U.S. immigration officials are hoping to make corporate-run detention facilities, including two in Georgia, a little less “prison” like.
The Correction’s Corporation of America operates detention facilities in nine states. The changes for non-criminal detainees could come within a month and include eliminating pat down searches, increasing visiting hours, and improving the food.
Azadeh Shahshahani with the Georgia ACLU and immigrants rights group Georgia Detention Watch says the changes are long overdue. However, she would ultimately like to see a civil detention system where families are kept together.
“There is no reason for taxpayers to have to shoulder the expense of housing these detainees at corporate-run detention centers.”
Unions representing some of the agents working at the facilities are concerned about safety. CCA operates the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin and the North Georgia Detention Center in Gainesville.