[ad] Empty ad slot (#4)!


21 Articles
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) changes name to CoreCivic (Click for larger Image)

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) changes name to CoreCivic
(Click for larger Image)

The Current Treatment of Ammon Bundy at a CoreCivic Facility

Ammon Bundy Speaks from the Prison — May 30, 2017:

The Nevada Southern Detention Center (owned by the Corrections Corporation of America — CCA):

775-751-4500 (Charlotte Collins, Warden)

CCA Corporate Headquarters:

615-263-3000 (Harley Lappin, CCA Chief Corrections Officer)

Click here to send CCA an eMail: http://www.cca.com/contact (Opens in a new tab/window)

To learn more about the Corrections Corporation of America (now called CoreCivic), click here!

Last fall, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) announced that it rebranded its corporate enterprise as CoreCivic. Under the CoreCivic brand, the company provides three distinct business offerings: CoreCivic Safety, a national leader in high quality corrections and detention management; CoreCivic Properties, a wide range of innovative, cost-saving government real estate solutions; and, CoreCivic Community, a growing network of residential reentry centers to help tackle America’s recidivism crisis

CoreCivic is a private, for-profit corporation based in Tennessee that operates private prisons, primarily in the United States.

Officers stand on the roof of and outside the gates at the CoreCivic Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez, Miss., during an inmate disturbance at the prison, May 20, 2012. (Lauren Wood/AP) (Click for larger Image)

Officers stand on the roof of and outside the gates at the CoreCivic Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez, Miss., during an inmate disturbance at the prison, May 20, 2012. (Lauren Wood/AP)
(Click for larger Image)

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for-profit companies were responsible for approximately 7 percent of state prisoners and 18 percent of federal prisoners in 2015 (the most recent numbers currently available). U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported that in 2016, private prisons held nearly three-quarters of federal immigration detainees. Private prisons also hold an unknown percentage of people held in local jails in Texas, Louisiana, and a handful of other states. While supporters of private prisons tout the idea that governments can save money through privatization, the evidence is mixed at best—in fact, private prisons may in some instances cost more than governmental ones. These private prisons have also been linked to numerous cases of violence and atrocious conditions.

Jon Schuppe of NBC News writes:

Bureau of Prisons Population Statistics as of May 5, 2017 (Click for larger image) To see current inmate population statistics, Click this link: https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/population_statistics.jsp

Bureau of Prisons Population Statistics as of May 5, 2017
(Click for larger image)
To see current inmate population statistics,
Click this link: https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/population_statistics.jsp

The Justice Department’s plan to phase out its use of private prisons– the result of declining inmate populations and concerns about safety and security– ended this week without ever really taking effect.

The reason is a new administration that has called for a crackdown on what it sees as a rise in crime.

That crackdown could lead to more arrests, which in turn could result in more people in prison. Which, presumably, is why Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded a six-month-old Obama administration directive that sought to curtail the government’s use of private prisons.

Sessions said in a Feb. 21 memo that the Obama move had “impaired” the U.S. Bureau of Prison’s “ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.”

Those “needs” are not yet clear. Asked for an explanation, a Justice Department spokesman said only that Sessions’ move “returns discretion to the professionals at BOP who are in the best position to evaluate their needs.”

The memo itself suggests that the attorney general is concerned about running out of available space in the 122 prisons the BOP runs itself — although current trends run opposite.

The number of people in federal prison has been declining since 2013, and the 189,078 currently there is the lowest in a decade. That includes 21,366 people in private prisons, just 12 percent of the total population.

Compared to the more than 2 million people estimated to be behind bars across the American justice system, the private prisons under BOP contract play a bit role in a system that contributes to one of the world’s highest incarceration rates.

Private Prisons: Here’s Why Sessions’ Memo Matters, Jon Schuppe, NBC News, February 26, 2017 http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/private-prisons-here-s-why-sessions-memo-matters-n725316

 

The Trump Disappointment

We all had high hopes for a Donald Trump Presidency, but our hopes have been quickly shattered. My take on this is that the Trump administration is seeking to increase the government’s use of private, for-profit prisons.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions holds a meeting with the heads of federal law enforcement components at the Department of Justice in Washington on Feb. 9, 2017. Susan Walsh/AP (Click for larger Image)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions holds a meeting with the heads of federal law enforcement components at the Department of Justice in Washington on Feb. 9, 2017. Susan Walsh/AP
(Click for larger Image)

Now— boom. Any sense of a predictable shift toward reform is gone. A neo-fascist commander-in-chief who aggressively declared himself to be the “law-and-order candidate” is inaugurated. His proposed chain of repressive measures by now have become frighteningly familiar fare: construct a wall along the Mexican border, set up a registry for Muslims, expand the scope for private prisons, restore stop-and-frisk policing.

