No more heads in prison beds

By Sanho Tree - remarks made to Madison Hotel audience before IPS' Letelier-Moffitt Awards' dinner

"Before 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."

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