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Chapter 2 - Joliet

This is the second installment in a series about the successful campaigns against for-profit immigration prisons in the Chicago suburbs, 2010-2016. Created by Samuel Love.

28 August 2012 – Backroom Dealing in Joliet, Illinois

After the defeat of the prison in Crete, Joliet office holders touted the former CenterPoint Intermodal Center as a possible site.

Thomas Thanas, Joliet city manager, to Ricardo Wong, Chicago field office director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement: "I want to take this opportunity to let you know that the City of Joliet is supportive of efforts to locate a detention facility in the Chicago area and would welcome the facility within our municipal city limits."[W]ith the proper approvals, the City of Joliet would like to enter into an Intergovernmental Services Agreement with ICE. The primary sight is a "pre-approved industrial setting with a fast track/expedited permitting process."

17 October 2012 – Backroom Dealing In DC

Joliet city manager Thomas Thanas met with ICE officials in Washington DC. When news was leaked the following week, Thanas refused to comment on the meeting.

24 October 2012 – “The Public Was Left Out”

Thomas Thanas, Joliet City Manager: “(The prison) would have a very positive impact in Joliet. From my perspective it's a project that has a very positive impact in the community where it's located It's a major project that creates hundreds of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs that are consistent with what we want to see in economic development in Joliet.”

“I think there's a lot of information that has to be developed. We're nowhere near a decision either at the local level with the city or at the federal level with the agency involved.”

Mayor Thomas Giarrante: "I don't have a comment about it right now."

Susie Barber, Joliet city council: "I think we're just looking at it right now and talking about it and trying to feel people out about their feelings. It's not going anywhere until we talk about it some more."

Robert O'Dekirk, Joliet city council: "If it makes sense for Joliet, we would have to look at it," O'Dekirk said. "If you don't like the immigration policy, don't march to Joliet. March to Hyde Park (in Chicago) and go talk to the president."

Fred Tsao, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights: "I would hope city leaders in Joliet would find more creative ways to build their local economy." 

Jessie Hoyt, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights: "This was exactly the problem we had in Crete. A lot of the discussion was behind closed doors, and the public was left out."

Richard Rodriguez, Mexican American Coalition of Will County: “We don’t believe you should be making a profit off of tearing families apart because they’re undocumented. There should be comprehensive immigration reform. Address the issue properly.”

Joliet fact sheet
Download PDF • 160KB

30 October 2012 – Candidates' Forum at Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The proposed prison was a major issue at a candidates' forum.

Alicia Morales, panel moderator: "We say no to building a for-profit immigrant prison.”

Drew Ranich, speaking for Republican 49th state senatorial district candidate Garrett Peck: “Garrett does not think correctional facilities should be privatized. I believe he does not support this facility coming to Joliet.”

State Sen Patrick McGuire (D-Joliet): “The talks (with city manager Thanas and mayor Thomas Giarrante) are very, very, very preliminary. If Joliet shows interest in this center, everything has to be clear and transparent, and every party's interest has to be heard.”

Angel Contreras, community organizer: “That's an issue that fired people up. They come out to vote when they hear about it.”

James Glasgow, Democratic Will County State's Attorney: “I don't think that company is the appropriate company to be involved.”

Dave Carlson, Republican opponent to Glasgow: “I don't think we have enough information on how it will affect the community.”

Robert O'Dekirk, Joliet city council: “I was a little surprised that they were asking candidates about it. I think some of the candidates deferred and said it was not their place to tell the city what to do, and it's not.”

Alicia Morales: “I think the most important thing was making sure they understood where the community stood on an immigrant detention center.”

Thomas Thanas:: “Opposition is brewing against something that hasn't been defined yet. I'm hearing from people - unsolicited - telling me it's a great idea - any time I can bring in high-paying jobs, real estate tax revenues that help the schools, and construction jobs. I'm still willing to work on it because I think the community still needs high-paying jobs and tax revenue.”