The shares of private-prison providers jumped on Friday after the Justice Department signaled its support for their use by the federal government.

Last August, Sally Yates, the former deputy attorney general, directed the Bureau of Prisons to withdraw or decline contracts for private-prison operators at expiry. She said the facilities compared poorly to federally-run prisons.

The number of people in federal prison has been declining since 2013, and the 189,078 currently there is the lowest in a decade. That includes 21,366 people in private prisons, just 12 percent of the total population.

Compared to the more than 2 million people estimated to be behind bars across the American justice system, the private prisons under BOP contract play a bit role in a system that contributes to one of the world’s highest incarceration rates.

 

Follow the Money

According to public analysis from Bloomberg, the largest holder in CoreCivic is Vanguard Group Incorporated. Interestingly enough, Vanguard also holds a considerable stake in the media giants determining this country’s culture. In fact, Vanguard is the third largest holder in both Viacom and Time Warner. Vanguard is also the third largest holder in the GEO Group, whose correctional, detention and community reentry services boast 101 facilities, approximately 73,000 beds and 18,000 employees, second only to CoreCivic. GEO’s facilities are located not only in the United States but in the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.

Shares in private prison companies jumped the morning of Trump's win. Google Finance

Shares in private prison companies jumped the morning of Trump’s win. (Google Finance)
(Click for larger Image)

You may be thinking, “Well, Vanguard is only the third largest holder in those media conglomerates, which is no guarantee that they’re calling any shots.” Well, the number-one holder of both Viacom and Time Warner is a company called Blackrock. Blackrock is the second largest holder in CoreCivic.

There are many other startling overlaps in private-prison/mass-media ownership, but two underlying facts become clear very quickly: The people who own the media are the same people who own private prisons, the EXACT same people, and using one to promote the other is (or “would be,” depending on your analysis) very lucrative.

Federal and state governments are under contract with private prison operators to provide them with a guaranteed income. Essentially the governments have to pay the operators the same amount whether they have one inmate or one thousand inmates, basically to just cover the operators’ overhead. Governments also guarantee a steady flow of inmates to the private facilities, therefore legislative bodies have no incentive to reduce incarceration terms for offenders. It is wholly axiomatic that the incentive for the private operators to cut expenses to the bone is tremendous.

Former Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella (left) and Michael Conahan (right) were convicted in 2011 of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send youth offenders to for-profit detention facilities. They are pictured leaving the federal courthouse in Scranton, Pa. in February 2009. (David Kidwell/AP)

Former Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella (left) and Michael Conahan (right) were convicted in 2011 of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send youth offenders to for-profit detention facilities. They are pictured leaving the federal courthouse in Scranton, Pa. in February 2009. (David Kidwell/AP)
(Click for larger image)

 

This harkens back to the so-called “Kids for cash scandal” that occurred several years ago.

One of the biggest corruption scandals to hit America’s juvenile justice system started to unfold in 2007, when parents in a central Pennsylvania county began to complain that their children had been tossed into for-profit youth centers without a lawyer to represent them.

Over the past eight years, the kickback scheme, known as “kids for cash,” has resulted in prison terms for two Luzerne County judges and two businessmen — and convictions of thousands of juveniles have been tossed out

Here’s Wikipedia’s synopsis:

The “kids for cash” scandal unfolded in 2008 over judicial kickbacks at the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Two judges, President Judge Mark Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael Conahan, were convicted of accepting money from Robert Mericle, builder of two private, for-profit youth centers for the detention of juveniles, in return for contracting with the facilities and imposing harsh adjudications on juveniles brought before their courts to increase the number of residents in the centers.

Following Ciavarella’s conviction, he and his lawyer appeared on the steps of the courthouse to give an impromptu press conference. The press conference was interrupted by Sandy Fonzo, whose son Edward Kenzakoski committed suicide after Ciavarella adjudicated him to placement, despite Kenzakoski’s first-time offender status.

