At a recent URBAN-L. A. forum it was pointed out that deportations and detention have fueled the growth of the massive prison industrial complex, and a huge waste of economic resources. Mass detention has generated a billion-dollar industry for private prison companies, including the Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spend over $2 billion a year to detain immigrants. It costs an average of $164 per day per person to keep someone in detention. Prison corporations lobby heavily to secure government contracts to increase their profits. An even more troubling development is that prison corporations lobby to increase anti-immigrant legislation. The prison industry was the largest single funder of the notorious anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona, SB 1070. The policy of mass deportation is also part of the broader problem of mass incarceration. Our prison population has exploded from about 300,000 to more than 2 million in a few decades.
The Adelanto facility is one of those private prison companies. A report by the nonprofit immigrant advocacy group Detention Watch Network a few months ago detailed alleged abuses of prisoners at the privately run company, the Adelanto Detention Facility East, and nine other similar institutions across the nation where immigrants whose citizenship is in question have been detained by U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to await federal deportation hearings.