Multimedia Investigations 2008
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[ 25 Aug 2008 | No Comment | ]

The nation's largest private prison company has partnered with the federal government to detain close to 1 million undocumented people in the past 5 years until they are deported. In the process, Corrections Corporation of America has made record profits. Critics suggest the CCA cuts corners on its detention contracts in order to increase its revenue at expense of humane conditions. Thanks to political connections and lobby spending, it dominates the industry of immigrant detention. CCA now has close to 10,000 new beds under development in anticipation of continued demand.

[Full Story]


Detention, Enforcement »

[ 30 Sep 2010 | No Comment | ]

A $21 million, privately-run immigration detention facility in Farmville, VA, considered to be largest immigration detention center on the mid-Atlantic coast, opened its doors last month. The facility will house some 584 detainees in its first phase and might eventually grow to hold 1,000. Many of those in the facility will be level 1 offenders caught through the Secure Communities, which relies on police in local jails to enter arrest data into a joint FBI and Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) database. The facility operators Immigration Company of America (ICA-Farmville) …

Detention, Enforcement »

[ 30 Jul 2010 | No Comment | ]

We’re currently on hiatus at Business of Detention, but we’re excited to announce our new project Deportation Nation. is the home of an independent investigative reporting project that critically examines the increase in detention of innocent and low-level immigrant offenders as a result of enforcement programs mandated to target “dangerous criminal aliens.”

Detention »

[ 25 Jul 2010 | No Comment | ]

ICE announced the launch of its Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS), after months of promising the locator system as part of their 2009 reform. The locator will provide information on the current holding facility, phone number, and contact information for the regional office. Two different methods, users can search is by alien registration number and country of birth or first and last name, country of birth, and date of birthday.
For more: The ODLS is located on ICE’s public website,,

Detention »

[ 13 Jun 2010 | No Comment | ]

ICE plans to make nine facilities more humane, by eliminating lock-downs, increasing visitor time, and providing e-mail access and Internet-based free phone service, the agency says.
The list of changes were leaked in a memo to the Houston Chronicle this week as it begins to implement the changes in low-risk units. Some of the changes will take place in 30 days, while others will take longer.
Other changes to be implemented will include allowing detainees to wear regular clothes, offering movie nights, bingo, dance and cooking classes, fresh plants, and four hours …

Detention »

[ 27 Apr 2010 | One Comment | ]

Texas Bid’ness launched a new map that looks at Texas’ private prisons. The state which has more than 70 for-profit prisons, jails, and detention centers, deals with private operators who include GEO, MTC, and CCA (a company that Business of Detention has reported on in the past), among others. The map includes facility pages and company pages.
Click to go to map.

Detention, Enforcement, Policy »

[ 21 Mar 2010 | No Comment | ]
Costs for detention up, ICE head says

John Morton made his case to the Appropriations Committee last week requesting $2.6 billion for FY2011, an additional $20 million above last year for the Detention and Removal Operations.
ICE is proposing an overall FY 2011 budget of $5.8 billion, an increase of 2 percent over the FY 2010 budget.
Questioned why not not all 33,400 beds were being utilized, Morton said they could not afford the 33,400 beds, because the funding budgeted for the 33,400 were based on $99 a day vs. the $122 a day that ICE now has …

Detention, Enforcement, Policy »

[ 12 Nov 2009 | No Comment | ]

We wrote last week that CCA will likely bid on a new detention center in Los Angeles.  Andrew Becker at the Center for Investigative Reporting blogs today that ICE will soon begin collecting proposals:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, posted an online notice this week stating that it intends to open bids on Dec. 15 for a contractor to own and operate a low-custody detention facility for men.
The facility would be one of the largest immigration lock-ups in the country. Continuing a policy pushed …