For-Profit Jail Battle Heats Up in Memphis
Last week, we gave you the run-down on the Correctional Corporation of America and their plans to build the world's largest privatized, for-profit jail and "penal farm" in Shelby County, Tennessee.
In addition to putting a huge jail in the hands of a corporations with a scandalous record, the move by the majority-white county commission also puts 1,500 jobs at risk -- mostly African-American members of AFSCME Local 1733, the same union Martin Luther King, Jr. was marching with when he was shot in Memphis in 1968.
Our friends at Grassroots Leadership are leading up the fight to stop the for-profit jail, and need your help. They're calling on everyone to write to the Shelby County Commission, and tell them that people all over the country don't want to see Memphis create the largest for-profit jail in the world.
Write your letters to:
Michael Hooks, Chair of the Shelby County Commission: email@example.com
Also cc your letter to:
Commissioner Walter Lee Bailey, Jr.: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail Tyree, Grassroots Leadership Organizer: email@example.com
For more about the Shelby County case and CCA's dubious track record, read this excellent overview by Si Kahn of Grassroots Leaderhip.
Chris Kromm is executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies and publisher of the Institute's online magazine, Facing South.