By the way, heads up to the Resistance, if you aren't already on it: CCA has been talking with officials in Safford about building more prisons there in incarceration-happy Graham county, and another private prison group has approached them about expanding the county jail.
-------------------------Corrections Corporation of America--------------------------
CCA: KY in trouble?
Monday, March 1, 2010, 12:40pm CST
Sexual misconduct allegations threaten CCA contract
Nashville Business Journal - by Brandon Gee Staff Writer
A string of sexual misconduct allegations at a Kentucky prison operated by Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America could threaten the company’s contract with the state...
Hernando County sheriff considers taking over jail operations
By HERNANDO TODAY STAFF
Published: March 2, 2010
Updated: 04:41 pm
BROOKSVILLE - After researching the matter, Sheriff Richard Nugent believes he can take over operations of the Hernando County Jail and save the county money.
Due to the current economic condition of the county and the continually rising cost of the county's contract with Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) to operate the jail, Nugent said Tuesday he has conducted research into the possibility of his office assuming the task...
------------------Sheriff will detail his plan to take over the Hernando County jail Tuesday
By Barbara Behrendt and Joel Anderson, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Thursday, March 4, 2010
BROOKSVILLE — Sheriff Richard Nugent's announcement this week that he can run the Hernando County Jail more efficiently than the company that has been in charge for the past 22 years took many by surprise.
Not only has Nugent said for years that he wanted no part of the job, but Corrections Corporation of America told county officials last month that they expect to lose about $1.5 million this year... (finish)
CCA: TN court says give up the records
Prison Legal News – For Immediate Release
March 4, 2010
Corrections Corp. of America Required to Produce Records After Tennessee Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal in Public Records Suit
Nashville, TN – On March 1, the Tennessee Supreme Court, in a two-sentence order, declined to hear an appeal in a public records case involving Nashville-based Corrections Corp. of America (CCA), the nation’s largest for-profit private prison firm.
The case was originally filed in May 2008 by Alex Friedmann, Associate Editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), a non-profit monthly publication that reports on criminal justice issues. CCA had denied Friedmann’s request for documents related to lawsuits filed against the company and for reports or audits that found contract violations by CCA, among other records.
The Chancery Court of Davidson County ruled in Friedmann’s favor on July 29, 2008 and CCA was ordered to produce the requested documents.
On appeal, CCA strenuously claimed that it was not subject to the Public Records Act because
it was not the “functional equivalent of a state agency.” However, the Court of Appeals rejected that argument. “With all due respect to CCA, this Court is at a loss as to how operating a prison could be considered anything less than a governmental function,” the appellate court observed in a September 16, 2009 ruling.
The Court of Appeals held that CCA was subject to the Public Records Act, and was required
to disclose the documents requested by Friedmann for all but one of the company’s facilities in Tennessee. CCA appealed the appellate decision to the state Supreme Court and Friedmann cross-appealed on the issue of attorney fees.
In declining to hear the appeals on March 1, the Supreme Court left intact the appellate court’s previous ruling. The case will now be remanded to the Chancery Court for further proceedings, to determine which records CCA will be required to make public.
“This decision by the Tennessee Supreme Court brings us one step closer to ensuring that CCA is held accountable to the public to the same extent as the government agencies it contracts with, which will bring much-needed transparency to CCA’s private prison operations in Tennessee,” Friedmann said.
He noted that CCA’s contracts are funded with taxpayer dollars, and members of the public thus have a right to know how their money is being spent – particularly in regard to the operation of prisons, which is a fundamental government function.
Friedmann, who was formerly incarcerated at a CCA facility in the mid-1990s, opposes prison privatization. “Allowing a private company to incarcerate people, and generate profit from their incarceration, is morally wrong and a social injustice,” he stated.A number of organizations had filed amicus briefs in support of Friedmann’s appeal when the case was before the Court of Appeals. Those organizations included the Tennessee ACLU, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the American Society for Newspaper Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, and the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government (TCOG) had asked to file an amicus brief in support of Friedmann’s appeal to the state Supreme Court.
The case is Friedmann v. CCA, Tenn. Supreme Court, Case No. M2008-01998-SC-R11-CV. Friedmann and PLN are ably represented by attorney Andrew Clarke of the Memphis law firm of Borod and Kramer, PLC.
