AFSC-AZ Honored for Activism and Advocacy Against the Private Prison Industry

This week, the Private Corrections Institute (PCI), a non-profit citizen watchdog organization based in Tallahassee, Florida, announced the 2018 awardees for individual activism and organizational advocacy against the for-profit prison industry.

PCI opposes the privatization of correctional services, including the operation of prisons, jails and other detention facilities by for-profit companies such as Nashville, Tennessee-based CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America/CCA) and Boca Raton, Florida-based GEO Group, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols CXW and GEO, respectively. PCI also opposes privatization of prison and jail medical, mental health, transportation, food, commissary, and probation services, as criminal justice should not be profit-driven.

PCI’s 2018 award for outstanding organizational advocacy against the privatization of correctional services went to AFSC-AZ, which promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. AFSC-AZ has long been active in criminal justice reform efforts, including opposition to the private prison industry.

The PCI award was accepted by Caroline Isaacs, program director for AFSC-AZ.

“AFSC-AZ has been fortunate to have worked closely with PCI for decades to expose the utter failure of for-profit incarceration in Arizona and nationwide,” she stated. “Their courageous leadership, in-depth research and tireless advocacy are crucial contributions to the field. AFSC-Arizona is deeply honored by this award, and we look forward to continuing to working with PCI and other partners around the country to transform our justice system.”

The recipient of PCI’s 2018 award for exceptional individual activism against the privatization of correctional services is Judy Greene, director of Justice Strategies (www.justicestrategies.org).

An expert on prison privatization, Judy has long advocated for an end to for-profit prisons. Justice Strategies, founded in 2003, is “a nonprofit research organization dedicated to providing analysis and solutions to advocates and policymakers pursuing more humane and cost-effective approaches to criminal justice and immigration reform.” It has produced a number of reports, including studies related to privatized immigration detention centers and prisons.

The 2018 awards were presented by PCI president Alex Friedmann, who served ten years behind bars in the 1990s, including six years at a privately-operated prison, prior to his release in 1999. He is now the associate director of the Human Rights Defense Center and managing editor of Prison Legal News. He serves with PCI in a voluntary capacity.

“PCI is pleased to continue honoring organizations and individuals who work to educate the public about the many problems inherent with prison privatization,” Friedmann said. “Especially now, under the Trump administration, there needs to be greater scrutiny of companies that seek to exploit our criminal justice system in order to generate profit. Justice should not be for sale and prisons should not be run for the purpose of making money.”

This information has been republished with permission.

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