Locking people up should be a crime – not a business model.

As the violence against migrants and asylum seekers at the borderlands escalates, it is our moral responsibility to draw attention to and take action against the people, companies, and organizations in our own community upholding and profiting from these mass atrocities.



We are a group of community members who live in Utah and the Rocky Mountain region who’ve been directly and indirectly impacted by the dehumanization, criminalization, and incarceration of our fellow human beings, including migrants, asylum seekers, people of color, and the poor.

We see it as our moral responsibility to stand up against the destruction of families and communities for profit.

Management & Training Corporation (MTC) is the third-largest for-profit prison company in the United States, headquartered in Centerville, Utah, and owned and operated by Utah residents and community leaders, Scott (Bob) Marquardt and Jane Marquardt. They run 22 “correctional facilities” throughout the United States, including three migrant detention centers in California, New Mexico, and Texas, with plans to put a bid on a new jail 80 miles north of Salt Lake City in Evanston, Wyoming, which will serve ICE’S Utah-based operations.

We demand MANAGEMENT & TRAINING CORP. immediately end THEIR contractS with ICE, shut down THEIR for-profit prisons, and pay reparations to THE PEOPLE whose lives THEY’VE impacted through collusion with policy violence and those who enforce it.

We act in solidarity with campaigns and movements across the country taking action to put an end to the criminalization and incarceration of our communities.

Dear Bob Marquardt and Jane Marquardt:

#ShutDownMTC and Pay Reparations To Families Impacted By Your Greed

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As so many of us see the atrocities occurring in border communities and ask ourselves, “what can I do,” here we have an answer: We can make it clear that Management & Training Corporation’s for-profit prison schemes are not our values.

When a dozen protestors occupied MTC’s offices in Centerville, Utah on July 12, 2018, the company responded with a statement saying, “Our hearts go out to anyone separated from their family... We have no authority or say in these matters… We are only a contractor for ICE.”

This is an outrageous distortion of the truth.

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mtc is responsible for separating families

When the Trump Administration took office, it issued new directives to ICE, telling them to arrest any undocumented immigrants its agents encountered and enforce a law that criminalizes migrants and asylum seekers who cross without authorization, forcing them to do jail time before getting a chance to see a judge. This has resulted in the DOUBLING of migrant arrests in Salt Lake and the surrounding region. It’s also why children are being separated from their parents – their parents are being sent to for-profit prisons contracted by ICE, like the ones run by MTC.

for-profit prisons helped create the detention & deportation machine

For most of this country’s history we did not lock people up for migrating. The reality is, when private prison companies realized in the late 1980s they could make a profit off detaining immigrants, these companies started lobbying Congress to let them start. This opportunity to make a buck by filling cages with migrants and asylum seekers led to the creation of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2003 – the largest federal police force in the country, existing solely to target immigrant communities for deportation and fill these detention centers. President and CEO Bob Marquardt boasts in his website bio that he has increased “sales” for the company by 344% since 1991. To be clear, what they’re selling is people – MTC makes up to $20,000 per inmate every year.

These companies created immigration detention – and we are here to end it.

prisons are not rehabilitation centers or good job opportunities

Private prison companies like MTC depend on cutting corners to keep costs low, putting both detained immigrants and workers at risk for health and safety. MTC pays low wages, provides few if any benefits, poorly trains and staffs their prisons, resulting in high turnover in these positions – hardly the kind of good, sustainable jobs that support local communities. Our communities have the right to self-determination in how we build the local economy from the ground up. We don’t need - nor do we want - to depend on private prison companies and incarcerating immigrants or people of color to create jobs.

MTC’s “job training” program, JobCorps, is as much a part of the private prison industrial complex as their immigration prisons, depending on a steady stream of people who have been incarcerated needing their job training. Not only that, but MTC regularly takes advantage of communities like those on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, who in good faith bring MTC’s job training programs to their communities, only to find out the company’s racist policies mean indigenous people get fired from their jobs for no reason and without warning.

ICE has plans to escalate its violence against utah’s immigrant community – and mtc is helping them

Right now, due to recommendations and lobbying by MTC, plans are underway to build a for-profit migrant prison 80 miles north of Salt Lake City in Evanston, Wyoming to serve ICE’s Utah-based operations. MTC has aggressively gone after rural communities in Wyoming to make this happen, handing local governments resolutions to pass that support the Department of Homeland Security’s request to build new migrant prisons, without engaging local community members.


We understand that the criminalization of certain communities – particularly immigrants, people of color and the poor – is political, and corporations like MTC are key in perpetuating the false narrative our communities need more police and prisons, creating the socio-economic conditions that lead to criminal behavior, and lobbying our elected officials to push policies that profit off our community’s pain and poverty. Immigrant detention centers are part of the same criminal “justice” system that’s responsible for turning the U.S. into the capital of mass incarceration – we have 25% of the world’s prison population despite only making up 5% of the total global population. The prison population in the U.S. has increased 700% since the 1970s due to the direct criminalization of poor and marginalized people through racist immigration policies, the War on Drugs, and increasing economic disparity. Each year, the U.S. spends $80 billion to lock away more than 2.4 million people – budgetary allocations that far outpace spending on housing, transportation, and education.

community organizations that receive dirty money from the marquardts should take a stand

The Marquardts have positioned themselves as “good guys” in our Utah community by donating to progressive causes, but their generosity doesn't wash away the immorality of caging people. There is nothing progressive about profiting off the prison system. There are better ways to reduce recidivism and bring formerly-incarcerated people back into our communities. Restorative justice, drug treatment and prevention programs, and adequately funded mental health services are progressive policies, not running private prison companies. Ultimately, if the Marquardt family has the progressive values they say they do, they will immediately end their contracts with ICE, shut down their for-profit prisons, and pay reparations to those whose lives they've impacted through their collusion with policy violence and those who enforce it. Institutions should refuse the Marquardt’s charitable donations, remove them from their boards, and put all possible pressure on them to change their business model to one that does not profit off the suffering of human beings.




If people seeking asylum and a better life have to fear for their lives every single day, those creating and upholding these violent conditions don’t get to walk around town with their heads held high.

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