Friday, November 05, 2010

ACLU Warns Against Private Slate Belt Detention Center

"You're pushing 10% unemployment. I'd like to help you solve that problem."

That's the argument made by GEO, the largest provider of corrections and mental health facilities in the world, in support a self-contained detention center for 2,200 immigrants facing deportation. Because of its proximity to New York, Newark and Philadelphia, the slate belt is considered an ideal location. A privately run facility will produce 350 local construction jobs and another 500 detention jobs for people facing deportation. But at Northampton County Council's November 4 meeting, the ACLU's Emma Cleveland cautioned against any private facility for immigrants.

Council President Ron Angle told Cleveland that "we have no say here, whatsoever, as to whether that detention center goes in Upper Mount Bethel Township."

But Cleveland told Angle that County Council had already submitted a proposal for a detention center, "so you have taken a position." Angle acknowledged that the County has laid the groundwork to act as an intermediary for such a facility, similar to what exists in other Counties, but takes no position endorsing a specific location or proposal.

"The ACLU of Pennsylvania has taken a position in opposition to a private immigrant detention center because we're concerned about the large amount of civil rights abuses," said Cleveland. She added that civil rights abuses, including rape and murder, occur with greater frequency at privately run facilities.

She also complained that there wold be no immigration courts in these facilities, but Angle corrected her, stating that GEO had advised there would be courts.

"I'm curious how you all know this because the public does not know this, and I'm a member of the public," argued Cleveland. "Actually, it was discussed at the public meeting," answered Council Solicitor Phil Lauer. "They referred to two courtrooms."

Cleveland also complained that private facilities are under no obligation to respond to Freedom of Information or Right to Know requests.

"Whether you committed a crime by crossing the border, it's actually an administrative violation, you still shouldn't be raped and you should have that information."

In response to questioning from Council member Lamont McClure, Cleveland listed murders, suicides and riots at GEO facilities. "They do not have a good track record. The federal government does a better job."

GEO has submitted no formal proposal to any municipality, but will conduct an open forum about a potential slate belt detention center at Bangor Area Middle School on November 10, 6 PM.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

"another 500 detention jobs for people facing deportation"

Bernie
You don't mean illegals will get these jobs?

Anonymous said...

has angle been playing in the background again?

Anonymous said...

I'm less concerned that law-breakers get clean sheets that I am that law-abiding people get jobs to maintain their honest lifestyles. If the ACLU's fight was for basic protections, I'd support it. However, they're a partisan political group fighting for basic rights like free college and HD TV. Build the prison.

Anonymous said...

"I'm less concerned that law-breakers get clean sheets that I am that law-abiding people get jobs to maintain their honest lifestyles. If the ACLU's fight was for basic protections, I'd support it. However, they're a partisan political group fighting for basic rights like free college and HD TV. Build the prison."

well stated.

Anonymous said...

This is going to be a NIMBY issue. Only illegal Welsh people are allowed in the Slate Belt. No one is going to want Mexicans and Guatemalans sent there, behind bars or not.

Clem said...

Illegals are not Americans.

Someone should let the American Civil Liberties Union know, the illegals are not entitled to American Civil Liberties.

ACLU Warns...

BFD. A bunch of America-hating poontangs in women's underwear.

Anonymous said...

Put the detention center in Allentown .Why ruin the Slate Belt.

Anonymous said...

Angle wants it , hey move Gracedale to UMBT, and turn the existing Gracedale to a Prison.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 6:53, No the jobs would go to local residents.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same ACLU that has recently fought for prisoners' rights to cosmetic and gender reassignment surgeries?

Mt. Bethel Plastic Surgeon said...

I fully support the ACLU in its efforts here, and expect lots of referrals. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Agree with ACLU on this one. My problem is that any County involvement could saddle the County Taxpayer for a claim concerning prisoner abuse in this private prison. If GAO wants it so badly, let them buy the land and build it where they are allowed. Why is the County even involved? What.. to share any future blame?

Anonymous said...

Private prisons worked out so well in Luzerne County. Why shouldn't Northampton try one?

It's not like the owners of the private prisons would pay bribes to public officials to get the contract. Or that people who do not belong in prison would end up there in order to cover the cost of the bribes. Why ... that would never happen in PA.

Anonymous said...

