Right now, for-profit prison operators are working on a plan to build a nearly 800-bed detention facility outside Chicago to house federal immigration detainees. The company, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has a disturbing history of abusing its own workers and the persons they detain.
Senate Bill 1064 would stop these plans – by extending the state’s current ban on for-profit correctional facilities to institutions that detain persons for civil offenses (including immigration matters).
State law in Illinois already recognizes that detaining persons is a function for the government, not for for-profit companies. Currently, state and local governments are banned from contracting with private companies to run jails and other correctional facilities. But a facility like the one proposed by CCA is not covered — because it involves civil detention. Senate Bill 1064 extends the current ban to cover civil detention centers.
CCA has an especially tragic record of abusing detainees and workers. At least 24 immigrant detainees have died at these private facilities — many for lack of medical treatment. We do not need this type of facility in Illinois.