Making Contact

Making Contact – Undue Influence: the Power of Police and Prison Guards’ Unions

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Police officers and prison guards hold tremendous political sway.  Their unions support or opposition can make or break a campaign for office.  And their advocacy for better pay, more power, and more jobs has been a major factor in the expansion of the prison industrial complex.  For decades, they’ve helped build America’s build America’s criminal justice system. Now that system is changing.  Can law enforcement unions change as well?

The program was produced with support from The Puffin Foundation.


Patrick Lynch, NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President; Chuck Alexander, California Correctional Peace Officers Association Vice president; Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois; Jerry Brown, Governor of California; Dan Macallair, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice executive director; Darius Charney, Center for Constitutional Rights staff attorney; Rick Hilliard, Southern Illinois Central Labor Council business manager; Alex Friedmann, Prison Legal News Associate Editor; Leroy Gadsen, New York NAACP Legal Redress Committee Esq. Chair; Eric Adams, New York State Senator; Elizabeth Crowley, NYC City Council member and former Congressional candidate; Howard Wooldridge, Citizens Opposing Prohibition lobbyist; Carlton Berkeley, Retired NYPD Detective; Jonathan Simon, University of California at Berkeley Law Professor; Harriet Salarno, Crime Victims United president and founder; Kirk Dutton, AFSCME Local 31 Vice President.

For More Information:

Prison Legal News

Private Corrections Working Group

100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care

Ramarley’s Call: The official Website to remember Ramarley Graham

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

CCPOA California Correctional Peace Officers Association

CCA- Corrections Corporation of America

The GEO Group

NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association

Crime Victims United

Center for Constitutional Rights

Citizens Opposing Prohibition

Jonathan Simon

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Southern Illinois Central Labor Council

NAACP New York State Conference

Ney York Police Department

Jerry Brown

Human Rights Defense Center

Articles, Reports, Photos, Videos:

Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies
Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies.

Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration

Unholy Alliance-How the private prison industry is corrupting our democracy
and promoting mass incarceration

Unionizing Prison Guards in an Age of Mass Incarceration by Brian Tierney

Correcting the Guards-Why the shaky relationship between organized labor
and correctional officers is doubly harmful to the American left.    By
Adam Doster

Ex-Con Shareholder Goes After World’s Biggest Prison Corporation

Officials rally to fight prison closures in Illinois

Marchers Demand Justice for Ramarley Graham