AP NEWS

Group pushes back on prison’s vote toward privatization

October 31, 2019

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (AP) — A group of protesters demonstrated outside a Rhode Island detention center after the board of directors voted to approve an agreement with the prison’s bondholders.

The advocacy group Never Again Action says the vote Wednesday by the Wyatt Detention Center would prevent the prison from terminating their contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The protest follows a monthslong effort to get the detention facility closed over their contract with ICE.

WPRI reports protesters also argued the vote denies the city any role in the oversight or management of the facility. They say that if the prison is placed under state control, lawmakers can prevent future contracts with ICE.

Chairman James Lombardi says the board “can’t change federal immigration policy” and their priority is to pay off the prison’s bondholders.