Prison Legal News (PLN), founded in 1990 and based in Brattleboro, Vermont, is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting human rights in U.S. detention facilities. PLN publishes a monthly magazine that includes reports, reviews and analysis of court rulings and news related to prisoners' rights and criminal justice issues. PLN has almost 7,000 subscribers nationwide and operates a website (www.prisonlegalnews.org) that includes a comprehensive database of prison and jail-related articles, news reports, court rulings, verdicts, settlements and related documents. PLN is a project of the Human Rights Defense Center.--------------------
Will incarceration bubble burst if Corrections Corporation of America leaves Hernando jail?
By Dan DeWitt, Times Columnist
In Print: Friday, March 5, 2010
We all know that when the real estate bubble burst a few years ago, it cost us all. When the incarceration bubble bursts — as may be happening — it should save us money.
Because it's sure been expensive to blow it up.
In 1988, when Hernando County hired Corrections Corporation of America to run its jail, it paid the company $1.7 million to house 160 inmates; in recent years, the number of inmates, averaged over the course of a year, crested at 591 a day in 2007, and the annual cost of running the jail is now $11.4 million.
Sure, Hernando County's overall population has almost doubled in that time, and inflation did its usual dirty work. But the main reason for the increased costs here and across the country is that we are locking up a higher percentage of our residents.
"In the past decade, we've more than doubled our jail population, and consequently costs have gone up,'' said county purchasing director Jim Gantt.
What else has changed?
Well, 22 years ago, privatization seemed a new and promising approach to handling a growing inmate population at a reasonable cost.
Now, a lot of people think private jails and prisons waste taxpayer money, not save it. And I'm not just talking about union-funded activists. I'm talking about one of Hernando's most middle-of-the-road politicians, Sheriff Richard Nugent.
"The difference between us doing it and CCA doing it is, we don't have to carry the corporate load,'' said Nugent, who this week said he wants his department to reassume control of the jail.
"We don't have to support all the staff (at company headquarters) in Nashville. We don't have to show a profit margin for shareholders.''
CCA has a reputation for cutting costs to the bone, so I'm not sure Nugent really can save much money.
But we'd come out ahead even if he just keeps the costs level. The guards would be better paid and better qualified, judging from CCA's historic pay rates and turnover levels. And all the money spent on the jail would stay in the county.
Nugent has talked about a lot of potential savings. One big one is that, unlike CCA, he has a motivation to cut the jail population.
Big picture, the growth of CCA, from its founding in 1983 to a company that today supervises facilities with 80,000 beds, has coincided with the explosion of the nation's prison population.
The company isn't the main cause of this increase, of course. Twenty years ago, as crime rates climbed and prisons were filled to bursting, even violent criminals in Florida could get credit for three years of their sentence for every year they served. People had a right to be mad, and to demand longer sentences and to elect tougher judges.
But also consider this: CCA has contributed millions of dollars to the campaigns of politicians who backed longer sentences, said Ken Kopczynski, executive director of Private Corrections Working Group, who is one of those aforementioned union-funded activists.
And remember those laws that required prisoners to serve 85 percent of their sentences or, for many repeat offenders, a lifetime behind bars?
They were written by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Counsel at a time when CCA was helping steer its criminal justice policy, said Byron Price, author of Merchandising Prisons, a book about the private corrections industry.
This advocacy makes sense. The more people who are behind bars, the more CCA profits.
Locally, Nugent says, the company likes to stretch the booking of inmates out to at least six hours, even if money is available for bail. CCA also has no motivation to explore alternatives to jail time, such as ankle bracelets that could allow the Sheriff's Office to track the movement of people charged with nonviolent crimes.
There would seem to be plenty of candidates for such a program.
A county study showed that in April of last year, 48 percent of the inmates were in jail for probation violations. Another 30 percent were in for traffic offenses (not including driving under the influence) or for either possessing or selling marijuana.
Counties and states are looking to cut inmate populations to save money all over the country, said Steve Owen, a CCA spokesman, but that doesn't mean the idea of private corrections is a thing of the past. CCA is growing fast in some states, including California, where he expects CCA will supervise about 10,000 prison beds before the end of the year.
But the Private Corrections Working Group issued a statement in February stating that CCA had lost 7,594 beds in the previous 16 months, including the termination of its long-standing contract to run the Bay County jail in the Florida Panhandle.
If Hernando follows Bay's lead, it could leave Citrus as the only county in the state with a CCA-run jail.
You can almost hear the air going out of the bubble.
March 4, 2010
Diamondback to close in 60 days
By Kasey Fowler, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle (Oklahoma)
ENID — Diamondback Correction Facility in Watonga is closing within the next 60 days, due to Arizona ending its private prison contract.
Corrections Corporation of America, owner of Diamondback, issued 60-day termination notices to all employees at Diamondback this week in anticipation of closing the facility, which is timed with the departure of the Arizona inmates housed there.
