#SayNOtoGEO: Help us stop the expansion by sending an email for the public comments to the Adelanto City Council.
This is not a new problem, but it’s going to get bigger soon if we don’t stop GEO from expanding. (Video from 2015) “In the summer of 2014, Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) launched the Defund Detention Campaign in Adelanto to prevent the expansion of jails and prison beds in Adelanto. Our film, “Adelanto’s 10,000 Cages” tells a story about a struggling town, a community fighting for freedom, and ultimately, how one small town in California became the epicenter of the prison industrial complex.”
Submit a comment asking their city council to approve the APPEAL TO DENY “CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT (CUP) 96-11.”
DEADLINE – Submit a letter today (Sept. 9) by 4:00 pm. Here’s a sample to work from.
- If you’d like to call in a comment during the meeting, follow the instructions on page 12 of the city agenda here.
- If you would like to submit a public comment email, with your own message CLICK HERE (we’ve included information you can use below), or use the information below and CLICK HERE to send it to Adelanto City Council. The more varied the comments, the more effective.
Dear Mayor and City Council,
My name is [FIRST NAME], I am a [Adelanto, High Desert, IE/San Bernardino, or California] resident.
I ask that you support the community appeal to overturn the decision from the planning commission and halt the expansion of immigrant detention in the City of Adelanto. I would also like to express my discontent with the decision to expand the privately run GEO Adelanto Detention Center, in the city of Adelanto, California and failing adequately facilitating the input of Adelanto residents and directly impacted people.
If the Adelanto City Council continues to move forward with the expansion of the Adelanto Detention Center, Adelanto will be in violation of SB29 and AB 32. These two policies are in place to specifically protect Californians from the illicit attempt by private companies to damage our immigrant communities through the process of detainment. I ask that you support and urgently push for the Adelanto’s City Council to stop the expansion of the Adelanto Detention Center.
The previous decisions made for the expansion left community members, including Adelanto City residents and directly impacted people in the inland region, out of the process. It is ethically important to understand the consequences of deciding to expand the detention center during a pandemic as our communities are fighting for positive change.
Please support the appeal against the detention center expansion, and deny the Conditional Use Permit 96-11 to stop the detention center expansion.
More information for you to use.
Facebook link here.
- Prisons are ultimately bad for small towns.
- California Hall of Shame: Private Corrections Working Group.
- USA: GEO Group faces lawsuits over alleged use of forced labor.
- In 3 months, 3 immigrants have Died in Adelanto. (2017)
- ICE signs new for-profit detention contracts days before CA Ban begins.
- How a private prison giant (GEO) continues to thrive in a state that wants it out.
- How ICE is using private contractors to dodge local democracy.
- Aggressive Steps to Curtail Dissent in Public Meetings (Adelanto, 2019)
Letters from other groups
- Human Rights Watch submitted comments
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), Freedom for Immigrants and Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice submitted comments
- Jan. 20 letter from Elaine M. Howle, CPA, CA State auditor concerning Local Governments and Private Detention Contracts.
Abbreviated history of how we got here.
“Whenever someone hears Adelanto they don’t think about the positive things, they think about the detention center and the deaths that have occurred there. The residents know this, and it puts a kind of gray cloud over the city and it blocks growth.”
There is a complicated history behind the council’s agenda item today – GEO, a private prison company with a record of human rights abuses, wants to expand its bed count in the city of Adelanto. The city had formally terminated its contracts with both ICE and GEO on June 25 of 2019, in what was revealed to be a way for GEO to circumvent AB-31, the Dignity, not Detention Act, for which the city would receive $50,000 a year payments. ICE then pursued a direct contract with GEO to expand its detention center into the largest on the west coast with a contract to run until March 25, 2020.
Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D) introduced AB 32 in 2018 to phase out the use of private prisons, and on the same day Adelanto’s agreements with ICE and GEO ended, added an amendment to include “private detention centers.” This meant that ICE was out of that prison when their contract expired in March. The law allows for-profit companies to operate detention centers for government agencies, as long as the contract was in effect before Jan. 1, 2020, but it bars extensions of those agreements.
Less than two week before AB-32 took effect, ICE wrote 15-year, multi-billion dollar contracts with GEO for their Adelanto center, their Desert View prison located in Adelanto, their Mesa Verde famility and their two 700-bed prisons in McFarland.
Behind-the-scenes negotiations took place between city officials and the GEO Group according to a now-fired Planning Commission member and GEO Group is back in play with the city with the Adelanto City Council and Planning Commission approving a +750 bed expansion. The community is furious at what appears to be collution between the city and GEO, which has resulted in the firing of a whistle blower, and has created an appeal to overturn this decision and halt the city-killing expansion of immigrant detention in their city.
Here is the appeal against Conditional Use Permit 96-11
Here is the link for the entire city agenda for today. The appeal language is on both pages 7 and 28.
Useful information in the agenda
This is a very long agenda. We’ve picked through it for a sampling of information you can use for your written comment.