Alicia Morales: “I'm sure difference organizations are going to ask our city council and mayor, and those in other communities as well, if this is the kind of business they want.”

4 November 2012 – Keeping Secrets In Joliet

For the second city council meeting in a row since residents became aware of the prospective prison, the issue was not added to the meeting agenda.

Thomas Thanas: “I talk to anybody who would like to talk to me about any matter about city business. I have people talking to me all the time about it (the detention center), but I'm not out there on a speaking tour.”

“[Location is] going to be a matter that's discussed if the project is going to move forward. Am I familiar with sites that could be considered? Yes. But I'm not at liberty to talk about them publicly.”

Jeff Plyman, city attorney: “I can't get into details of what was discussed.”

14 November 2012 – “For-profit companies consider ONLY profit!”

Sister Juanita Ujcik: I have worked in corrections as program director in Will in DuPage county jails. As member and leader of the National Convocation of Jail and Prison Ministers, I have visited many states with for-profit prisons. The construction of such a facility for ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) in Joliet is troubling. For-profit prisons do not serve the host cities where they are located. They do not serve their employees. Least of all, they certainly do not serve the detainees. For-profit companies consider ONLY profit! The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has a poor track record. The facility will bring Joliet at mostly low-paying jobs, and usually, fewer than originally estimated. Will County correctional officers in the Department of Corrections have stringent training, and advancement is dependent on education and job performance. This ensure safety for all and fair treatment for residence. There are hidden costs to the local communities related to municipal services and infrastructure. Security and safety issues call upon local police and firemen. Water, sewer, waste disposal, fire protection, fire inspection, health inspections, food handling inspections, road usage, etc., are a few of the services needed by large institutions. Experts will be needed to assure the construction and operation meet local and state standards. Visitors and other traffic will enter our area. If there are changes in the immigration system and if fewer spaces are needed, what will happen? In the past, CCA has moved other types of prisoners to their facilities. Will Joliet be getting criminals from other states to fill beds? My objections to this is also a moral one. Most of these people are not criminals. The immigration system gives detainees little or no recourse or assistance to lawyers, their consulates, families. It is a complex system, and detainees are there for many reasons. They speak multiple languages, and translators are often not available. Citizens in other areas with detention centers have seen negative impact of for-profits across the United States. Why bring these problems to Joliet question the host cities do not see the prophet, only the problems

21 November 2012 – Raising The Issue at Joliet City Council

For the first time since news of the prison went public, the issue was raised at a city council meeting. Office holders said nothing, but seven residents made public statements.

Alicia Morales: "Before you make a commitment... that's why we want to have this conversation - not after you make a commitment."

Jerry Ramirez: "This is a very controversial issue that should not be taken lightly. There are other ways to fund a city than to incarcerate human beings."

The Daily Herald reported that city manager Thomas Thanas made references to quitting his job at the meeting, and appeared “upset” when responding to questions. When asked Thomas retorted, “I was a little edgy.”

2 December 2012 – Resist the Joliet Detention Center / En contra del centro de detención

Moratorium On Deportation Campaign:

Dear friends,

For many months we fought to stop the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from building a prison for immigrants in Crete. This was the first time that small community groups faced off the twin giants of the prison industry and the domestic war machine — and we won!! But now DHS is at it again, “negotiating” a new prison with the city of Joliet. Join us for a meeting to share information and begin strategizing how we can resist.


An info-session on the plans for a new immigrant prison in Joliet, followed by discussion on building resistance, next steps etc.


“Immigrant Detention” is the fastest-growing form of captivity in the US. It is a parallel and experimental prison system that targets immigrants (especially poor people of color), who can be incarcerated indefinitely without any due process, access to legal protection or minimal transparency. Every year hundreds of thousands of people are disappeared, and millions more become increasingly exploited and disposable. Detention also represents an expansion and reshaping of mass incarceration in the US — a new form of racial domination that transforms people into “criminals” and “illegals”, second-class human beings whose lives matter only as a source of profit.


