No more heads in prison beds
By Sanho Tree - remarks made to
Madison Hotel audience before IPS' Letelier-Moffitt Awards' dinner
I begin I know many of you are wondering why we are having dinner
here at the Madison Hotel instead of the National Geographic
Building (where IPS Award Ceremonies had earlier been held
- editor's note). We chose not to use the food service there
because Sodexho-Marriott Corporation runs it.
In addition to Sodexho's awful position on unionized labor, their
parent corporation, Sodexho Alliance, is the biggest investor
in the Corrections Corporation of America, the largest for-profit
prison company in the US. The bottom line for us (at IPS) is
that prison privatization is an abomination and has no place
in a civilized society.
Private prison companies benefit from incarcerating more prisoners
for lesser crimes and longer sentences. They profit from more
recidivism and 'repeat customers' and from cutting corners in
health care and basic living conditions. What HURTS for-profit
prisons is the concept of rehabilitation of inmates and deterring
would be offenders.
We believe that an ideal corrections system should work to put
itself out of business some day, instead of lobbying legislators
to put more heads into more beds for more profits. So, in solidarity
with our allies in organized labor, those combating privatization,
and those fighting against the drug war, we have chosen NOT to
have this dinner served by Sodexho-Marriott."