Founded in 2015

Abolish PRIVATE PRISONS

Bianca Tylek, APP Ally and Founder of Worth Rises, Publishes Op-Ed

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Abolish Private Prisons is a 501c(3) Arizona Non-Profit Corporation that was incorporated on June 10, 2015. The organization was founded by a group of lawyers, professors, and community advocates with a simple purpose – to end for profit private prisons in the United States.

Our Vision

We believe that the only way to truly end for-profit prisons in the United States is to challenge the constitutionality of private for-profit prisons in the courts. Other forms of advocacy are very important but they are not enough.

We need the United States Supreme Court to declare it the law of the land that private prisons are unconstitutional and must be abolished. Our legal team and Executive Director collectively have 50 years of legal expertise and will provide the leadership necessary for this type of legal case.

Our Legal Team

Our Values

Mission

To abolish private prisons in the United States of America.

Vision

The United States has a rational, fair, and neutral system of criminal justice untarnished by bias and profit motives.

01.

Justice

The government is responsible for carrying out justice, not private corporations. Government only has power that “We The People” gave it, and the people did not give government the power to privatize justice. Our constitution forbids treating people like property. Prison privatization turns inmates into commodities. The constitution requires a fair and unbiased system of justice. Profit motives create bias and unfairness in favor of incarceration.

02.

Fairness

There should be no profit motive to put people in and keep them in prison. Private prison corporations are big business and have a powerful lobby. This industry generates billions of dollars of revenue each year and spends millions in political contributions and lobbying to convince politicians to prioritize profits, not fairness.

03.

Dignity

To the private prison industry, inmates are inventory.

The US Constitution recognizes that government has a profound responsibility whenever it takes away a person’s liberty. This responsibility belongs to government alone, and that responsibility and the people effected by that responsibility are not for sale.

Our Board Members

Sentari Minor, President

Sentari Minor, President

Sentari Minor, President

Sentari M. Minor is a social impact advocate and passionate relationship builder. As Arizona Director of Gen Next, Mr. Minor oversees the development and engagement of accomplished and purposeful local leaders to ultimately drive generational change. Prior to Gen Next, he worked to steward effective philanthropists and strengthen social enterprises at the venture philanthropy firm, Social Venture Partners Arizona.
A Phoenix native, Mr. Minor continued his education in the Midwest and is an alumnus of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where he studied English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. He is also a member of Class IV of the American Express Leadership Academy through the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Nonprofit Innovation.
With an extensive background in high-touch stakeholder engagement, fundraising, public relations, and Strategic Planning, Mr. Minor serves on the board of directors for a diverse set of nonprofits. Passionate about strengthening the social sector, Mr. Minor speaks nationally on governance, leadership, and the concepts of venture philanthropy, nonprofit capacity building, and social entrepreneurship.
When he’s not busy changing the world, he enjoys fitness, reading, and spending time with his loved ones.

 Shawnee Ziegler, Vice President

Shawnee Ziegler, Vice President

Shawnee Ziegler, Vice President

Shawnee currently works at the Arizona Justice Project, a non-profit dedicated to investigating and litigating claims of actual innocence or manifest injustice in Arizona. In her role as Director of Operations, Shawnee oversees case intake, the organization’s financials, strategic project implementation, federal grants, and a competitive student intern program.
Shawnee has also coordinated advocacy and policy efforts to correct sentences for juveniles who were given mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole. Through her work at the Arizona Justice Project, Shawnee has been able to combine her passion for helping the most vulnerable members of our society with her experience in humanitarian and development work.
Prior to joining the Arizona Justice Project, Shawnee spent many years working in the humanitarian relief and development field doing program management, community development, and grant writing, specifically in post disaster settings.
Shawnee is an ASU Alumni and enjoys tailgating before ASU football games. She loves reading, the beach, and doing puzzles.

Leanna Taylor, Treasurer

Leanna Taylor, Treasurer

Leanna Taylor, Treasurer

Leanna Taylor is responsible for the vision, strategy, marketing, and fundraising efforts for The Arizona Pet Project, a nonprofit that works at the intersection of people, pets, and poverty.
Prior to entering her work in nonprofit, Leanna held a long career in sports operations with the AAA Vancouver Canadians and the Oakland A’s.
She says of her appointment to the board of directors of Abolish Private Prisons, “When I was introduced to the work of Abolish Private Prisons several years ago, I knew this was an organization with which I needed to be involved. After years of researching the inequity in our criminal justice system, it became clear that imprisonment and detainment for profit are not only unconstitutional but one of the greatest offenders of racist policy. There is certain knowledge in this world that once you learn, you can never look away. This is an example of such knowledge, and it requires action now.
I’m honored to work with such an esteemed group in this fight against modern-day slavery, and look forward to the day private prisons are a shameful part of this country’s history.”
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Leanna grew up with a love of the outdoors and spends her free time hiking, kayaking, camping, and spending time with her son and menagerie of pets.

Angela Addae, Secretary

Angela Addae, Secretary

Angela Addae, Secretary

Angela Addae is an Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, where she is teaching in the areas of Civil Rights Law, Social Enterprise Law, and Race & the Law. Her current research examines how municipal redevelopment policies affect neighborhood institutions in urban settings.
Prior to joining the University of Oregon, Prof. Addae practiced as a litigation attorney, advocating for Oregon’s small businesses and large corporations in federal court. She is admitted to practice in Oregon state courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In addition to practicing law, Prof. Addae has worked with the American Bar Foundation, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security, and the U.S. State Department.
Prof. Addae engages in advocacy work through her service on the executive board of the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association and the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs.
Prof. Addae earned her J.D. from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and her doctorate from the University of Arizona School of Sociology. She is also a proud alumna of Fisk University, where she received her B.A. in Sociology.