We call on oppose detention and deportation. We call on all those who oppose detention and deportation. We call on those committed to anti-prison work, racial and economic justice, counter-globalization and grassroots community empowerment to help build bridges between all these movements.

In Solidarity,

No Name Collective

Moratorium on Deportations Campaign

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission

4 December 2012 – Office for Human Dignity Justice and Peace

We oppose the building of a Private, For-Profit U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Joliet by Corrections Corporation of America

The detention and deportation policy of ICE divides families, often separating individuals from spouses and children who are U.S. citizens. The division of families through detention and deportation places more of our citizens at risk, increases the number in poverty, and even forces many children into foster care.

What we need is comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform. We call for a moratorium on detention and deportation until such policy can be developed. Presently U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents must endure many years of separation from close family members who they want to join them in the United States. The backlogs of available visas for family members results in waits of five, ten, fifteen, and more years of waiting for a visa to become available. This system is cruel and inhumane, and only increases the numbers who live in the shadows, not wanting to endure the separation of loved ones. We call for a reduction of the pending backlog and more visas available for family reunification purposes. Until such action can be taken, detention and deportation serve only to inflict punishment and harm on families, families who are contributing to the economic and social well being of our communities. The City of Joliet should not participate in unjust, unproductive, economically harmful policies by allowing the building of an ICE detention center.

Please join us in opposing the detention center. We need your presence, and the presence of as many people as you can rally to come to a Community Meeting in Joliet on December 13. A flyer with details can be found below. Please distribute this email to all your networks.

12 December 2012 – Joliet Diocese Joins Opposition To Prison

Catholic Diocese of Joliet: The Catholic Diocese of Joliet has joined the opposition to the idea of bringing an immigrant detention center to the city and will join opponents at a community meeting on Thursday.

The diocese previously was involved in opposition to the detention center when it was planned for Crete, said Thomas Garlitz, director for the Joliet diocese's Office for Human Dignity.

"We're opposed to for-profit prisons by principle," Garlitz said, noting that Illinois bishops took the position after opposition mounted to an immigrant detention center in Crete. He said the diocese is particularly opposed to building detention facilities for immigrants before the United States enacts some form of "compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform."

The community meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 205 E. Jackson St.

There is no specific proposal to bring an immigrant detention center to Joliet. But City Manager Thomas Thanas has pursued the possibility with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and with Corrections Corp. of America, the private company that would build and operate the prison.

Thanas has said private ownership of the prison creates the opportunity for the city and local schools to collect property taxes from the facility. But much of the opposition has focused on Corrections Corp. of America, with opponents contending the company has a bad track record.

"To make as much profit as possible, Corrections Corporation of America cuts corners everywhere," Rev. Ray Lescher, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Joliet, told the Joliet City Council last week in speaking out against the detention center.

A representative from the Universalist Unitarian Church of Joliet also spoke against the detention center at a November council meeting.

Most of the organizations slated to attend the Thursday meeting are Hispanic interest groups, which has made up the bulk of the opposition.

Jesse Hoyt, a community organizer in Joliet with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said the purpose of the Thursday meeting is "education a community that's going to want to have a stake in whether a detention center is going to be built."

13 December 2012 – Community Forum at Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Tom Garlitz, director of Joliet Diocese's Office for Human Dignity: “The threat to human dignity we face this evening is the for-profit immigrant prison for Joliet. We're opposed to for-profit prisons by principle. We support compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform.”

Rev. Ray Lescher, pastor of Sacred Heart Church: “To make as much profit as possible, Corrections Corporation of America cuts corners everywhere.”

Craig Purchase, pastor of Mount Zion Tabernacle. "We're black, brown and white, and we're all in this together."

Angel Contreras, Concerned Citizens of Joliet: “I ask Mr. Thanas, please stop all negotiations with CCA immediately.”

