NPR Discovers the Prison Industry’s Role in SB 1070

Long after the rest of us have already figured out that the prison industry was an integral part of conceiving, drafting and implementing Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB 1070, NPR also discovered the fact.

NPR’s story here, some highlights and a pretty graphic:

  • NPR spent the past several months analyzing hundreds of pages of campaign finance reports, lobbying documents and corporate records. What they show is a quiet, behind-the-scenes effort to help draft and pass Arizona Senate Bill 1070 by an industry that stands to benefit from it: the private prison industry.
  • Four months later, that model legislation (written with prison industry folks) became, almost word for word, Arizona’s immigration law.
  • Asked if the private companies usually get to write model bills for the legislators, Hough said, “Yeah, that’s the way it’s set up. It’s a public-private partnership. We believe both sides, businesses and lawmakers should be at the same table, together.”
  • Brewer has her own connections to private prison companies. State lobbying records show two of her top advisers — her spokesman Paul Senseman and her campaign manager Chuck Coughlin — are former lobbyists for private prison companies. Brewer signed the bill — with the name of the legislation Pearce, the Corrections Corporation of America and the others in the Hyatt conference room came up with — in four days.
  • In May, The Geo Group had a conference call with investors. When asked about the bill, company executives made light of it, asking, “Did they have some legislation on immigration?”

Ha ha ha, so funny these rich guys shaping our laws for their own benefit!  Crack me up!

[Image via Stephanie D’Otreppe/NPR]

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