Mohammad, coffee on paper. The Refugee Art Project

The **#ImmigrationDetentionSyllabus** is a sixteen-part series of readings and tools to support education, research, and action to dissect and dismantle the U.S. immigration detention system. The syllabus is organized by theme and curated by historian [Tina Shull](https://medium.com/u/6e34ba3479d9) at [Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC)](http://endisolation.org).

Part Nine, “On Private Prisons” builds upon Part Eight, “On Labor and Economics,” with a focus on exposing the origins, abuses, and public costs of the private prison industry.


Private Prisons in America by Michael A. Hallett

- Greene, Judith A. “Entrepreneurial Connections: Incarceration as a Business Opportunity.” In [*Invisible Punishment*](http://thenewpress.com/books/invisible-punishment)*.* The New Press, 2002. - Hallett, Michael A. [*Private Prisons in America: A Critical Race Perspective*](http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/64thp2px9780252073083.html). The University of Chicago Press, 2006. - Harcourt, Bernard E. [*The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order*](http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674066168&content=reviews). Harvard University Press, 2011. - Herivel, Tara and Paul Wright. [*Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration*](http://thenewpress.com/books/prison-profiteers). The New Press, 2007.

by Donna Selman and Paul Leighton

- Klein, Naomi. [*The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism*](https://books.google.com/books?id=PwHUAq5LPOQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=shock+doctrine&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwisuqHe9OPVAhUK12MKHXhmAEoQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=shock%20doctrine&f=false). Metropolitan Books, 2006. - Patler, Caitlin and Nicholas Branic, “Patterns of Family Visitation During Immigration Detention,” *RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences *3:4 (July 2017) 18–36. - Selman, Donna and Paul Leighton. [*Punishment for Sale: Private Prisons, Big Business, and the Incarceration Binge*](https://books.google.com/books?id=5lBraTDtiSgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=punishment+for+sale&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP1pjM9OPVAhUE8WMKHYUKCZoQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=punishment%20for%20sale&f=false). Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. - Walker, D.R. [*Penology for Profit: A History of the Texas Prison System 1867–1912*](https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=1332284790&searchurl=&cmtrack_data=cm_abecat%3D100203076). Texas A&M University Press, 1988.

Blog: Texas Prison Bid’ness: The Business of Detention, Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies

People Over Profits, movement to end private prisons

Source: Facebook

### Reports

A Toxic Relationship: Private Prisons and U.S. Immigration Detention, Detention Watch Network, December 2016.

Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota.” Grassroots Leadership, April 2015.

The Treatment Industrial Complex: How For-Profit Prison Corporations are Undermining Efforts to Treat and Rehabilitate Prisoners for Corporate Gain, Grassroots Leadership, Friends Service Committee, and Southern Center for Human Rights, November 2014.

Video Visitation: How Private Companies Push for Visits by Video and Families Pay the Price, Grassroots Leadership and Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, October 2014.

For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Companies Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families, Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies, October 2014.

The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America, Grassroots Leadership, June 2013:


The Influence of the Private Prison Industry in the Immigration Detention Business, Detention Watch Network, May 2011.

Outsourcing Responsibility: The Human Cost of Privatized Immigration Detention in Otero County (ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights, 2011), ACLU, 2011.

Lax Oversite Plagues Privates Prison in Texas, “Watch Your Assets” Grassroots Leadership and Texans for Public Justice, February 6, 2008.

Correction Corporation of America: A Critical Look at its First Twenty Years. Grassroots Leadership, Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First, and Prison Privatisation Report International, December, 2003.

Mohammad, pencil on paper. The Refugee Art Project.

### In the News

“Private Immigrant Prisons in California Now Subject to Public Records Act,” Huffington Post, January 2018:


ICE and GEO Group admit to assaulting hunger strikers at Adelanto detention compound,” Telesur, June 2017.

“Thousands of immigrant detainees sue private prison firm over forced labor,” Los Angeles Times, March 2017.

Will the Private Prison Industry See a Trump Bump?NPR, January 4, 2017.

Cell High: Trump’s immigration orders will make private prison companies filthy rich,” VICE, January 26, 2017.

How I Got Arrested Reporting on a Private Prison,” by Shane Bauer, Mother Jones, June 2016.

This Man Will Surely Die,” and “Family Sues Private Prison Operator Over Deaths at Immigrant-Only Facility,” by Seth Freed Wessler, The Nation, January 2016 and March 2016.

Investigation Into Private Prisons Reveals Crowding, Understaffing, and Inmate Death,” NPR, 2016.

“A Brief History of America’s Private Prison Industry,” Mother Jones, 2016.

10 Things That Have Happened Since our CCA Investigation Broke,” Mother Jones, 2016.

Former immigrant detainees confronted the Secretary of Homeland Security about the private prison industry,” #Not1More, 2016.

“[Costly, Inefficient and Unaccountable: The Case for Outlawing For-Profit Prisons](https://www.owler.com/reports/corrections-corporation-of-america/costly--inefficient-and-unaccountable--the-case-fo/1474325040144),” *Forbes*, 2016.

California’s governor vetoed a bill that would stop privately run migrant detention. What now?” PRI, 2016.

Former Guard Launches Hunger Strike to Protest Private Prison Company,” *Mother Jones, *2016.

A Shocking Glimpse Inside America’s Privatized Detention Facilities for Immigrants,” Think Progress, 2016.

Why Did One of America’s Most Controversial Immigration Detention Facilities Get Even Bigger?Foreign Policy, 2016.

The True Cost: Why the Private Prison Industry is About so Much More Than Prisons.” Talking Points Memo, 2016.

Inside the Administration’s $1 Billion Deal to Detain Central American Asylum Seekers.” Washington Post, 2016.

“Dialing with Dollars: How County Jails Profit From Immigrant Detainees,” The Nation, 2014

“Shadow Prisons” Fusion, 2014:


NPR Investigation: Private Prison Lobbies Helped Write SB 1070, Colorlines, 2010.

Photo Essays

Wider Image: Life in California’s largest immigration detention center,” Reuters, 2017.

An Immigrants’ Dream, DetainedNew York Times, 2013.


“Immigrants for Sale,” Brave New Films (2015):

The House I Live In (2012)

The Private Prison Problem: Not Here Not Anywhere, Narrated by Danny Glover, produced by Tonyia Rawles and Natalie Bullock Brown (2005)

History of the Convict Lease System

Slavery by Another Name, PBS (2012)


Convict Lease System,” Library of Congress.

Ida B. Wells, “The Convict Lease System,” 1893.