- Page 213: Staff letter recommending that the City Council deny our appeal.
- Page 215: Letter from various organizations, including ACLU of Southern CA, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and others…
- 1. The approval of the CUP (Conditional Use Permit) occurred in violation of the SB29 Dignity Not Detention Act.
- The approval of the CUP occurred as a result of corruption in the city government.
- The approval of the CUP will be detrimental to the overall public health, safety and wellbeing fo immigrant communities within Adelanto and broader Southern California.
- The approval of the CUP occurred in violation of the CA Brown Act & American Disability Act (ADA)
- Page 223: Freedom for Immigrants letter (March 4,2020)
- Page 229: Freedom for Immigrants , ILRC letter (Feb. 14, 2020)
- Page 236 – 241: City’s denial of appeal of Conditional Use Permit 96-11.
- Page 242 – 249: Planning Commission Agenda Report and Resolution
- Page 251: Resolution P-20-04: The Planning Commission hereby denies, Conditional Use Permit 96-11 (Feb. 20, 2020)
SB-29: Law Enforcement: immigration.
- Section 1. The Legislature finds and declares the following:
- (a) In keeping with its obligation to safeguard the humane and just treatment of all individuals located in California, it is the intent of the Legislature that this bill declare that the state does not tolerate profiting from the incarceration of Californians held in immigration detention and the state’s desire to ensure the just and humane treatment of our most vulnerable populations.
- (b) It is the further intent of the Legislature to ensure the uniform treatment of individuals detained within immigration detention facilities, operating in California, in a manner that meets or exceeds the federal national standards and other applicable legal requirements.
- Section 2: (b) A city, county, city and county, or local law enforcement agency that, as of January 1, 2018, has an existing contract with the federal government or any federal agency or a private corporation to detain noncitizens for purposes of civil immigration custody, shall not, on and after January 1, 2018, renew or modify that contract in a manner that would expand the maximum number of contract beds that may be utilized to house or detain in a locked detention facility noncitizens for purposes of civil immigration custody.
AB-32: Detention facilities: private, for-profit administration services.
- (a) On or after January 1, 2020, the department shall not enter into a contract with a private, for-profit prison facility located in or outside of the state to provide housing for state prison inmates.
- (b) On or after January 1, 2020, the department shall not renew an existing contract with a private, for-profit prison facility located in or outside of the state to incarcerate state prison inmates.
- (c) After January 1, 2028, a state prison inmate or other person under the jurisdiction of the department shall not be incarcerated in a private, for-profit prison facility.
- (d) As used in this section, “private, for-profit prison facility” does not include a facility that is privately owned, but is leased and operated by the department.
- (e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), the department may renew or extend a contract with a private, for-profit prison facility to provide housing for state prison inmates in order to comply with the requirements of any court-ordered population cap.
- SEC. 2. Title 9.5 (commencing with Section 9500) is added to Part 3 of the Penal Code, to read: TITLE 9.5. PRIVATELY OWNED AND OPERATED DETENTION FACILITIES
- 9500. As used in this title, the following terms have the following meanings:
- (a) “Detention facility” means any facility in which persons are incarcerated or otherwise involuntarily confined for purposes of execution of a punitive sentence imposed by a court or detention pending a trial, hearing, or other judicial or administrative proceeding.
- (b) “Private detention facility” means a detention facility that is operated by a private, nongovernmental, for-profit entity, and operating pursuant to a contract or agreement with a governmental entity.
- 9501. Except as otherwise provided in this title, a person shall not operate a private detention facility within the state.
- 9502. Section 9501 shall not apply to any of the following:
- (a) Any facility providing rehabilitative, counseling, treatment, mental health, educational, or medical services to a juvenile that is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 100) of Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
- (b) Any facility providing evaluation or treatment services to a person who has been detained, or is subject to an order of commitment by a court, pursuant to Section 1026, or pursuant to Division 5 (commencing with Section 5000) or Division 6 (commencing with Section 6000) of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
- (c) Any facility providing educational, vocational, medical, or other ancillary services to an inmate in the custody of, and under the direct supervision of, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or a county sheriff or other law enforcement agency.
- (d) A residential care facility licensed pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of the Health and Safety Code.
- (e) Any school facility used for the disciplinary detention of a pupil.
- (f) Any facility used for the quarantine or isolation of persons for public health reasons pursuant to Division 105 (commencing with Section 120100) of the Health and Safety Code.(g) Any facility used for the temporary detention of a person detained or arrested by a merchant, private security guard, or other private person pursuant to Section 490.5 or 837.
- 9503. Section 9501 does not apply to any privately owned property or facility that is leased and operated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or a county sheriff or other law enforcement agency.
- 9505: Section 9501 does not apply to either of the following:
- (a) A private detention facility that is operating pursuant to a valid contract with a governmental entity that was in effect before January 1, 2020, for the duration of that contract, not to include any extensions made to or authorized by that contract.
- (b) A private detention facility contract renewed pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 5003.1.