CCA private prisons and AZ immigration law

Kara Ramos reported in the VDT on 18 Aug 2010 that Private prison company picks Valdosta as potential site:

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA) and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) announced an economic development partnership for future construction of a private prison.

Who is CCA? NPR’s Laura Sullivan reported on 28 Oct 2010 about Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law:

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.

The law could send hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to prison in a way never done before. And it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to private prison companies responsible for housing them.

More from NPR:

That same week, the Corrections Corporation of America hired a powerful new lobbyist to work the capitol.

The prison company declined requests for an interview. In a statement, a spokesman said the Corrections Corporation of America, “unequivocally has not at any time lobbied — nor have we had any outside consultants lobby – on immigration law.”

At the state Capitol, campaign donations started to appear.

Thirty of the 36 co-sponsors received donations over the next six months, from prison lobbyists or prison companies — Corrections Corporation of America, Management and Training Corporation and The Geo Group.

By April, the bill was on Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk.

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.

Brewer and her spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

Considering how many local farmers and others around here use hispanic help without inquiring closely as to where they come from, a CCA prison in Lowndes County would be more than ironic.

Spending state tax dollars to lock people up while cutting funding for education that would cost less per person doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

Is this what we want to be known for?

What does the VLCIA say?