O'Malley against for profit prisons, not clear on detention centers

Hector Salamanca Arroyo on May 30, 2015
Governor O'Malley was in Des Moines, IA at his newly opened campaign office on Saturday May 30th. The Iowa GUI team was there to ask him about for-profit prisons owning detention centers and how to take those who profit from immigrant detention out of the public policy making process.

Governor O’Malley delivered a speech regarding his presidential candidacy at his newly opened Des Moines campaign office in a room crowded with supporters. Anticipating the size of the crowd, Kevin, Kaylynn, and I showed up early.

When Governor O’Malley finished his speech, he commented on how last time in Iowa there had been a chant for Q&A, so this time he was taking questions. Being at the front, it was only a matter of time before he saw my hand, with him calling me early on.

I began, "Many immigrant detention centers are also owned by for-profit prisons who lobby extensively to detain more immigrants, like the 34,000 detention bed quota. What would you do to get those who profit from immigrant detention out of the public policy making process?”

Governor O’Malley repeated the question for the back of the room, and went on to state “I’m not a fan of for-profit prisons we never had any of them in Maryland (crowd applauds) and in fact in my first fifty some days as governor we closed down one of the largest, oldest, most dangerous prisons in our state, called the house of corrections.”

He went on to conclude “I do think it’s a dangerous intersection between profit and prisons and I think we need to move away from that as a nation, look the enduring symbol of our country is not the barbed wire fence, it is the statue of liberty and we need to act on that”.

Although it was encouraging to hear Governor O’Malley state his opposition towards the influence of for-profit prisons, but it was also disappointing he did not answer how he would get those who profit from detaining immigrants out of the public policy making process.

I will be sending a report to his campaign office to make sure he understands the importance of getting those who profit from detaining immigrants out of the public policy making process.

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Location
O’Malley Des Moines Campaign Office
405 SW 8th St
Des Moines, IA
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