Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The "lost children" of Corrections Corporation of America

New Yorker magazine intensifies international spotlight on Nashville company

The March 3 issue of the New Yorker included this article entitled The Lost Children, about Correction Corporation of America's private-run immigrant family incarceration facility, the only one in the USA. Corrections Corporation is based in Nashville.

For additional background on this story from the Hispanic Nashville Notebook, see this December 2007 recap.

Despite media coverage in various local, national, and international outlets outside Music City, in the nearly two years since the T. Don Hutto prison was reopened to house families and children in May 2006, the media in Nashville do not appear to have covered this story about one of its most prominent corporations.*

From the New Yorker article:
Kevin, it must be said, was lucky. The plaintiffs’ lawyers soon figured out that the crayons and markers they had brought in to occupy the kids while they talked to their parents could also be politically useful. They were particularly so in the hands of articulate, indignant Kevin. One day, Kevin drew an American flag and wrote “Pleace help us” inside one of the stripes. He drew a picture of his common area, with sofas, tables, “police,” and “camra.” And he wrote a letter to Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, in a rainbow of colors: “Dear Mr. Priminster Harper, I don’t like to stay in this jail. I’m only nine years old. I want to go to my school in Canada. I’m sleeping beside the wall. Please Mr. Priminster haper give visa for my family. This Place is not good for me. I want to get out of the cell.” One of the University of Texas law students, Matthew Pizzo, placed Kevin’s handiwork in his satchel, and Barbara Hines later mailed it to journalists in Canada. Newspapers and bloggers there started covering Kevin’s story. Sometime around then, Hines recalls, she and her students were told by Hutto officials that they could no longer bring in crayons and markers.
*Update March 5, 2008: The Tennessean published this column on Hutto, citing HispanicNashville.com

1 comment:

  1. For readers wanting to learn more about T Don Hutto and family detention, please visit:



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