Prison Ecology Project

The mission of the Prison Ecology Project is to map the intersections of mass incarceration and environmental degradation, and create action plans to address the multitude of problems found there.

The Prison Ecology Project addresses issues such as: damage of sewage and industrial waste from overpopulated and under-regulated prisons into to water ways; threats to listed species by the ongoing construction and operation of prisons in remote, environmentally-sensitive rural areas; and environmental justice concerns regarding prisoners, staff and surrounding communities.

Check out our partners at The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons


CCA claims its facilities in Arizona lead the way in water systems

Sep 28, 2015 | by admin

Near 10,000 people held in this private prisons complex requires treating between 750,000 to one million gallons of water every day in drought-stricken Pinal County.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has been very impressed with itslef lately. After afluff story in July extolling their attempts togreenwash the gulags, just last week they released another statement bragging about attempts to mitigate their massive water consumption and sewage system at the Eloy Complex: Eloy Detention Center, La Palma Correctional Center, Red Rock Correctional Center and Saguaro Correctional Center.

There are near 10,000 people held in these prisons, which requires the system to treat between 750,000 to one million gallons of water every day in drought-stricken Pinal County. Pinal is one of the most severley impacted drought areas in the state, which is among the hardest hit in the entire country.

According to CCA:

Before water can be used, it has to be drawn from a large underground aquifer via the facility’s 800-foot well. As raw water, it flows into the treatment system to be analyzed and treated. From there it is further purified chlorinated to ensure its safety. Then, it is sent to one of four facility holding tanks. From there, the water travels through booster pumps that push the water to the facility where the tap is turned on and the water is available for use.

Once that water is used, it takes another journey to a wastewater treatment plant, where it goes through a grinder and then to the plant where it is taken through an extensive biological cleansing process. Once cleansed, it is “recharged” back into the ground where it will eventually seep back into one of the aquifers and the process starts all over again. At each stop along the way, technicians are there to ensure the equipment is running properly and that each standard is met or exceeded.

Why would we trust this scandal and abuse ridden for-profit prison corporation to suck millions of gallons from a depleted aquifer dat after day, dump it back in to the aquifer as sewage… And then give it to 10,000 prisoners to drink again?

Not to mention, a prisoner uses twice as much water per day as the average person. The only green prison is an empty one.


For more on private prison pollution and greenwashing, check out “GEO Group’s Gulags Grasping for Green Approval”

All the LEED certifications in the world can’t cover up the constant flow of atrocities associated with prisons-for-profit, but that’s not going to stop them from trying.