Diamondback has more than 300 employees. The payroll of the facility is around $11 million annually. The facility has a capacity of 2,160.
The contract is set to expire April 30. Diamondback has been operating in Watonga since November 1998.
Now this is a shame, that this little town is going to be so devastated. The closing of a prison should be planned and celebrated, with the resources that kept the machinery going following former prisoners into local communities to help make sure they're able to be safe.
Colorado: CCA leaving gives info on legal bribery
Walsenburg struggling with prison closure
The private facility will close April 2; prisoners will be gone by March 22.
March 07, 2010 12:07 am
By ANTHONY A. MESTAS
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
WALSENBURG — With the closure of the town's second-largest employer approaching, town officials are preparing to deal with the loss of almost 200 jobs in an already struggling economy.
Corrections Corporation of America, which owns and operates the Huerfano County Correctional Center, announced in January that it will close the prison in April. Officials at the private prison company said this week that the prison officially will close April 2.
The upcoming closure has cast a pall over the town. Citizens in this community of more than 4,000 already are feeling the pain. The impending prison closure and a prior budget shortfall have forced the town to lay off 10 people with another four layoffs possibly to come.
"The prison closing and the (loss of) revenue derived from it has added to the burden of an already stressed budget," said Mayor Bruce Quintana.
"All departments have been affected. I believe that this (town) council is acting to right the ship. It's a difficult job, laying off people in a small community, because many of these people are our friends," Quintana said. City Administrator Alan Hein said the town could lose between $250,000 and $300,000 from lost utility sales to the prison, concessions and sales taxes.
Hein said the budget already was short $300,000 before the closure was announced.
"We have to restructure our operations to try and accommodate this loss. It's pretty serious when you drop that much on your revenue side in a budget the size that we have," Hein said.
Hein said he hopes the layoffs will help take care of the original shortfall.
"I am just not sure. There are a lot of variables here.
"The worst-case scenario is that we would have to lay off four more people," Hein said.
Hein said there will be minimal cuts to the police department.
"We are actually restructuring the whole department and trying to make it more efficient. We are reevaluating the way the department does business and trying to save money," Hein said.
The town had been in discussions to merge the police department with the Huerfano County Sheriff's Department, but the issue was tabled by the town council last month, Hein said.
"The council has decided not to discard the proposal, but to put it on the back burner and see if we can do some adjustments within our organization," Hein said.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and other state officials are phasing out all out-of-state beds, including the use of the Huerfano County prison, where 700 Arizona inmates are housed. The contract with CCA is set to expire Tuesday.
Allan Cramer, a spokesman for the Huerfano County prison, said inmates will begin leaving Colorado next week by bus and plane.
"The last ones will be gone by March 22," Cramer said.
Cramer said CCA is continuing to actively seek a new client for the prison, but that as of Thursday, none had come forward.
The Walsenburg prison employs 188. Approximately 75 of the employees commute from Pueblo.
Of the remaining workers, about 90 reside in Walsenburg and Huerfano County, with others commuting from Trinidad and Colorado City.
Cramer said several employees are transferring to CCA’s other prisons in Colorado, and some are obtaining employment in other areas.
"The mood here is pretty upbeat and optimistic. Everyone wants to give it their usual 100-percent effort until the last inmates are gone," Cramer said.
The sluggish economy also is having an impact on Main Street here.
The historic Fox Theater, 715 Main St., will take a direct hit from the prison closure.
Huerfano County Administrator John Galusha said the county has been paying for utilities for the theater out of what is called the Prison Authority Fund.
"The county contracted with the correctional center when it opened to form this fund. In that agreement, the county receives 50 cents per prisoner per day which goes directly into the Prison Authority Fund," Galusha said.
Galusha said the revenue generated from the fund is about $130,000 a year.
"Without that revenue coming in, some of the things from the prison authority will take a hit next year," Galusha said.
The prison fund also helps pay for new sheriff's department vehicles and youth programs. Galusha said the Fox was receiving about $400 a month to pay for utilities.
"The county will use the reserves from the prison to fund the Fox Theater through the end of the year. If CCA doesn't have a new contract, then we are going to have to evaluate if we can help the theater through other funds or if we are going to have to ask them to become self-sufficient," Galusha said.
The county has budgeted $7,500 this year for the theater.
The town will take another blow when Duckwalls Variety Store, 600 Main St., closes on March 15, leaving six employees without jobs.
"This was a corporate decision based on the bad economy. The store here is just not making enough money to keep the lease," said Kirk Riley, store manager.
