Guns, Prisons, Crime, and Immigration

From ALEC Exposed
Revision as of 18:58, 1 August 2011 by Lisa Graves (talk | contribs) (update)

Jump to: navigation, search

Efforts to Rewrite Americans' Rights; Changes that Imprison More People for Longer and Make More Money

Guns, Prisons, Crime, and Immigration
This page documents how bills pushed by ALEC corporations result in taxpayers subsidizing the profits of the private prison industry by putting more people in for-profit prisons and keeping them in jail 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 through these model bills. Do you?

READ the "Model Bills" HERE

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

Full list.png

For a full list of individual 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!

Get the Goods on ALEC

ALEC Exposed Audio & Video

From The Nation Magazine:

ALEC & Democracy

ALEC & Education

ALEC & Labor


ALEC & Health

ALEC & Koch

ALEC & Prisons

From PR Watch:

ALEC & Injury Law

ALEC & Wisconsin

ALEC & Tobacco

ALEC & Climate Change

From SourceWatch:

Press on ALEC Exposed

ALEC Quotes

Who Is Behind ALEC?

ALEC Corporations

ALEC Politicians

ALEC "Scholars"

Top Hat.png

ALEC Boards & Task Forces

ALEC Staff

More Information


ALEC Exposed Press Release

ALEC Funding

ALEC Hotels

ALEC Decoded

ALEC & NCSL Comparison

Common Cause Asks IRS to Audit ALEC

Common Cause Study on ALEC Member Campaign Contributions

ProPublica's Database of ALEC Campaign Contributions

Join the Conversation!

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 and enrich profits.

On the surface, many ALEC bills look like basic tough-on-crime legislation, but some corporate leaders of ALEC benefit financially from such legislation -- meaning that what has been sold to the public as good for public safety was often pushed by corporations that profit from such changes in the law, without politicians disclosing their corporate allies' financial interest to the public when such bills, pre-approved by the corporations, were introduced.

Examples include:

Bills that prop up the for-profit bail bond industry, a long-time ALEC board member, through:

Bills that benefit long-time ALEC members of the global for-profit prison industry, like the Corrections Corporation of America, by:

Bills that add new penalties for retail theft, which increase prison population and aid ALEC corporations that are retailers, like corporate board member Wal-Mart, such as:

Other drug use-related bills would require that any college student convicted of a drug crime lose financial aid, promote drug testing in American workplaces, even if the work has nothing to do with public safety, and suspend the driver’s license of anyone convicted of a drug crime.

The bills also include anti-immigrant legislation that require local law enforcement to enforce complex federal law, result in racial or ethnic profiling, and destroy the law enforcement-community relationship. (See Arizona's SB1070 model here, as well as this bill, this bill and this bill).

The bills would also overturn long-standing rules designed to protect Americans' constitutional rights, including the right to be free from warrantless searches and the right to confront one's accusers, such as legislation to:

Still other bills would aid corporations in other ways, like bills to punish homeowners for the mortgage crisis by creating the crime of "mortgage fraud," that focuses primarily on consumers, but no corresponding new crimes for the Wall Street shell game that sank the U.S. economy.

Spotlight on Gun Bills
For many years, until this spring, the National Rifle Association (NRA) actually co-chaired the ALEC "Task Force on Public Safety and Elections." (The election bills are discussed in the section of this site titled "Democracy, Voter Rights and Federal Power.") ALEC bills include "model" legislation that advances the constitutionality of an individual's right to bear arms, an argument vindicated by a recent ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. The legislation also would likely benefit the firearms industry closely connected to the NRA.

Bills or resolutions in this area:

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

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 and reduced incentives for earlier parole or supervised release. The Walker 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 also 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 this past decade. However, when Scott Walker became governor, he reversed this progress and requested legislation to restore the (ALEC-based) Truth in Sentencing scheme, 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 Wisconsin

In 2011, Wisconsin ALEC members introduced AB-69, a bill containing strikingly similar provisions to the ALEC "Castle Doctrine Act" approved by the National Rifle Association. The bill allows homeowners to shoot and kill a person they claim is breaking into their home, without fear of civil liability if it turns out the person shot was innocent, like a girlfriend sneaking in. A marked-up version of AB-69, noting the related 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 Community Discussion 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