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For-profit immigrant detention centers make billions under Trump while also starving detainees

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24.01.2019

In America, locking people up is profitable. That’s why it’s no accident that this is the most incarcerated nation on Earth. But it’s not just the federal government that makes a quick buck off of putting bodies in detention center beds and forcing them into providing cheap labor. Since 2000, the number of people in private, for-profit prisons has nearly doubled—with the privately held immigrant population increasing by 442 percent since 2002.

One of the ways private immigrant detention facilities make money (in addition to their lucrative contracts with the federal government) is by charging detainees exorbitant prices for items such as food, deodorant, and toothpaste. In order to afford these basic necessities, detainees are forced to turn to prison work, only to find that the money they earn doesn’t stretch very far at all. A recent Reuters article profiles immigrants in detention at the Adelanto Detention Facility in California, who end up working several days just to buy food to supplement the meager rations of food they are given daily.

It turns out that the food for sale in the facility’s commissary is priced well above what is charged in stores—$3.25........

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