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Abolish Private Prisons Lunchtime Discussion

Mar 22, 2017 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

“Private Prisons Are Unconstitutional”: John Dacey, Arizona attorney and founder of Abolish Private Prisons, discusses abolishing private for-profit prisons. The United States and the majority of state governments have created a justice system that promotes incarceration to drive profit. Our society has made it very profitable for huge corporations to incarcerate people, and the burden of this unholy dynamic falls most disproportionately on the poor and people of color. Private prison corporations command 20-year contracts in Arizona, for example, that guaranty payment for 90% occupancy, and they oppose reforms that would lead to leniency, decriminalization and alternatives to incarceration. Prisoners are calculated as growth commodities on corporate balance sheets. Shareholders are fiscally rewarded when private prison populations increase. These corporations thrive on recidivism. This practice, sponsored by government, is inherently flawed and filled with economic conflicts of interest that violate "life and liberty" guarantees in the Constitution of the United States. Incarceration-for-profit is the new slavery. It is time to abolish this practice throughout the United States. 

 

About the speakers: John Dacey worked for 12 years at legal aid and public interest firms where he handled class actions and other cases for the poor and people with disabilities in matters concerning poverty and disability programs, particularly Medicaid, and jail conditions. Since 1990 John has been in private practice in Phoenix where he represents businesses, particularly nonprofits that provide medical, behavioral health and developmental disability services. His work includes trials in state, federal, and tribal courts. John served as a state court judge pro tem, a federal court-appointed mediator to mediate inmate lawsuits over medical care and religious freedoms, and as adjunct faculty at the Arizona State University Law School. For the last five years John has been building a litigation challenge to the constitutionality of private for-profit prisons. He founded Abolish Private Prisons, an Arizona nonprofit corporation, in 2015.

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