Fellow Free the Children & Families Activists:

We urge freeing children and families from detention centers will one day mean society it has demonstrated it agrees with Thomas Jefferson, that "our government is not in the business of raising children nor will it detain children or immigrant families on the grounds this is repugnant and absolutely unacceptable." Yes marching on behalf of detainees intentionally says
"shame on you Warden "X, Y or Z" and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security (DOHS), Texas Deparment of Protective Services and the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)." But to achieve permanent results, much more must be done.  Each form of consent given to a private prison operator like the CCA in Taylor, Texas must be reversed one by one process. Society must go beyond being eye sores and find ways to reverse decisions made by those who

  1. immorally and unethically commit and negotiate tax dollars, in particular those in the US Congress and Senate levels and our highest Executive Office - the Presidency.
  2. initially declared in the 1996 INS Reform Act that immigrants who have not found ways to get their papers finalized are to be so-called illegal migrants. Until proven criminal, every human present in this USA, has a right to be seen as innocent until proven guilty, not vice versa.
  3. approve the grants for blood suckers like CCA, MTC, IES, GEO, Southwest Key etc to "earn the easy money " month by month. Yes we are also talking about State, Regional, and County or Area  Council of Governments as those approve the funding detention centers, knowingly or unknowingly giving prison operators "permissions to do anything; this includes acts which may lead to or cause life-long traumas".
  4. influenced to negotiate one or more secret contracts in closed door meetings; Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a lease for CCA to use government owned Taylor, Texas property for detaining minors and parents. The lease was approved without public scrutiny contrary to Jeffersonian's premises about families or kids.
  5. accept the wool over their own eyes at Texas Department of Protective Services, i.e., the examiners exempted CCA, IES - Los Fresnos International Ed Shelter for Unaccompanied kids, GEO, Southkey Corp - Houston & El Paso, Away from Home Inc/Nixon Shelter for Unaccompanied kids etc. Yes, each of these come under the Texas Dept of Homeland Security the little brother to the DOHS which Chertoff runs. Remember States Rights and Federal Rights that 77 year old Mrs. Huerta talks about.
  6. physically acquire facilities in which children are kept; outfits those facilities; and expands parking lots, i.e, T Don Hutto Residential Center parking was expanded by 3/4th in April 2007. Why? Who is accountable for the use of such Federal Moneys. The US Judiciary Oversight Committee may investigate misuse of prisons and prisoner abuses.
  7. hire the personnel who end up "putting pregnant mothers in chains so they can be taken to see an ObGyn doctor; slap a child; or to merely agree to spend 40 hours/week in a facility like T Don Hutto. Good people turn evil once they take a job inside almost any prison public or private. And, by the way,,,,,, on the question of private prisons for profit or public prisons,,,, let us compare Williamson County where CCA is the operator and Cameron County [Brownsville] where the Commissioners Court and County Sheriff is the operator. In Williamson County, CCA gets  $6,999 per prisoner; in Cameron County the county coffer gets $3,641.00 per prisoner. Public prisons are run at a lower cost but the County gets more money per prisoner. One must then break down where the money goes and what is behind the bribes and/or gratuities. We can't just say we are opposed to private prisons; we must step up and study what is truly going on as we probably are opposed to both ways the operations occur. Why do I say this? Texas Standards for Treating Prisoners apply. Taking time to teeter out what is involved gives each of us much more forceful mechanisms for solely reversing the hiring process and the very operation of either kind of facility.
  8. acquieses and says, "I am just one person; my voice is insufficient to reverse all these decisions." No, a hand full of us cannot overturn separate decision makers operating as network of organizations. We must review history and see how major results were achieved. Civil Rights advocates concerned with slaves and black citizen are faced with certain tough battles that have gone forth 200 years in the US and longer outside the US. Very important methods not easily put into action are available to our movement and precedence exists for those methods to be used again and again. Your vote on behalf of the current efforts to re-instate the Writ of Habeus Corpus certainly would be helpful but my mentor on civil rights litigation and Senior Federal Court Judge William Wayne Justice declared minimum standards now exist for all found behind bars.

Yes, it would be great if Amnesty International, LULAC, Communications Workers of America CHAFTA, CAIR, NACCP etc. may all join for Free the Children vigil June 23 a weekend corresponding with the International Day of the Refugee (June 20th). Beyond this we must unravel and view each level that exists and/or piece that's involved and learn whether marching and news releases are sufficient and/or whether we must find ways to invoke the much more effective change strategies reach to the core of the conspiracies that must be challenged in Federal and State Courts. Let me review three places where the ball is being fumbled right now but a few of us could or might do a heave ho and furnish the muster needed to one day have Judgments that tell the US Govt it may not throw immigrant parents and children, including those who are unaccompanied into prisons or prison like holding pens.

  1. Williamson County Commissioners Court, which approved the lease and has oversight authority,
  2. Texas Protective Services, which exempted the CCA from state laws on abuse, harm or causing trauma,
  3. Texas Education Agency, which fails to enforce educational standards, and
  4. Taylor ISD, which authorized CCA to conduct a Charter School inside a prison.

Our purpose is not to criticize how society attacks or champions the cause. But as one who fought on behalf of 5500 families as a 22 year activist with Missing & Exploited Children of Texas and Citizens Dispute Resolution Center followed by efforts to write and re-write my book Children's Rights & Deportations: A Call for Justice not available for purchase from Advocacy Services Press, I am sure we must find ways to marshal forces from different vantage points. I personally enjoy taking the easy road but find that for results. But in the long term, I will vote with my pen and concentrate my efforts in writing briefs that are picked up by legal counsel or filed by Prisoners and Friends thereof filing Pro Se  [aka for the victims].  Though I am a psychotherapist, I recognize that the precedences set forth in English Common Law and US Jurisprudence are the best perfected ways to change the way laws are adhered to and if the people's movement for freeing the children works with these efforts I submit that the movement and the judiciary shall prevail much earlier. The people's movement must find more effective ways to work with the sources of money -- I mean with people like Rep John Conyers and the Congress persons and Senators who have prisoner and priso ns oversight. It helps to have the media in support of both the people's movement goals and objectives and the efforts underway in State and Federal Courts. No one should be bashful about writing what they believe is an argument that will be put a judge and to then find an attorney or advocacy group capable of filing and litigating the issue in Court.

As an author and psychotherapist, I retain the intellectual rights to these comments.

Psychotherapist Kenneth Koym, Austin TX 78724-5840 Tel: 512.215.4798; Cel 512.828.9778

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