Prisons prospering from jailing immigrants

As the RI ACLU prepares to hold a news conference today regarding the Wyatt Detention Center and the death of Jason Ng, the Boston Globe reports on how some other prisons, including the nearby Bristol County Jail, have enhanced their revenue by jailing immigrant detainees:

Bristol and other cash-strapped county jails are increasingly embracing the immigration business, capitalizing on the soaring number of foreign-born detainees and the millions of federal dollars a year paid to incarcerate them. Bristol County alone has raked in $33 million since 2001, and has used the money to transform itself into a sprawling campus with a commissary, an ambulance communications center, and a "management accountability building" for regular meetings on jail operations.

"That money is a tremendous boost for us," said Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr., whose jail houses 324 immigrants, up from 44 a decade ago, bringing in $15.6 million last year. "We aggressively try to market ourselves to get as many of those inmates into our doors as we can."

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