David Velazquez: "No way Jose! No way Mr. Thanas! With all due respect to the city manager and the city council, this is an immigration issue."

Thomas Thanas, speaking to the Daily Herald after being denied the opportunity to address the forum: “There are no negotiations. I would have talked about how the energy that is in this room is misdirected. It really needs to be directed at immigration reform. I think it's very focused on a project that may or may not materialize.”

Thomas Thanas, speaking on his recent visit to a CCA prison in Nashville: “I found a very well run prison. I didn't see any evidence of the allegations that were made here tonight.”

19 December 2012 – Fallout From The Forum

Alicia Morales, criticizing city council members who failed to attend the forum: “When your community request and organizes, its kind of disappointing that you don't show up. It's offensive.”

Thomas Thanas: “It's an unusual town hall meeting when you don't want to hear the other side of the story. It really preyed on the fears of immigrant. I think it was very offensive. It's clear that I was just window dressing for the event. It was clear that I was there to be seen and not heard from. I was very frustrated but it.”

Alicia Morales: “Thanas' position has been widely reported. We want him and all of the city council and the mayor to hear from the community.”

5 February 2013 – The Truth Comes Out In Joliet

The Daily Herald reported on the letter from Thomas Thanas to CCA, now circulating among prison opponents and proving that office holders were misleading the public on the pace of the project.

Rev Jose Cilia, associate pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: "We will be destroying people."

Thomas Thanas: "It seemed like something I needed to explore so I expressed interest. It's something I do frequently when I see development opportunities."

Mayor Thomas Giarrante: "It's (Thanas') job to go out and find business and industries that will bring jobs to Joliet. The mayor and city council will make the final decision."

Larry Hug, Joliet city council: “I'm embarrassed. We presented to the public that there wouldn't be a presentation because there was nothing on the table.”

20 February 2013 – Tempers Flare At Joliet City Council

Rev. Peter Jankowski, pastor of St Patrick's, "You can dress up a pig, but it's still a pig, and this pig is called racism. It's racism of the worst kind."

Thomas Thanas: "I have to tell the Office of Human Dignity of the Catholic Church to look at their own church and look at issues of human dignity in their own church for the last 30 years."

City manager Thomas Thanas' attack on the Joliet Diocese drew a rebuke from councilman Larry Hug, who criticized the comments as “out of line.”

8 March 2013 - Concerned Citizens of Joliet Fundraiser At Azteca De Oro Hall

Michael Bryson: As my family and I drove over the river to Joliet’s East Side, I had little idea what to expect at our Collins Street destination — a fundraiser by the local grassroots organization Concerned Citizens of Joliet. All we knew was that the gathering was for a good cause: raising awareness about and galvanizing community resistance to the prospect of a for-profit immigration detention center being built here in Joliet.

When we entered Azteca de Oro banquet and dance hall, though, I sensed instantly that it would be a memorable evening. Friendly greeters directed us to a comfortable table right next to the dance floor, which thrilled my two girls. A boisterous Mariachi band was in full voice from the stage at one end of the hall, while at the other end happy folks mingled and laughed at a well-stocked bar.

And the food! Long buffet tables full of stewed chicken, sautéed beef and vegetables, rice, refried beans, tortillas, salads, and sweet treats beckoned, and I’ll admit we weren’t shy about asking for seconds.

But the best part of the evening was the music and dancing, of which there was a glorious abundance. Musical acts of all stripes and colors entertained the swelling crowd, including the inspiring gospel of the Mt. Zion Tabernacle Choir, the witty folk/pop/rock stylings of singer-guitarist Dan Droogan, and the hot salsa of the Sangre Latina dance band.

This joyous music from musicians black, white, and brown filled the hall as dozens of children took to the dance floor to run, skip, chase each other, play hide and seek, and make new friends. Soon the hall’s lights came on in their full resplendence, and the adults joined the kids in what became one of the most festive scenes I’ve witnessed in a long time.

