Williamson County Judge Gattis announced this morning (12/16/08) that the vote on the proposed renewal of the contract(s) with CCA/DHS to operate T Don Hutto Detention Facility will take place on December 23 at the Williamson County Commissioners Court's weekly meeting.
After that announcement, several citizens spoke against the renewal, and WCCC was reminded that:
Putting families in prison for infractions comparable to running a stop sign is “inappropriate.”
The lack of oversight and assurance of humane treatment for families held at T Don Hutto is alarming, and contradicted by our national sense of right and wrong, ---and does serious emotional damage to the young prisoners who end up gaining American citizenship.
Communities that locate a prison in their borders suffer immense long-term economic damage because “clean” economic growth avoids them. The uglier the facility, the greater the damage.
There are alternatives to locking up babies and families, and they are proven to be less expensive-- and just as effective.But they provide no profit for the prison industry.
So, between now and the eve of Christmas Eve, it is essential that those who opposing contract renewal:
1. Contact anyone in the county hierarchy who might be able to help us; certainly the WCCC members, but also anyone who could talk to them with good audience.--minister, friends, family members, etc. WCCC contact info can be found atwww.wiliamson-county.org.
2. Write letters to the editor to the Williamson County Sun, Austin American-Statesman, Austin Chronicle, or other newspaper; contact your local TV affiliate station's news department. Ask for folks to join our effort on the blogs and email lists.
3 Consider getting a few other supporters to go with you to visit with your Williamson County commissioner--or go on your own; small settings can work far better than large, public ones because the commissioner needn't be defensive of the issue.
4. Come to Saturday, December 20 vigil in front of the Hutto facility from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. to show support and generate more. (see next post)
5. Attend the December 23 WCCC meeting that starts at 9:30 a.m.; come early ( CCA often tries to pack the place before it starts), bring others, and seriously consider speaking. Write a three-minute speech to deliver.
The new faces and voices who have recently come out against the contract renewal have had a huge impact.We can’t lapse now; let’s celebrate Christmas with the gift of an end to imprisoning innocent families and babies in Williamson County ----in Texas----in the United States of America.
For more information, to share ideas, and to get involved, contact MaryEllen Kersch, maryellenkersch [at] verizon [dot] net, 512-863-7174.
Dignity Not Detention Vigil | T. Don Hutto Detention Center | Taylor, TX. | 7pm, Saturday, August 7th, 2010. See post.
What is T Don Hutto?
The T Don Hutto facility held men, women (some pregnant), children, and infants from May 2006 to September 2009. Administered by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the country's largest for-profit corrections company, the center now holds around 500 adult women, many of whom are seeking asylum.
The Berks County Family Care Shelter still detains families. We continue to advocate for an end to family detention policy.
ICE champions the facility as a model for "civil" detention, despite patterns of sexual abuse and the continued detention of low-risk noncitizen women.
This blog is dedicated to providing information about Hutto and women's detention issues.
100 Events in 100 Days to End Family Detention
We did it! People like you came together and organized over 100 events to end family detention in Obama's first 100 days. Our online petition has over 55,000 signatures and counting! Our deepest gratitude!
Thanks to your support, ICE ended family detention at Hutto in September of 2009. The facility now holds exclusively women. We continue to advocate for their rights to due process, fair immigration proceedings, and non-penal custody.
Click here for a list of detention facilities across the U.S.
Related Blogs and Links
America's Family Prison a short film chronicling the rise of Hutto and its impact on detainees and the local community
The Least of These a feature-length documentary that follows the implementation of family detention at Hutto, the lawsuit, and protests against the facility. Premiered at Austin's South-by-Southwest Film Festival in March of 2009.
A grassroots effort of pro-migrant, human-rights, and civil-rights bloggers and on-line activists dedicated to the enactment of meaningful immigration reform that is practical, rational, fair, and humane.
Homeland Gitmos Follow an investigation of detainee treatment in American detention centers. An interactive website, complete with videos, detainee testimonies, photos, maps, and more.
Business of Detention an exciting new interactive website examining the link between federal immigration policy and the corporations that are profiting off it Detention Watch Network a national coalition dedicated to tracking immigrant detention issues