UPDATE: Senate approves GEO bill 23-14
UPDATE MAY 27 12 p.m..: The Senate passed the GEO bill 23-14. An amendment to disallow high-level Michigan inmates at the Baldwin prison failed by 1 vote. Four other amendments were introduced, but all of them were defeated.
Check back for more details. When the Senate journal is released tomorrow, we plan on posting bits of it relevant to this bill on our website so you can know how your senator voted on the amendments and the bill.
UPDATE MAY 27 9:55 a.m.: This is the final push, folks! The entire Senate could vote on this bill today. The session starts at 10 a.m. Make the call now if you haven’t already! Watch the senate session live.
UPDATE MAY 20: The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill 3-2 yesterday. Meanwhile, GEO and Vermont have entered a contract to house inmates at the Baldwin prison. GEO had been previously saying HB 4467 had to rush though the legislature before they could seal a deal.
The entire Senate will soon take up this bill. Email them now.
UPDATE MAY 18: HB 4467 passed the House, and now it’s being taken up in the Senate.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on this bill at 3 p.m. tomorrow. If it’s approved, the bill will go before the entire Senate, possibly sometime this week.
That means we need you to contact your senator and ask for a no vote! We have created a Speak Out campaign to help you quickly email your senator. Email them now. You can email your senator directly from the link, but we recommend you look up their phone number and address because phone calls and good old fashioned letters carry more sway with legislators. Please call your own senator only. Please ask your family and friends to make the call, too!
MCO has been meeting with Senators to try to get them to vote no on this bill, or at least adopt an amendment to disallow high-level Michigan inmates from being housed in a private prison.
We’ll keep you posted.
ORIGINAL POST APRIL 30: Members, we need your help!
Please contact your state representative and ask them to vote no on HB 4467, should it come up for a vote. The bill passed out of committee this week. Next, the House of Representatives will take it up for a vote (which hasn’t been scheduled yet).
HB 4467 would allow prison inmates of any security classification to be housed at the GEO-owned private prison in Baldwin. At this time, GEO claims it wants to house inmates from other states at the facility, and the company merely needs the flexibility to house high-level prisoners there.
But this seems like yet another thinly-disguised push to privatize Michigan’s prisons. They tried it last year when they attempted to arbitrarily cap the number of inmates MDOC oversees. And in 2012, they passed a bill that forced MDOC to solicit bids for a private prison. When will this issue be put to rest?
And if private prisons move into Michigan, what would be the effect on state-run facilities and the communities they’re in?
Furthermore, corporations should not profit from imprisoning human beings. The state should have the responsibility of incarcerating people, not profit-driven corporations cloaked in secrecy.
With your help, we can dismantle this bill. Please contact your legislator now!
Email your representative now. You can email them directly from the link, but we recommend you look up their phone number and address because phone calls and good old fashioned letters carry more sway with legislators. Please call your own representative only.
Thanks in advance for your help. We’ll keep you posted.