zoley’s neighborhood to bring the demand of the immigrant detention center hunger strikers to him at his home and know that he cannot ignore them any longer,” said protestor Britni Hiatt.

Over the past two weeks hunger strikes have taken place at two different immigrant detention facilities owned and operated by the GEO Group, one in Tacoma, Washington and one in Conroe, Texas. The hunger strike began in Washington with 750 detainees refusing food and work, and spread to 120 detainees in Texas. Demands of the hunger strikers include: an immediate halt to all deportations, just treatment for detainees, an end to crowding in cells, an end to double judgment policies, adequate food and medical care, affordable calling prices and lower rates at commissary.

GEO Group has responded to both strikes by revoking the rights of detainees, threatening to force-feed strikers, putting strikers in solitary confinement, threatening their immigration status and cutting off communication with the outside world.

“The whistle has been blown,” says Cici Claar, “It’s time for GEO to address these offenses and stop engaging in retaliation and suppression.”

(more…)

ICE Raids Durham Home: Free Hugo Now!

From Dream Activisthugo2

On December 23, 2013, ICE agents raided the home of Hugo Leonel. Despite pleas from his children to ICE agents, Hugo Leonel was taken into custody and is currently being held at Stewart Detention Center.

In early 2013, Hugo Leonel was charged with a DWI. Being his first offense, Hugo Leonel was released under bond. In compliance with his sentence, he completed community service hours and an alcohol treatment program. So why is he detained?

HUGO LEONEL IS SET TO BE DEPORTED ON TUESDAY NIGHT!

Help get Hugo Leonel released and his deportation stopped by making a phone call and signing the petition!

TAKE ACTION – MAKE A CALL:

Call Atlanta ICE @ (404) 893-1210
Call DC ICE @ (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100

Sample Script
: “Hi, I am calling to ask for the release of Hugo Leonel Perez (A# 077-665-965) from Stewart Detention Center. Hugo Leonel has been living in the U.S. for 8 years. He came from Guatemala to reunite with his family. His U.S. citizen son, Rhodinson, needs him home. Please don’t separate Rhodinson from his dad! Release Hugo Leonel now!”

Stop the Deportation of Imelda Valenzuela Gonzalez!

dabc2From Denver Anarchist Black cross

Please join us as our community seeks to keep Imelda Valenzuela Gonzalez with her community and her family. Imelda is a community leader and nurturing mother and she belongs here with her family. Please her daughter Tania’s message below for more details on this case.

1. Sign Imelda’s online petition. Here is the link.

http://action.dreamactivist.org/colorado/imelda/

2. Make a phone call to ICE. Check out the online petition above for more information.

Call ICE Director John Morton (202) 732-3000

Sample Script: “I am calling to urge ICE to stop the deportation of Imelda Valenzuela Gonzalez (A# 087-496-884), who was defrauded by a lawyer who is now on the run from the law. While the lawyer gets away with his crime, Imelda is in danger of being separated from her family for simply trying to renew her cosmotology license. Please keep her in the U.S. where she has raised her children since 1999.”

3. Write a support letter for Imelda
Attached is a letter template along with some very basic instructions on how to write an effective support letter. We need these letters by Monday, April 1st at 8:00am. Please send your completed letters to Mu Son at muson@progressivecoalition and call Mu Son with any questions at 720.570.4908. (more…)

U.S. Holds Hundreds of Detained Immigrants in Solitary Confinement

flagBy

A cover story that ran recently in the New York Times exposes the widespread use of solitary confinement on immigrant detainees. Citing figures that it says are incomplete and ”probably low,” the Times states:

On any given day, about 300 immigrants are held in solitary confinement at the 50 largest detention facilities that make up the sprawling patchwork of holding centers nationwide overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, according to new federal data.

Nearly half are isolated for 15 days or more, the point at which psychiatric experts say they are at risk for severe mental harm, with about 35 detainees kept for more than 75 days. (more…)

Another DREAMer Detained: Drop Francisco’s ICE Hold!

pacoFrom Dream Activist

URGENT: Francisco was picked up by ICE and is now sitting at Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. He could be transferred to detention at any moment.

TAKE ACTION – MAKE A CALL:

Call Charlotte ICE @ 704-672-6990

Call DC ICE – John Morton @ 202.732.3000

Sample Script: “Hi, I was calling to ask that ICE lift its immigration hold on DREAMer Francisco Hernandez and release him from Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. Francisco has been living in the United States since he was 14 years old. He graduated from high school in 2009 and is DREAM Act eligible. Lift his ICE hold and release him immediately.”