Abolish Private Prisons

Abolish Private Prisons

John Dacey


John Dacey

Attorney John Dacey, founder and Executive Director of the Arizona 501(c)(3) Abolish Private Prisons, has recently left full time law practice at the prestigious Phoenix, AZ firm of Gammage & Burnham to focus his full effort on his non-profit criminal justice reform work.

During his time at Gammage & Burnham, John understood and communicated the ins and outs of Arizona’s healthcare system and behavioral health to his clients. He dedicated his career to representing health care and social service providers, schools and other service organizations in a role that primarily focused on providing counsel related to regulatory compliance, reimbursement, contracts, employment, nonprofit governance, government relations, consumer and vendor disputes and insurance coverage. John has a well-earned reputation for his proactive approach, which involves trouble-shooting and preventative guidance designed to help his clients avoid legal issues before they arise.

In his career, John has practiced in federal, state and tribal courts, administrative agency proceedings, and has conducted alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a judge pro tem of Maricopa County Superior Court and as a federal court-appointed mediator. He represented a variety of provider trade associations in matters of public policy, regulatory reform and legislation.  During his time with the firm, he focused his pro bono efforts on criminal justice reform, specifically on the abolition of private, for-profit prisons.

During his first 12 years in practice John worked for nonprofit legal aid and public interest law firms where he handled poverty law, disability law and jail conditions litigation, including class actions.

His career appears to have come full circle, back to the work that pulls at his heartstrings the most. John is the founder and executive director of Abolish Private Prisons, an Arizona 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to criminal justice reform.  You can learn more about his nonprofit work and follow along on social media: abolishprivateprisons.org  You may have seen the recent feature on John’s efforts in the early October issue of the Arizona Capitol Times.

John Dacey is a graduate of Notre Dame University and from the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

andre 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 gra

In 2015, Executive Director John Dacey started a nonprofit with a name as straightforward as its goal: Abolish Private Prisons. In 2018, Dacey left his private law firm to focus on his nonprofit work full time. 
Abolish Private Prisons believes that in turning over incarceration to the marketplace, government has abdicated a responsibility that belongs to government alone and creates huge financial incentives that sustain our societal addiction to mass incarceration. Taking away an individual’s liberty should never have any relationship to corporate profits.
Professor andré douglas pond cummings, UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law Professor and President of the Board of Abolish Private Prisons, will join Dacey for the program. He states: “It is not just a constitutional issue for us. It is a moral imperative.” 
Dacey says, “It’s about what kind of a country we are, and what kind of a country are we going to be? Are we really going to put these perverse incentives into our criminal justice system? This is treating people as human inventory. It’s a violation of human dignity.”