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In Huge Victory For Free Speech, Federal Judge Dismisses Private Prison Company’s $60 Million Lawsuit Targeting Impact Investor
In a major victory for activists seeking accountability for the separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, on November 19, CoreCivic, one of the largest private prison companies in the United States, lost its multi-million dollar lawsuit against impact investing organization Candide Group and its co-founder Morgan Simon. The lawsuit sought to intimidate Simon and Candide Group into retracting several Forbes.com articles in which she described how CoreCivic profited from the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant families in 2018.
“Make no mistake: Private prisons are the worst kind of racket: dangerous, corrupt, and inhumane. The largest private prison corporations, GEO Group and CoreCivic, have a long history of profiting from torture, white supremacy, and mass incarceration. Sadly, the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy lives on, as families are still being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. In order to fully break away from this racist playbook on immigration, we need full accountability for not just the officials behind ‘zero tolerance,’ but for the corporations that profited off this crisis. Candide Group’s victory in this lawsuit is a major victory for those who will not stay silent in the face of private prison companies exploiting family separation and this inhumane doctrine of punishment,” said Matt Nelson, director of Presente.org and digital impact director at Alianza Americas, which is partnering with Candide Group in its ongoing campaign to seek accountability for family separation.
Following the December 8 deadline by which CoreCivic could’ve appealed the final ruling, the Candide Group described the context behind CoreCivic’s baseless defamation lawsuit in a new piece published December 14 at Medium.
“From the start, we believed this lawsuit was a baseless, expensive attempt to distract and silence us. It didn’t work,” the piece states, adding, “Corporations cannot continue to intimidate critics without it landing on the historical record.”
According to recently filed court documents, at least 120 children separated from their families under the 2018 “zero tolerance” policy still have not been reunited with their loved ones. In partnership with CARECEN San Francisco, Chicana/Latina Foundation, Galería de la Raza, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, and Latinx Racial Equity Project, Alianza Americas and Presente.org are part of the national #UncageReUnifyHeal campaign, which seeks to reunite migrant children in detention with their families.
“Children and families shouldn’t be locked up behind bars for exercising their human right to immigrate and apply for asylum. We need freedom for all, and that’s only possible if we stop prison profiteering,” concluded Nelson.