For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 11, 2015
Contact: Alec Saslow : 720-319-4948 :
Jamila Hammami : 347-496-8490 :

New Report Exposes For-Profit Immigration Detention Contracts in Newark and Buffalo Creating Quotas that Are Driving Increased Incarceration

National Report Explores Widespread Use of Local Guaranteed Minimum Contracts in Detaining Immigrants in Newark, Buffalo, LA, Phoenix, Houston, Miami, San Antonio, San Diego, and More

A new report released today by Detention Watch Network and the Center for Constitutional Rights explores and exposes the depth of local lockup quotas in immigrant detention across 15 facilities in half of ICE’s field offices. The report includes an exploration of Newark and Buffalo’s guaranteed minimum contracts with for-profit corporations.

Top lines from the report:

• Guaranteed minimum contracts with for-profit corporations in Newark encourage the detention of 285 of people at any given time–and require payment either way. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), owner of the Elizabeth Detention Center in Newark, is the major beneficiary.
• At the Buffalo Service Processing Center, a guaranteed minimum found in a sub-contract incentivizes the detention of 400 people at any given time.
• By incentivizing ICE to fill a certain number of detention beds on a daily basis at specific facilities, the U.S. government is allowing private interests a hand in setting policy on immigration enforcement and detention, while at the same time padding their bottom line.

“Immigration detention is unjust and extremely dangerous, especially for vulnerable LGBTQI populations,” said Jamila Hammami, Executive Director of the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project. “The government is allowing private interest to play a role in shaping detention policies at the expense of immigrant lives.”

“The detention of immigrants has become big business and a source of profit, yet comes with a significant moral and financial cost for everyone involved,” said Silky Shah, Co-Director of Detention Watch Network. “Local quotas with private contractors and the infrastructure of detention itself have driven this market: all at a huge expense to families detained arbitrarily and to taxpayers footing the bill.”

Other major areas with local quotas include: Seattle, Houston, and New Orleans.

See the executive summary here:
See the full report here:

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Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.

The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) is a collective Alternative to Detention (ATD), detention center visitation, direct service, and community organizing project that works with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Two Spirit, Trans, Gender Non- Conforming, and HIV+ detainees and their families currently in detention centers, those that are recently released from detention centers, and undocumented folks in New York City.