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Naacp Opposes Private Prisons Resolution 2012

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cases in which an individual dies where there is an allegation of civil rights
violation or excessive force while in the custody of law enforcement regardless of
the outcome of local investigations.

WHEREAS, the U.S. has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world,
with 2.3 million people behind bars ..At year-end 2009, almost 3 million adults, or
743 out of every 100,000 in our nation's population were incarcerated and
another 4,933,667 were on probation or parole; and
WHEREAS, over the past four decades, the number of people incarcerated in
our country quadrupled from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million; and
WHEREAS, racial and ethnic minority Americans are disproportionately
overrepresented in America's prison population; 60% of America's prisoners are
non-white; and
,
WHEREAS, as was so clearly demonstrated in the April 2011 NAACP Report
Misplaced Priorities, escalating investments in incarceration over the past 30
years have undermined educational opportunities and are currently causing
tremendous strain on several states' budgets; and
WHEREAS, in 2005, the average annual cost of incarceration was $23,876 per
state prisoner with variations of $13,000 in Louisiana to $45,000 in Rhode Island;
and
WHEREAS, as of 2011, we spent nearly $70 billion each year to incarcerate
people in prisons and jails, to imprison young people in detention centers and
"youth jails" and to keep 7.3 million people under watch on parole or probation in
our communities; and
WHEREAS, private prisons are even more costly; the cost on average $56 per
prisoner per day compared to state prisons which cost an average of $48 per
prisoner per day; and
WHEREAS, private prisons are less safe; inmate-on-inmate violence is 66%
higher in private prisons than in state-owned prisons and violence toward staff
49% higher in private prisons; and
WHEREAS, private prison corporations have a long record of mismanagement,
abuse and corruption and are not accountable to the public but to shareholders;
and
WHEREAS, private prisons have, in general, lower pay and much higher
turnover among employees; and

16

2012 RESOLUTIONS

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WHEREAS, private prisons profit through the incarceration of others; the more
people who are imprisoned in the United States, the more money private prison
owners and operators make; and
, WHEREAS, Corrections Corporations of America (CCA) - the nation's largest
owner and operator of privatized correctional and detention facilities and one of
the largest prison operators in the United States, behind only the federal
govemment and three states, which currently owns and operates more than 60'
facilities including 44 company-owned facilities, with a design capacity of more
than 85,000 beds in 19 states and the District of Columbia - recently sent a letter
to 48 U.S. Governors announcing the "Investment Initiative," a new plan to spend
up to $250 million to buy prisons from state, local, and federal government
entities on conditions of a minimum commitmel1t of 20 years for the facility and
maintaining 90% capacity over the twenty year period; and
WHEREAS, by requiring a minimum prisoner capacity, CCA removes any
incentive for a reduction In the number of people incarcerated including
sentencing reform or a decrease in crime; and
WHEREAS, the Unite,d Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Southern
Catholic Bishops and Catholic Bishops, and Episcopal Diocese of Newark have
all joined the NAACP in declaring their opposition to profit-making from the
punishment of human beings and an abdication of our responsibility to care for
our sisters and brothers.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP will strongly advocate for the
abolishment of private, for~profit prisons and urge transparency and
accountability for those that are in existence; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NAACP is opposed to the selling of a
federal, state or local prison facility to any private company; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that thJ! NAACP and its Units support legislation
that prevents the sale of any federal, state or local prison or jail to any for-profit
entity.

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WHEREAS, on February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was shot to death while
walking home from his local 7-11 because he was deemed "suspicious" by
George Zimmerman - a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain; and
WHEREAS, Trayvon Martin was not found with a gun, only with skittles, soda
and wearing a sports hoodie; and

17

2012 RESOLUTIONS

 

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