On August 11, 2011, Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison as a result of his conviction.

On September 23, 2011, Conahan was sentenced to 17 and a half years in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy.

On November 4, 2011, Powell was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to failing to report a felony and being an accessory to tax conspiracy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal (Opens in a new tab/window))

I should point out the United States is the ONLY country that has failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. And while “[t]he United States government played an active role in the drafting of the Convention and signed it on 16 February 1995, but has not ratified it. It has been claimed that American opposition to the Convention stems primarily from political and religious conservatives. For example, The Heritage Foundation sees ‘a civil society in which moral authority is exercised by religious congregations, family, and other private associations is fundamental to the American order.’ and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) argues that the CRC threatens homeschooling.” — Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_the_Rights_of_the_Child#United_States

This is the same country that jails parents or takes children away from homeschoolers. Apparently the United States government will side with homeschoolers when it serves its purpose.

In the following video, Sophie Shevardnadze of RT.com interviews former private prison employee Paul Reynolds, former corrections officer at the privately owned Lake Erie prison (now an activist against for-profit prisons):

​Private prisons bribe judges to jail more inmates – ex-prison guard speaks out, Sophie & Company, RT, June 5, 2015
https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/265165-private-prisons-taxes-corruption/

In addition to employing fewer guards, CoreCivic saves money on labor by replacing the guaranteed pensions earned by workers at state-run prisons with a cheaper– and riskier– stock-ownership plan. Employees get a chance to invest in the company, and the company gets employees devoted to the bottom line. This causes a problem. In the most simplistic terms, employees may more closely monitor the use of commodities, toilet paper, for instance, and other cost-saving measures at the expense of inmate welfare.

So who stands to benefit from President Trump’s so-called immigration crackdown? Private prison operators such as CoreCivic, of course. And the sad thing is that contracts are let for new facilities, and when the administration changes to one which is more relaxed on immigration reform. When that happens, and it will, those prisons will not stand empty. They will simply have to fill them with your fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters, one way or another.

There is (or perhaps was) a sign at the entrance to the staff training center for the Arkansas Department of Correction, lifted from the Bible verse when Noah was building the ark. Noah asked God where he would get all the animals for the ark and also better known from the movie “Field of Dreams,” that boasted: “If we build them, they will come.” How arrogant!

In the last two years, major private prison companies CoreCivic and the GEO Group have spent at least $4,350,000 on lobbying the federal government, primarily to win immigration-related contracts. What does that kind of money buy you? Some pretty lucrative contracts, apparently. In 2011, the federal government paid $1.4 billion to the two corporations, nearly a third of their total profits.

CoreCivic has also garnered success by throwing around plenty of lobbying money in the past few years to help its private-prison concept get a toehold around the country. According to The Arizona Republic:

[CoreCivic] has spent about $17.6 million lobbying Congress and federal agencies over the past decade, according to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks the effect of money on U.S. politics. The agencies include the Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, which contract with private operators such as CCA for immigration-detention centers.

In fact, a 2011 report by Grassroots Leadership and Detention Watch Network found that private prison corporations operate nearly half of all Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention beds. What’s more, private prison corporations are benefiting greatly from the criminalization of migration through programs like Operation Streamline.

Once private prisons have buttered up politicians, they get everything from lucrative state contracts to new, harsher laws that lock up more people, for lesser crimes, with longer minimum sentences. Nearly every private prison deal includes a “bed mandate” that requires the state to fill 90-100% of the beds in privately-owned detention facilities. That means taxpayers are mandated to either lock up more people or pay the private prison companies for empty beds. You, the taxpayer, are paying for that.

Really think about that for a second. These companies are buying political influence to actually change criminal law— Not because it improves public safety, but because their entire profit model depends on it. This may sound like the stuff of conspiracy theories, but CoreCivic (then called CCA) openly admitted as much in its own 2014 annual report:

Corrections Corporation of America 2014 Annual Report

Corrections Corporation of America 2014 Annual Report
(Click for larger image)

It’s no surprise– or secret– that immigration reform which reduces detentions and deportations would be a threat to private prison corporations’ business. Business Insider reported on February 2nd that in 2011, GEO Group CEO George Zoley told investors:

“At the federal level, initiatives related to border enforcement and immigration detention with an emphasis on criminal alien populations as well as the consolidation of existing detainee populations have continued to create demand for larger-scale, cost efficient facilities.”

