Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Children locked up — at a profit — Oped by Amy Goodman

“I want to be free. I want to go outside, and I want to go to school,” pleaded a 9-year-old boy, on the phone from prison. This prison wasn’t in some far-off country, some dictatorship where one would expect children to be locked up. He is imprisoned in the United States.

The boy, Kevin, is imprisoned in Taylor, Texas, at the T. Don Hutto Residential Facility. His parents are also locked up there. The tale of how this family became imprisoned is just one example of how broken our immigration policies are in this country. It is a tale of children left behind, of family values locked up, of your tax dollars at work. . .

On a plane back to Canada, a fellow passenger suffered a heart attack, requiring an unscheduled landing in Puerto Rico. Although they never had any intention of entering the U.S., because the plane touched down here, their passports were questioned and they were detained. The family was shipped off to Hutto. They have been there for more than three weeks.

Immigration detention places the family in a legal limbo that could leave them imprisoned indefinitely, perhaps only to be deported back to more torture in Iran.

This shameful practice of locking up children is bad enough. What’s worse is that it is being done for profit, by the Corrections Corporation of America. CCA is the largest publicly traded private prison operator in the U.S. CCA has close to 70 facilities scattered across the country, recent earnings of $1.33 billion and a gain in its stock-share price of 85 percent in the past year. Industry analysts gush at the profit potential promised by private prisons. Their commodity: human beings. . .

It is also worth noting that CCA runs many of Oklahoma’s private prisons.

I can’t help but feel ashamed of America when you read stories like this one.