Its funny saying its a township issue that he had no interest in. Did GEO come to the County's Community and Economic Development Dept. Did GEO come to John Stoffa? No,somehow GEO found its way to Angle who without even a cursory examination of the qualifications and history of this company tried to give it carte blanche designation as the chosen developer of the project.

What happened to transparent government? What happened to full disclosure? Virtues conveniently discarded.

Yes, turn the detainees over to a private company that can maltreat them while overcharging the u.s. taxpayer all the time being free from any obligation to reveal information about how it runs the place except when compelled to do so in the multitude of lawsuits filed against it.

Who was Delaware County's version of Angle who got that County to turn over its prison to GEO? Only to regret it after numerous lawsuits for gross violations of basic care.

Looking To Escape said...

"She added that civil rights abuses, including rape and murder, occur with greater frequency at privately run facilities."
.
That certainly speaks volumes about the illegals, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

i smell something fishy how bout anyone else it is true why is the county involed angle must be reciving a kickback or is being paid for suggesting the site who cares if he does own half of the township he is a crooked s o b and he should be conerned if that does get built he may lose half the people he rents to

Anonymous said...

i don't understand how the county can take a stand on this detenion center and not give the elderly citzens of the county a home to live in that is such a slap in the face were goin to sell your home to build a home for illegals to live in were are the morals and respect for our elders

Anonymous said...

G E O does have a checkered past. The C E O makes 3.7 million dollars a year. There have been tons of law suits against them including an insurrection where people died,sexual offenses suicides etc . The only privatized county prison in pennsylvania in chester county just got rid of them. Google them...easy to do

Bernie O'Hare said...

" angle must be reciving a kickback or is being paid for suggesting the site who "

What a disgusting piece of shit. Anonymous cowards who make all kinds of vicious claims they would never make if they had to sign their names.

Anonymous said...

Claims? How about facts. GEO was Indicted for murder. FACT Judgement for 47 million dollars against GEO for death of inmate over which it had supervision. FACT. Ran Delaware County Prison as a private facility. Couldnt do it properly. Left after numerous deaths in facility and law suits for sub standard care. FACT

What is cowardly is your unwillingness to admit that Angle failed to ask any questions about this company and tried to pull a fast one. Give GEO the keys to the kingdom courtesy of Northampton County to the ultimate detriment of U.S. Taxpayers.

And all without any freedom of information access. It is Angle who was the rube in all this. Sucked in by a cheap lobbying effort. Thank God he couldnt deliver the goods.

Lighthouse said...

I have to chuckle reading these comments about GEO. I don't know anything about GEO, but a certain individual of some local prominence said that there is not much difference between running a private prison and a nursing home. Please don't tell me that nursing homes have these problems too???

Carol said...

'Morning Bernie, question, does the land that Mr. Angle owns in conjunction with the proposed prison - is it needed for the development of this prison? Does the land surround the area, is it adjacent, or is it needed for parking or entrance space? Carol

Bernie O'Hare said...

Carol, To answer your questions, NO to all of them. His land is not needed for the development. It is not adjacent. It is not needed for access. It is nearby. This land is the same land that was planned for Marshfield.

Angle has no obligation to recuse himself in this matter, but did so to avoid any claim of impropriety bc he does own land in the vicinity, and its value will be affected.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"How about facts. GEO was Indicted for murder."

Umm, that means nothing. I could indict a ham sandwich. In addition to GEO, VP Cheney and AG Gonzales were indicted, too, in what was obviously a political stunt. The indictment against GEO was dismissed just 2 weeks after it was filed. That's one fact you fail to mention.

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/displayArticle.aspx?articleid=21330&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

"FACT Judgement for 47 million dollars against GEO for death of inmate over which it had supervision."

True, there was a judgment in the same matter that led to the dismissed murder indictment. GEO settled the matter.

http://www.texasprisonbidness.org/tags/gregorio-de-la-rosa

"Ran Delaware County Prison as a private facility. Couldnt do it properly. Left after numerous deaths in facility and law suits for sub standard care. FACT"

Umm, A cording to GEO, it discontinued its contract with Delaware County bc of financial underperformance and the nuisance suits brought by inmates.

http://www.streetinsider.com/Corporate+News/GEO+Group+(GEO)+Discontinues+Contract+with+Delaware+County,+Pennsylvania/3951086.html

I'm not sure you have the "facts" about anything. If GEO were a reprehensible outfit, the federal government would never do business with them.

I do think ACLU has a point about Freedom of Information.

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