I’d like to point out that in the first article I link below, the author states that it is Republican-controlled legislatures who are responsible for private prisons…this is only partially the truth. Yes, organizations like ALEC and the prison industries they represent generally
bribe, er…give campaign contributions to Republican legislators…BUT… they are not at all above bribing contributing to Democratic lawmakers when it suits their purposes. Our very own former Democratic Guv’ner Bill Richardson received more campaign contributions from private prisons than any other policlown in the country at one point. Great shock that as soon as he was in power, private prison contracts in NM expanded, eh? (The REAL shock comes in the 2nd article linked here that talks about the fines our Republican Gov’ner Martinez just slapped our private prisons with.)
Bottom line is that private prisons and all of the various twisted off-spring of the industry are willing to do whatever it takes, work with whoever it takes and pay nearly whatever it takes to keep expanding their
slave trade industry and profit margins. It isn’t a matter of Right or Left anymore folks, it’s all about who can be bought and sold…both in our legislative bodies…and out here in our so-called ‘free’ society.
Over 18 Months, Nation’s First Privately Owned State Prison Has Declined Rapidly
Think Progress, “In an unprecedented experiment fueled by budget concerns, Ohio sold a state prison to Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest private prison corporations in the country, in 2011. Within a year, a state audit of Lake Erie Correctional Institute, the nation’s first privately owned state prison, found rampant abuse and abysmal conditions well below state standards. The CCA prison was given another chance to pass, but flunked another inspection four months later.Independent reports continue to illuminate filthy, broken facilities, as well as much higher rates of crime and violence in and around the prison. On Tuesday, the ACLU of Ohio sent Ohio lawmakers a comprehensive timeline of the prison’s decline since CCA took over.
The Lake Erie prison is now reportedly overcrowded at 130 percent capacity, with single-person cells holding 3 inmates each, according to internal documents obtained by the ACLU. Assaults on guards and other inmates have skyrocketed by 40 percent.
In fact, on the same day the ACLU released their timeline, the Lake Erie prison had to tamp down a series of inmate fights that lead to the confinement of 500 inmates.
Private prison companies have been repeatedly caught cutting corners on space, sanitation, and staff in order to maximize their profits. As a result, deadly riots frequently break out at these facilities, sparked by poor food quality, lack of health care access, and unsanitary conditions.
Despite Lake Erie’s multiple violations of state standards, Ohio has stubbornly maintained its infatuation with private prisons. The state plans to outsource prison food to Aramark, a private vendor already under investigation in Kentucky for multiple contract violations, including serving old food that had not been stored properly and overbilling the state.
Republican-dominated state legislatures are all too eager to ignore the private prison industry’s dismal record. CCA and other companies like GEO are paying well to maintain their massively profitable government contracts; the industry spent $45 million on lobbying in the past decade. CCA has done especially well for itself, rebounding from near bankruptcy in 2000 to rake in a net income of $162 million in 2011.” Think Progress
New Mexico Slaps Private Prison Companies with $1.4 Million in Fines
Prison Legal News – “The departure of Bill Richardson as New Mexico’s governor has changed the previously lax business environment for the state’s private prison contractors. The new administration of Governor Susana Martinez is taking a more aggressive tone in demanding contractual compliance at privately-operated facilities that house state prisoners.
In March 2012, the New Mexico Corrections Department (NMDOC) imposed nearly $300,000 in fines against GEO Group, which operates three private prisons in the state. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) was also hit with $11,779 in fines for failing to properly staff the women’s prison in Grants.
Those fines were on top of another $1.1 million in penalties assessed in November 2011 due to GEO’s failure to adequately staff the Lea County Correctional Facility (LCCF). According to Shannon McReynolds, inspector general at the NMDOC, GEO Group agreed to pay the $1.1 million fine but was “not completely happy” about it. Additionally, the company agreed to spend $200,000 over the next year to recruit more employees at LCCF.
The penalties imposed against the company in March 2012, also for inadequate staffing, resulted from GEO’s failure to have enough guards in staffed positions at LCCF. There were also noncustodial positions, such as counselors for substance abuse and mental health treatment, that had remained vacant for more than 60 days.
Part of the $11,779 penalty against CCA came from not having enough guards at the New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility. The largest part of the fine, $7,964.46, was due to CCA’s failure to release 15 prisoners on time. Records indicated that 13 of the 15 were released more than 30 days past their release date.
“These are taxpayer dollars that we are spending here,” McReynolds said. “When we spend these taxpayer dollars on these services, we need to make sure we’re getting those services.” New Mexico currently contracts with GEO Group and CCA to operate four facilities that hold state prisoners.
It was only after Governor Martinez took office that GEO and CCA had to worry about penalties for failing to fulfill their contractual obligations.” Full Article on PLN
CORPORATE PRISON RAP SHEETS
American Police Force
Corrections Corporation of America
GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut)
Keefe Commissary Services
Management & Training Corporation
Maranatha Corrections LLC