That same year, CoreCivic stated in its annual earnings report that immigration reform

“could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.”

In June 2016, Mother Jones Journal sent reporter Shane Bauer to write an undercover story about life as a prison guard in a CCA/CoreCivic prison. The article is really revealing. CoreCivic actually partners with gangs in its facilities to help maintain order, not unlike ISIS and the United States, apparently! The full article can be read here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/cca-private-prisons-corrections-corporation-inmates-investigation-bauer (Opens in a new tab/window).

CoreCivic private prison facilities Map as of August 2016

CoreCivic private prison facilities Map as of August 2016
(Click for larger image)

The Peter Principle

I was a prison accreditation inspector for a brief period, so I had an intimate look at some of CoreCivic’s facilities. Visitors to a CoreCivic prison are greeted with an electronic billboard touting CoreCivic’s current stock price, a constant reminder that the facility is, after all, a for-profit business. My view is that CoreCivic’s corporate hierarchy treats its employees poorly. They are not paid as well as public sector prison employees; one of the many ways in which CoreCivic curtails expenses for the sake of profit. This poor treatment of its own lower-rung employees “trickles down” to the inmates. Unless things have changed in the last 15 years, CoreCivic as a matter of course places three inmates in cells designed forr only two, the third person sleeps on the floor in a plastic podlike bed. In facilities which are contracted with the federal government,these temporary beds are removed and the surplus inmates are “dieseled” (bussed) to other facilities when the inspectors from the United States Marshal Service and/or Immigration and Naturalization Service visit. Once the inspectors leave, the inmates are returned. There are no “surprise” inspections at CoreCivic facilities. Its written in their contract, of course. Certainly the inspectors know this; they are not stupid. They simply don’t report what they don’t see.

I have long been of the opinion that any prison system exemplifies what has come to be known as the Peter Principle. Excuse me, but my MBA is hanging out. In case you’re wondering just what the Peter Principle is, here’s what Wikipedia says:

The Peter principle is a concept in management theory formulated by Laurence J. Peter and published in 1969. It states that the selection o

f a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and “managers rise to the level of their incompetence”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle (opens in a new window/tab)

Basically, the Peter Principle claims that in any hierarchy, you rise to your level of incompetence. In other words, you are promoted for merit until such time as you no longer excel at your function.

A prison employee structure is no different, for the most part, with one notable exception: Because of their intrinsic nature, prisons are, without exceptions, places of stress. Management dumps on the employees and the employees dump on the inmates. Normal, mentally healthy employees do not last long; the turnover rate of entry-level prison employees is astounding. Those employees who remain, generally fall into one of two categories, the first being a desperate economic situation (they cannot get a job anywhere else), or secondly, because that they have mental health issues and actually dote on the power and authority that they are allowed to exercise on inmates.

So based on the precepts of the Peter Principle, the very employees who should NOT be in management positions are continually promoted until they rise to their incompetence.

And the cycle repeats ad infinitum.

In a private, for-profit correctional environment, the Peter Principle is magnified for the simple basic reasoning that the facility is under constant pressure to produce a profit. Facility management is promoted not for how comfortable the inmates are, but for how low their bed-day costs are. The stock price sign at their entrances is testimony to that.

Not being one to criticize without offering solutions, I I submit that the ONLY way that private, for profit prisons and detention centers can operate would be a formula similar to that which the Bell System telephone monopoly operated for decades: A profit cap must be imposed. A little history. The Bell System’s local operating companies operated under a price cap for many years. They were limited by their respective state utility regulators at approximately 12 to 15% of gross revenue. The parent company, AT&T, made a profit by selling long distance (called “Long LInes”) and equipment (Western Electric) to the local companies.

Recognizing that private, for-profit prison operators need to make a profit on their investment, they could similarly be restricted to a certain percentage of profit, not on a per-facility; per-contract basis, but on a per-bed-day basis, based on whatever equitable amount could be negotiated. This will, of course, never happen so long as political influence can be purchased. It is regrettable that not enough citizenry is concerned with issue to begin ballot referendum.

Maybe they will when they start locking us up in CoreCivic FEMA Detention Facilities.

 CoreCivic FEMA South Texas Dissident Family Detention Facility

CoreCivic FEMA South Texas Dissident Family Detention Facility
(Click for larger image)


Lank to thishere Artikul: 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *