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May 13, 2013 2:50 PM by Czarina Nafarrate

Quakers plan private prison protest in Tucson

TUCSON - An Arizona Quaker group that has been advocating against prison privatization in the state is organizing a demonstration and press conference today, protesting the Corrections Corporation of America on its 30th anniversary.

The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization, does not believe corporation's track record is something to celebrate. ‘

The demonstration is part of national movement against Corrections Corporation of America, which is celebrating its anniversary on May 16. Protests against CCA will be held around the nation including Washington, DC.

The corporation operates six facilities in Arizona, holding prisoners from Arizona, California, Vermont, and Hawaii as well as federal prisoners. CCA is one of the main beneficiaries of immigrant enforcement and detention policies, such as SB 1070 and Operation Streamline.

Organizers of the rallies are protesting agaisnt for-profit prisons around the country like CCA, because of problems including prisoner abuse, cost overruns, staffing problems, lawsuits, and violence.

The AFSC released a report in 2012 on private prisons in Arizona that showed the prisons' costs compared to units operated by the Department of Corrections.

Today's event will feature Grassroots Leadership's Kymberlie Quong Charles; Nicole Porter of the Sentencing Project; Isabel Garcia, Pima County Legal Defender and member of Derechos Humanos; and Alma Hernandez, a member of Fuerza! and Corazón de Tucson.

The rally will take place this afternoon in front of the DeConcini Federal Courthouse (405 W. Congress St.) from 4-5 p.m.

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