But the spoken word, both Spanish and English, was part of the program, too. Local politicians, including Will County Board members Reed Bible of Plainfield and Denise Winfrey of Joliet, and community organizers took the stage to decry the prospect of an immigrant prison here in Joliet. As I contemplated their message of critique and concern, I reflected on the irony of our location. Just a stone’s throw from us on Collins Street was Illinois’ ultimate penal icon: the Old Joliet Prison, decommissioned and deteriorating since 2002.

Yes, Joliet might someday make some money from its undeniably long prison legacy, though that civic identity has always been problematic for us. But not, I hope, through the construction of a for-profit immigrant “detention center” that is dedicated to the pocketbooks of its potential owners (in this case, Corrections Corporation of America) rather than the welfare of its detainees — most of whom will be our Hispanic brothers and sisters.

Instead, we should look north from Azteca de Oro and do something productive with the Old Joliet Prison before its massive limestone walls crumble to the ground. Expensive, yes — but interpretive signs in the parking lot for Route 66 tourists don’t fill the tax coffers, either.

No, folks — we don’t need another prison here. Certainly not one focused on pieces of silver rather than social justice. Joliet’s ongoing flirtation with such a prospect should be closely monitored and vociferously protested by all people of conscience.

3 April 2013 – Joliet Council Candidates Debate

Four candidates in a city-wide race for three council positions were asked about the prison. The only challenger in the race made the only clear statement:

Jim McFarland: “I'm 110% against it.”

Michael Turk: “If I find out that people in those facilities are being mistreated, I won't support it.”

Jan Quillman: “Why would we want to build a prison if the federal government cannot subsidize them?”

Don Fischer: “Nothing will be rushed.” 

6 April 2013 – An April March in Joliet

Maria Rosas, Concerned Citizens of Joliet, “We don't need low-paying jobs. Our community deserves better.”

Herbert Brooks, Jr, Will County board member, “They are going to use the prison to lock up hard-working immigrants trying to support their families.”

Jessie Hoyt, ICIRR: “We are making sure we get people out to vote. Our candidate is our issue. We are not lifting up any candidate.”

Betsy Farley, reporting for The Militant: More than 1,000 people marched to the Will County Clerk’s office here April 6 to protest plans to build an immigrant detention center in Joliet. The action was one of many leading up to the May 1 mobilization in Chicago for legalization of immigrants. The proposed facility would be run privately and house as many as 700 people awaiting deportation. The jail first had been planned for Crete, but residents fought and blocked its construction there. Some participants marched with union signs and banners, including from Workers United, the Service Employees International Union and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. Many carried signs that read, “No Immigrant Prison in Joliet!” Similar signs can be seen in many yards and in windows of small businesses across the city.

“We have to begin to support each other,” said Burneva McCullum, who is African-American. McCullum explained that three weeks ago she helped found a new organization, the African-American and Hispanic Coalition. “Blacks and Latinos in Joliet have the same problems. We need jobs, not another prison. Too many of us are below the poverty line,” she said. March organizers in Chicago are planning for a large turnout on May 1. “On May Day 2013 no international worker goes to work. We will march to stop deportations, for legalization for all, to keep families together and for immigration reform now!” Artemio Arreola, political director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, told the Militant.

Office for Human Dignity Justice and Peace Ministry: Over twelve-hundred (1,200+) residents and friends of Joliet gathered today and marched in opposition to any and all possibilities of building a for-profit immigrant prison in the city of Joliet.

Marching in the name of family unity and human dignity, Americans, including those of African, Caucasian, and Hispanic descent, heard the testimonies of people who have already been directly affected by the violence to human dignity caused by these Corrections Corporation of America facilities.


This incredibly successful event forces one to deal with the challenging questions surrounding for-profit prisons: "Will I support turning men and women into mere commodities for faux-economic gain?"

