Guns, Prisons, Crime, and Immigration

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ALEC's Efforts to Rewrite Laws about Americans' Rights

Guns, Prisons, Crime, and Immigration
This page documents how bills pushed by ALEC corporations help taxpayers subsidize the profits of the private prison industry by putting more people in jail and keeping them in prison for longer. The bills also would put more guns on streets and interfere with local law enforcement decisions about how best to interact with immigrant communities. Through ALEC, corporations have both a VOICE and a VOTE on specific state laws. Do you?

READ the "Model Bills" HERE

Click here for a zip file of Guns, Prisons, Crime, and Immigration bills

For a full list of bills from this section, click here

For descriptions of some of these bills, scroll down or click here.

How YOU Can Expose ALEC & Share What You Learn

SPREAD THE WORD. Share information about ALEC through Facebook, e-mail and Twitter. Concerned groups and people in every state need this to investigate how ALEC corporations are rewriting laws for their own advantage. And, please join the conversation on Facebook!
EXPOSE ALEC LEGISLATORS. Demand the truth about which politicians in your state are in ALEC. Uncover whether YOUR tax dollars are paying ALEC "dues." Expose politicians who accept “scholarships” from ALEC's corporate-funded coffers for fancy trips.
EXPOSE ALEC'S ROLE IN YOUR STATE HOUSE. Read these corporate-backed "model bills" NOW and cross-check them with bills in your state legislature. Ask your local media to report on what you have found and write your local newspaper.
SHARE YOUR DISCOVERIES. Tell us what you uncovered! Tweet what you learn with the hashtag #ALECexposed, join a discussion on this site or email us a confidential tip via editor AT And, follow our tweets on Twitter!

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Learn MORE about the "Model Bills" ALEC Corporations Are Backing to Rewrite YOUR Rights

The Center for Media and Democracy analyzed the bills ALEC politicians and corporations voted for. More analysis is available below and also at ALEC Exposed's sister sites, PRWatch and SourceWatch.

How Are Corporations Interfering With Our Criminal Justice System?

Corporations and their politician allies voted behind closed doors through ALEC to change America's criminal justice system by:

  • Anti-immigrant legislation that requires local law enforcement to enforce complex federal law, encourages racial profiling, and destroys the law enforcement-community relationship (see this bill, this bill, this bill, and this bill).
  • Imposing unrealistic conditions for parolees or persons on probation, setting them up for failure and re-incarceration.

Some of this Corporate Agenda Has Become Law

Truth in Sentencing & Private Prisons

When current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was a state representative, he was an ALEC member and introduced several bills proposed by ALEC, including "Truth in Sentencing" and bills to privatize the state's prison system.

Passed in Wisconsin in 1997, "Truth in Sentencing" requires inmates to serve their full sentence without options for parole or supervised release. The program has inflated prison populations and greatly increased the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on prisons -- in Wisconsin, to an estimated $1.8 billion through 2025. In many states, Truth in Sentencing has increased profits for private prison companies like the Corrections Corporation of America, a member of ALEC's Private Sector board. In 1999, then-Rep. Scott Walker introduced two bills that would allow private prisons in Wisconsin. While those bills did not pass, some inmates were contracted out to private prisons in other states, and the Corrections Corporation of America has registered lobbyists in the state ever since.

A former head of Wisconsin's prison system who is currently a University of Wisconsin Law Professor, Walter Dickey, told American Radio Works it is "shocking" that lawmakers would write sentencing policy with help from ALEC, a group that gets funding, and supposedly "expertise," from a private prison corporation.

"I don't know that they know anything about sentencing," he said. "They know how to build prisons, presumably, since that's the business they're in. They don't know anything about probation and parole. They don't know about the development of alternatives. They don't know about how public safety might be created and defended in communities in this state and other states."

The Wisconsin state legislature apparently recognized the folly of Truth in Sentencing and rolled back the law between 2001 and 2009. When Scott Walker became governor, he reversed this progress and requested legislation to restore the ALEC corporation-supported Truth in Sentencing, despite the costs to taxpayers and despite claiming Wisconsin was "broke." It is unknown whether privatized prisons will soon follow.

To learn more about this story, click here, or here.

The NRA's "Castle Doctrine Act"

In 2011, Wisconsin ALEC members introduced AB-69, a bill nearly identical to the ALEC "Castle Doctrine Act" approved by the National Rifle Association. The bill allows a homeowner to shoot and kill a person they claim is breaking into their home, without fear of civil liability. A marked-up version of AB-69, noting the relevant sections of the ALEC Castle Doctrine Act, can be found here.
Have any of these bills been introduced or enacted in YOUR state? If so, please add that information to the ALEC Exposed page on your state by searching for your state's name in the search engine at the top of this page.

More Helpful Resources


Additional resources on ALEC's corporate agenda:

ALEC Exposed is a project of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). CMD does NOT accept donations from for-profit corporations or government agencies. More information about CMD is available here. You can reach CMD's Executive Director, Lisa Graves, via editor AT Privacy policy: Other than material you post to this wiki in your name, our privacy policy is that we will not disclose private personally identifiable information or data about you, such as your name, email address, or other information, unless required by law. On copyright: ALEC Exposed considers contributions to this wiki to be released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License or in accordance with law. Information on how to provide us with notice regarding copyright is available at this link. Notices regarding copyright or other matters should be sent to our designated agent, Lisa Graves, via email (editor AT