Statement Joining Puerto Rico’s Legal Community in Opposition To the Transfer of 3,200 Prisoners in Puerto Rico to Private Prisons in the U.S.


CONTACT: Christiaan Perez, LatinoJustice, 212-739-7581,

On Wednesday, 25 April 2018 Juan Cartagena joined an illustrious group of lawyers, law professors, civil and constitutional rights leaders from Puerto Rico who oppose the local government’s plan to transfer 3,200 prisoners in Puerto Rico to privately administered prisons in the United States. The comprehensive statement in opposition (below) raises serious human rights concerns over the government’s plan to seek “voluntary” transfers to U.S. based private prisons given both the absurdity of securing voluntary compliance and the litany of violence and prisoner abuse in the private sector.

“The private prison industry already dominates federal immigration detention centers under ICE and many beds under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Prisons. Their track record of treating Latino detainees and prisoners is already horrendous leading to decisions in the Obama administration to eliminate all contract renewals. That decision has been reversed by Sessions and Trump both of whom could care less about how the private prison sector cages and treats black and brown bodies. Puerto Ricans will be placed in danger under this transfer plan and all of their ties to their families will be curtailed. This transfer plan will must be stopped,” noted Juan Cartagena. “We stand with our colleagues in Puerto Rico who respect human rights and the goals of prisoner rehabilitation.”

Read the original message in Spanish with list of signatories here and the translated version in English here.

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