Do you part to reject the threats and violence against the family and human life. Start by having conversations about the Corrections Corporation of America and their impact on the vulnerable neighborhoods they established themselves in. Work with us for all migrants in supporting just, and compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform (CIR).


The Migrant Church, persecuted and scrutinized, is in solidarity with those migrants who face the struggles of persecution and scrutiny in our society. Let us welcome them and work for the betterment of their lives together.

13 April 2013 – "Detention Center Foes Winners In Joliet Election"

Bob Okon, Joliet Daily Herald reporter: “There were two clear winners in the Joliet City Council election Tuesday. Jim McFarland was the only candidate with enough votes to be insulated from any upheaval that could occur when nearly 900 yet-uncounted ballots are opened later this month. And he got their with the help of Concerned Citizens of Joliet, the organization formed to stop an immigrant detention center from being built in Joliet.”

Angel Contreras, Concerned Citizens of Joliet: “He was the main guy we were supporting. The day of the election we had at least 20 people out trying to get to every door we could to be able to vote. We realize that there is no formal proposal yet, but we hope members of the Joliet City Council start talking about it more.”

Jim McFarland: “I think we need to have a public discussion and see if a majority of the council is in favor of the city manager spending time on bringing a for-profit prison to Joliet. I think the residents of Joliet spoke loud and clear that they don't want a for-profit prison in Joliet.”

15 May 2013 – Press Conference At Will County Clerk's Office

Jose Vera, Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project: “The impact of family separation is devastating. My brother isn’t a criminal, he has people depending on him and being separated from his family was totally unjust. He was just trying to find work and provide for his family.”

Jim McFarland: “I have not been disclosed enough information and that’s why I’d like to invite CCA to come in and present to me as a council member, and to the entire City of Joliet, what it is exactly they are proposing. I think we owe the residents of Joliet an explanation. I’ll go to my grave against a for-profit prison in Joliet.”

Jacqueline Traynere, Will County Board member: “A for-profit approach will create a more dangerous environment for staff and detainees. There are certain things that are, in my opinion, inherently governmental, one of them is the ability to provide a justice system ...Those are types of functions that are inherently governmental and should be done by government employees that are accountable to government and not to the private sector, the stock market or private CEOs.”

Reed Bible, Will County board member, D-Plainfield: “Placing this type of facility in the hands of private corporations is fraught with difficulties.”

20 May 2013 – Prison Issue Goes Public In Joliet

The Joliet city council voted unanimously to have CCA publicly present their case for a for-profit prison in Joliet.

Jim McFarland: “After 8 months of debate there are enough facts available to know the detention center shouldn't be built. I would like to see Joliet's involvement with Corrections Corporations of American come to a conclusion by July.”

Betty Gavin: “I would find it hard to believe that the City of Champions would want such a project in our city.”

Maria Rosas: “It is a disrespect even to entertain a meeting.”

Robert Hernandez: “I think you should take note of [McFarland's elections]... Let's listen to the people and vote it down once and for all.”

22 May 2013 – Joliet City Manager Quits?

Robert O'Derkirk, Joliet city council: “He probably didn't mean it. At this point, I don't know if anyone knows to take it seriously.”

Jan Quillman, Joliet city council: “I really don't know. You'll have to ask him. I don't know what he's thinking.”

Terry Morris, Joliet city council: “I don't know if he did or didn't.”

28 May 2013 – Illinois Governor Opposes Joliet Prison

Illinois governor Pat Quinn wrote to Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano to reject any proposal to build a for-profit immigrant prison in Illinois.

Pat Quinn: “It is time to embrace our nation's immigrants, not to build prisons to incarcerate them.”

3 June 2013 – Victory In Joliet

Activists and even some city council members were in for a surprise at the Monday evening city council meeting.

Thomas Thanas: “Corrections Corporation of America have made a determination that Joliet would not be under consideration for a site.”