André Douglas Pond Cummings

André Douglas Pond Cummings

André Douglas Pond Cummings

andré douglas pond cummings joined the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law faculty in 2018, teaching Business Organizations, Contracts I and II, and related courses. Prior to arriving at Bowen, Professor cummings was a Visiting Professor of Law at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois, where he taught Contracts I and II, Hip Hop & the American Constitution and Sports Law. He has served as Interim Dean, Vice Dean and founding Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Indiana Tech Law School. Additionally, cummings was Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law. Before embarking on his academic career, cummings worked as a judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Joseph W. Hatchett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and for Justice Christine M. Durham of the Utah Supreme Court. In addition, he worked at the Chicago, IL based law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, focusing his practice on complex business transactions including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and securities offerings of publicly traded corporations. Simultaneously, cummings represented clients in the sports and entertainment industries, including athletes in the National Football League, record labels, motion picture production companies, and a variety of authors, including Hollywood screenwriters.
cummings writes extensively on issues regarding investor protection, racial and social justice, and sports and entertainment law, publishing in the Washington University Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Utah Law Review, Howard Law Journal, Drexel Law Review, Marquette Sports Law Review, Iowa Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, Thurgood Marshall Law Review and Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice, amongst many others. cummings has published three books including “Corporate Justice” (with Todd Clark) in 2016, “Hip Hop and the Law” (with Pamela Bridgewater and Donald Tibbs) in 2015, and “Reversing Field: Examining Commercialization, Labor, Gender, and Race in 21st Century Sports Law” (with Anne Marie Lofaso) in 2010. Noted public intellectual Cornel West has stated that cummings’ scholarly “reputation goes far beyond . . . the nation, and is heard in every corner of the globe, wrestling with legacies of legal thinking on one hand and popular culture on the other.”
cummings has been recognized as Professor of the Year on numerous occasions including the University-wide Distinguished Professor Award by the West Virginia University Foundation. cummings has taught as a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Syracuse University College of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law (Tokyo Campus) and has taught as a Visiting Lecturer at the North Carolina Central University School of Law, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Direito Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Universidade de Vila Velha in Vila Velha, Brazil, and Universidad de Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico. cummings holds a J.D. from Howard University School of Law where he graduated cum laude.

Darryl Keaton

Darryl Keaton

Darryl Keaton

The reason I decided to join the APP’s Board of Directors is to make an impact on the injustice and inequity of the prison system. As a Black male in America, I believe there needs to be equality in our justice system to help people grow communities and not be put behind bars. I personally have experienced injustice, have family members who been in and out of the jail/prison system, and a brother who is a respected police officer that truly protects and serves. The justice system is a significant societal impact on minority communities that causes harm economically, impact on youth development, and hinders the education in communities. I want to make an impact that helps the black and minority communities uplift families, education, and their economy.
Enough is enough, private prison systems are one of many embarrassing and shameful business practices in America and we no longer can turn our back to ignore them. They must be STOPPED! I’m glad to be a part of an organization’s mission to help Abolish Private Prisons.

In Memoriam to William W. Ryan, Founding Board President

In Memoriam to William W. Ryan, Founding Board President

In Memoriam to William W. Ryan, Founding Board President

Bill Ryan was a legend in Arizona and beyond, and a friend to all who knew him. A true Southern gentleman, he loved river trips, the night sky, and a good political protest.
Bill was born in Marks, Mississippi on March 31, 1943 and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement, marching alongside leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he was on the organizing committee for the famous “I am a Man” strike in Memphis in 1968.
Bill was a Memphis State grad and committed his career to civil rights work at the United States EEOC in Phoenix, and from 1992 to 1995, Bill served as a volunteer member of the St. Francis Xavier School Advisory Board. The school is part of the St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Parish Phoenix, an Arizona nonprofit Corporation.
Bill was a master of trivia who was never stumped by a crossword clue, and he could not resist a good story. He was exceedingly generous, loyal, and steadfast.

Rob Beckett, Emeritus

Rob Beckett, Emeritus

Rob Beckett, Emeritus

Mr. Beckett is a co-founder of Abolish Private Prisons with John Dacey.
He has been with Beckett & Anderson Law Partnership since 1978, where he practices law in Arizona. Mr. Beckett concentrates on estate planning, probate, guardianships and conservatorships and trusts, access to health and social services, particularly for families with handicapped members. He has been a Board Member of AFH (Arizona Corporation for the Handicapped); Arizonan Senior Citizens Law Project; Bethany Ranch Home, Inc.; Arc-San Diego; Association for Retarded Citizens – U.S.; Association for Retarded Citizens of Arizona, Inc.; Phoenix Association for Retarded Citizens.
Mr. Beckett is also a member of the Arizona State Bar Committee on Legal Services for the Elderly; Chairperson 1981. Member of Arizona Governor’s Council for Children, Youth and Families; Chairperson, 1979-1981. He also has been a Vista Volunteer, Blackhawk County Legal Aid Society, Iowa.