On July 5th activists and community leaders in Southeast San Diego will begin a hunger strike to protest the private prison Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)
By Mark Bartlett
Community Leaders and Local Activists will execute a hunger strike on July 5th at 6pm next to the Oceanview Facility located at 551 S. 35th St. San Diego, CA 92113. The hunger strike will continue until all action items requested by the protest organizers have been satisfied.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is the largest for-profit prison industry in America and they currently operate three Correctional Facilities across San Diego County. Two out of the three facilities are located in the heart of Southeast San Diego and Barrio Logan. Both centers are located in residential neighborhoods within close proximity of homes, churches, schools and businesses. CCA is looking to capitalize through alternative services in order to boost their revenue by purchasing reentry/detention centers across the country.
Advocates Will Ask For The Following
At a site within close proximity of the correctional facility, advocates will urge the County of San Diego to: terminate their partnership, demand a thorough investigation into their low staffing levels, high use and possession of narcotics in their facilities, possible tampering and forging of County/Federal documents, lack of resources for Justice Involved Individuals, overcrowding that breaches their contract, misuse and improper handling of the distribution of prescribed medication, absence of medical care, improper training and the lack of personal safety equipment for staff.
They also request that the San Diego Police Department along with the San Diego Fire Department/EMT relinquish all documented complaints from the community and a record of dispatch calls they have received from the facility where they responded to a situation at the center.
Lastly, Community Organizers request that the Federal Bureau of Prisons release their full monitoring audit documents for both facilities from 2015 to the public.
Community Activist Mark Bartlett Says:
“These two re-entry facilities in San Diego was the birth of a new era for CCA in terms of residential community correctional centers. New avenues to generate revenue gave rise to the “Treatment Industrial Complex” where for-profit prison corporations are seeking alternative services such as Reentry centers, Mental Health centers, and Electronic Monitoring (GPS).
“Both facilities were purchased in 2013 for $36 million dollars cash and have a combined total capacity of 603 beds. This is a slap in the face to the community to allow a corporation to operate in our backyards that thrives off profiting from the criminalization and incarceration of black, brown and the poor from underserved communities.
“We must reclaim our communities and demand investment in infrastructures that create a pipeline to higher learning rather than institutions of formal control. Stand in solidarity as we unite to bridge the gap between our communities from the waterfront of Barrio Logan to the streets of Southeast San Diego” ~ Mark Bartlett
Private Prisons Should Be Banned
“Once CCA or GEO Group secures a new contract, every taxpayer dollar that goes toward their profit is a dollar not spent on improving conditions in jails and prisons or pursuing alternatives to incarceration. Private prison companies also pitch their services as shortterm solutions to overcrowding, but too often public officials become dependent on the private space and delay addressing the root causes of incarceration.” Donald Cohen It’s a crime: How private prison companies encourage mass incarceration – Salon
We do not need private prison corporations in our backyards. We need schools, parks, family owned businesses, community centers, community programs and other establishments that will help promote positive social change for our people rather than incarceration. This is call for ACTION so we must stand in solidarity and ACT NOW! Join our fight across the country and stand in solidarity as we demand real Criminal Justice and Prison Reform that does not include the privatization of Correctional Centers and alternative services.
For more information, see Protest the Corrections Corporation of America and San Diego No More Prisons.
Endorsing organizations include: Uaptsd.org, Af3irm San Diego, Black Men for Bernie, Artful Activist San Diego, OLBSD.org, San Diego Social League, Millions for Prisoners Human Rights Committee, Bishop Cornelius Bowser of Charity Apostolic Church, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), National END MASS Incarceration, Nadia Contreras (I’m MY Own Blessing)