Jim McFarland: “I think the citizens have spoken. CCA apparently responded to the feedback given by the residents of Joliet, recognizing that a for-profit prison is not a good fit for our community. From the standpoint of economic development, the project promises little. If our community is to grow and advance the interests of individual prosperity, we will need more than temporary, low paying jobs to do so.”

Charlotte Droogan: “I'm flabbergasted that it ended in such a fashion. It happened so suddenly it almost seemed anticlimactic. I think people who come together and organize and get the community behind them. People's votes do count.”

Thomas Thanas: “It was no specific reason. It was a decision made at the corporate level to withdraw Joliet from consideration.”

Maria Rosas: “We're thankful to the people who worked so hard to push this out of the city of Joliet.”

Thanas also announced his voluntary resignation as Joliet city manager.

4 June 2013 – “CCA, go away - you are not welcome in Illinois.”

ICIRR: Yesterday’s announcement is a victory for the many local residents of Joliet and surrounding communities who took strong leadership to oppose the for-profit jail. The Concerned Citizens of Joliet made their voices heard at city council meetings, educated their neighbors, built alliances, and registered and turned out voters in the April elections. These efforts crossed ethnic and racial lines and showed that Joliet’s diverse communities will unite against the common enemy of mass incarceration devastating their neighborhoods. We are in particular grateful for the leadership of Pastor Craig Purchase and Bettye Gavin in building coalitions between Joliet’s African-American and Latino communities.

This victory also would not have been possible without strong voices coming out against the proposed jail, including Governor Pat Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross, and US Representatives Bill Foster, Luis Gutierrez, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Quigley, Brad Schneider, Tammy Duckworth, and Robin Kelly.

All of these leaders recognize that companies like CCA, with its long record of neglect and abuse of detainees, personnel, and host communities, should not profit from separating families, and should not be allowed to operate in Joliet. All of these voices also recognize that with the prospect of immigration reform as close as it has been in a generation, any new detention facility could quickly become a “white elephant” that would either be underused or, worse, drive even harsher policies to fill jail space and maintain profit margins. In both Crete last year and now in Joliet, ICIRR, local leaders, and elected officials on both sides of the aisle have sent a clear message to the private prison operators: "CCA, go away - you are not welcome in Illinois."

ICIRR will continue to push against private for-profit prisons in Illinois, and to push for comprehensive immigration reform that will keep families together and respect the contributions of immigrants to our communities and our country.


October 24, 2012

Joliet, ICE in talks for possible immigration detention center

October 25, 2012

ICE Planning to Open Immigration Detention Center in Joliet, Illinois

Joliet Officials Meet With Administration About Immigrant Detention Center

October 26, 2012

Joliet would vet firm behind immigrant detention center

Joliet detention-center talks include private prison firm

December 2, 2012

Resist the Joliet Detention Center / En contra del centro de detención

December 6, 2012

Joliet flirts with hosting corporate detention center in face of human rights objections

December 13, 2012

Joliet Immigrant Detention Center Public Forum

Groups organize against proposed immigration detention center in Joliet

Diocese joins opposition to ICE detention center

March 17, 2013

Joliet Shouldn’t Be a (For-Profit) Prison Kind of Town

April 8, 2013

Hundreds Protest Potential Immigrant Detention Center In Joliet

April 29, 2013

Illinois march protests immigration jail, builds May 1 action

May 15, 2013

Foster, Duckworth, Quigley and Schneider Raise Questions About For-Profit Immigrant Detention Centers

May 16, 2013

Officials demand more information about proposed immigration detention center

Pressure Against Joliet's Proposed For-Profit Immigrant Detention Center Escalates

Members of Congress Stand with Joliet Against CCA

May 28, 2013

Foes rally against proposed immigrant detention center in Joliet

June 3, 2013

Joliet will not get new immigration detention center

June 5, 2013

Joliet No Longer in Running for Private Immigrant Detention Center

Joliet Spared From For-Profit Immigrant Detention Center

The story continues in Northwest Indiana...

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