"The lease came up, and the company decided to part ways," Riley said.
Riley, who was sent by Duckwalls' corporate officials to assist in the closure, said the store has operated in Walsenburg for 16 years.
"It has been a long struggle for Duckwalls. They tried to hang in there, but the competition was too great. My hope is that the people who will lose their jobs will be able to gain employment with one of the other dollar stores in our town," Quintana said.
"Our community is struggling to find a solution to our employment picture, even before the closure of the prison."
Quintana said in 2001, Walsenburg was hit hard when Kan Build, a modular building company, left town.
"We lost 70 jobs back in 2000-2001. Since then, a number of companies have opened their doors, only to close," Quintana said.
Galusha said the county is looking at every option to help existing businesses prosper.
"Anybody we can help, we are helping," Galusha said.
"We will be more vocal in our attempts to garner support from the powers that be, and we will prosper because our council is a good one," Quintana said.
Idaho: Senate panel endorses prison legislation (more CCA Oversight)
March 8th, 2010
Proposals could help offenders needing treatment, prisons dealing with riots
An Idaho Senate committee approved two proposals from the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) that would give IDOC more authority in dealing with placing prisoners in substance abuse treatment and quelling riots and other serious disturbances in private facilities. IDOC director Brent Reinke said the moves could save Idaho money in prisoner costs and potential lawsuits...(finish)--------------------------
Why are we anticipating an increase in the prison population? Why are we not legislating a decrease in incarcerations in AZ? Is nothing the Criminal Justice Commission doing to prevent crime working?
Or are they anticipating an increase in criminals because they have more draft legislation to present the AZ Legs that will criminalize more poor people already victimized by the recession? The privatization agenda is bad enough, giving CCA et al more weight to throw around our House and Senate. The state's investment in an unending cycle of crime (and thus victimization) - instead of preventive, treatment, and diversion - is most troubling.
According to one source, CCA is going to split up the 5,000 beds into three different locations, which are Eloy, Florence and Tucson.
CCA targets Tucson: Tucson area could get new prison
Posted - 3/8/2010 at 5:52PM
TUCSON - The Tucson area could be getting another prison and it wouldn't be run by the state.
The Department of Corrections recently put out a request for proposals on a 5,000 bed facility.
Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA, has expressed interest in it and thinks Tucson would be a good place to put it.
CCA already has multiple prisons in Arizona so it knows first hand how badly the additional beds are needed. Louise Grant, a spokesperson for CCA said Tucson would be a good fit.
She said, "It already has a number of corrections facilities so that tells us the community is accepting.
She also said Tucson has a strong work force meaning there would be no problem filling the jobs it would create. Grant said, "A 5,000 bed facility could bring more than 500 stable careers. More than just jobs they are careers."
Under the private-public agreement, the private company would build and run the prison; then basically lease the space to the state.
But even without the major costs, we asked the state how it plans to expand after the Governor already cut its budget by $35 million.
Charles Ryan the Director of the AZ Department of Corrections said, "The legislation was passed in House Bill 2010. That in of itself is a commitment from the legislature that the funding for those beds will be there in the future."
Funding, he said will be desperately needed to keep up with the anticipated increase in prison population.
CCA would not name a specific site of where it wants the prison to go. The state will continue to accept proposals for the next few months.
FLORIDA: Sheriff, CCA lobby Hernando commissioners to run county jail
By Barbara Behrendt, Times Staff Writer
Posted: Mar 09, 2010 12:39 PM
BROOKSVILLE – Promising commissioners the same level of efficiency that he has achieved in his own agency, Sheriff Richard Nugent made his pitch to take over the jail to Hernando County commissioners on Tuesday.
Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the jail now, pleaded its own case for keeping the contract, citing a 22-year history of working well with Hernando.
Company officials also urged the board to be certain it had full information before making a decision. Reversing a long-held position, the Nashville-based company offered to open its books to allow the sheriff and the county to examine operational costs, something it has refused to do before citing confidentiality concerns...(finish)---------------------
CCA: Furgie sells more stock – drop in price ahead?
Corrections Corp. of America New (CXW) Chairman John D Ferguson sells 20,000 Shares
Mar. 09, 2010
Chairman of Corrections Corp. of America New (CXW) John D Ferguson sells 20,000 shares of CXW on 03/08/2010 at an average price of $21.06 a share.
Corrections Corp. Of America New has a market cap of $2.44 billion; its shares were traded at around $21.06 with a P/E ratio of 16.4 and P/S ratio of 1.5. Corrections Corp. Of America New had an annual average earning growth of 7% over the past 5 years... (finish)
Tennessee: CCA gladiator report
Man Representing Self Says He Was Having Sex At Time Of Mapco Holdup
posted March 9, 2010
A man representing himself on aggravated robbery charges told a Criminal Court jury on Tuesday that he was having sex at the time of the early morning holdup of the Mapco on Lee Highway on June 22, 2008.
The voluble Gary Dewayne Thompson also informed the jury about a string of prior assaults, an armed robbery when he was 19, that he was a promoter at a strip club near the Mapco and that he is a drug dealer.
Thompson has had disagreements with a string of lawyers and Judge Barry Steelman directed that the most recent one, John McDougal, sit in to assist the 32-year-old defendant. But Thompson has done most of the talking.
He told the jury in detail about his experience as a "gladiator" at the County Workhouse that he said led to a $30 million civil lawsuit and a $35,000 settlement. He said he got $25,000 of the payoff.
Thompson said CCA officers would send inmates that caused them trouble to his cell to be beat up.
He said one prisoner sent to his cell was threatening to whip him and came over and kicked his bunk. He said he got up and "gave it to him. I held him up at the door of the cell until they came to get him."
Thompson, whose nickname is "Thump," said the jail combat made the CCA officers laugh. "They humored themselves over it."
He said on another occasion he could hear on the workhouse radio officers bringing him another victim.
He told the jury, "I could hear the captain asking, 'Where's Thump's cell?' Tell him I'm going to bring one to him."
Thompson said the inmate was put into the two-man cell that was already occupied by him and another prisoner. He said, "They didn't even bring him a mattress."
He said he threw the new prisoner across the cell while the officers watched. But he said after they left, he tossed the man a blanket.
Thompson said, 'I had enough of that. I called my lawyer."
He said after the suit was filed by attorney Robin Flores that some CCA officers were fired and others suspended.
Thompson also claimed that while he was at the workhouse he had sex with female guards. He said that made the male guards mad....(finish)
Florida: CCA on the defensive
Fighting for the jail
All eyes were on Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent on Tuesday as he assured commissioners his office could operate the jail more cost effectively than Corrections Corporation of America.
By MICHAEL D. BATES | Hernando Today
Published: March 10, 2010
BROOKSVILLE - Sheriff Richard Nugent said he does not have a formal plan that outlines every facet of his proposed takeover of jail operations and probably won't have it until he actually assumes control and evaluates conditions.
However, Nugent said he has every confidence in his administrative staff that his department can run operations cheaper than Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and is not flying blindly into this venture.
A CCA official begs to differ and takes exception to some of the sheriff's responses, especially when Nugent questions the validity of the company's financial statements... (finish)
CCA inmate escapes: DC inmate escapes on way to hospital
03/11/10 12:40 PM EST
WASHINGTON — D.C. police are searching for an inmate who escaped while being transported to United Medical Center for treatment.
The Corrections Corporation of America says 28-year-old Terrence Moore fled when he arrived at the southeast D.C. hospital around 9 a.m. Thursday. The company says after officers opened the vehicle doors, Moore escaped and jumped into a burgundy colored Cadillac and got away with an unknown driver.
Officials are investigating how Moore was able to remove his restraints.
The CCA runs the Correctional Treatment Facility where Moore, who is from Washington, was a pretrial inmate facing charges of assault with intent to kill. The facility is under lockdown... (finish)
Florida: Bay County to CCA: You lie
Bay County Disputes CCA Claims Over Jail
Bay County officials are disputing some facts the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has been spreading around the state regarding their old contract to operate the Bay County jail.
Posted: 8:06 PM Mar 11, 2010
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hernando County commissioners are considering dropping Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and turning their jail over to the county sheriff.
They've been consulting Bay County officials about a similar transition that took place here in the fall of 2008.
According to published reports, CCA criticized Bay County for terminating their contract, telling Hernando County officials they could have saved Bay County $3 million this year if they had still been running the facility.
But, Bay County commissioners are now reminding everyone that it was CCA that terminated the contract, claiming they couldn't abide by the financial terms of that agreement.
They also say sheriff Frank McKeithen has done a better job of running the jail, and has done it cheaper than CCA.
Bay County commissioner Mike Thomas said, "In 2009, the sheriff's budget, entire budget, with insurance, building payments, power, everything, was $1.3 million cheaper than it was in 2008 under CCA's operation."
Thomas says the county commission hasn't received nearly as many jail complaints since McKeithen took over from CCA.
(that's the update - will try to stay better on top of things. Sign up for email updates from the Private Corrections Working Group to stay current on global private prison news. - Peg)