Monthly Archives: July 2010

Operation Streamline: Drowning Justice and Draining Dollars along the Rio Grande

Source: Tara Buentello, Sarah V. Carswell, Nicholas Hudson, Bob Libal, Grassroots Leadership, Green Paper, July 2010

From the press release:
Operation Streamline, a policy begun in 2005 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in conjunction with the Department of Justice (DOJ), mandates that nearly all undocumented immigrants apprehended near the southern border in designated areas be detained and prosecuted through the federal criminal justice system, a dramatic departure from previous practices when most immigration cases were handled exclusively within the civil immigration system. …

…Operation Streamline’s key component is that it mandates that immigrants crossing the border in designated areas be arrested, detained while awaiting trial, prosecuted with a misdemeanor or felony charge, incarcerated in the federal justice system, and finally deported….Operation Streamline has exposed undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border to unprecedented rates of incarceration; overburdened the federal criminal justice system in the districts where it has been implemented; and added enormous costs to the American taxpayer while providing a boon to the for-profit private prison industry.

State facilities for the disabled called antiquated, but some rely on them

Source: By Henri E. Cauvin, Washington Post (VA), Thursday, July 22, 2010

 

…….Across the country, states have been closing such places for years, moving people with mental disabilities into community homes and out of the institutions that defined care of the developmentally disabled for much of the 20th century.

…. Nationwide, the number of developmentally disabled people in institutions has been falling for decades as the country’s attitudes and laws have evolved. The shift culminated in a 1999 Supreme Court decision that said “confinement in an institution severely diminishes the everyday life activities of individuals.”

Although several states have closed all of their large institutions, most still operate some. The number they house has fallen to about 33,000, from 186,743 in 1970 and 84,239 in 1990, according to the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota.

Indiana: IBM welfare intake work flawed from start

Source: By KEN KUSMER, Associated Press (IN), July 21, 2010

 

 Indiana’s human services agency says it found problems with IBM Corp.’s takeover of welfare intake services early in the project and suggested delays, but yielded to the company’s wishes to expand the project.

IBM, meanwhile, claims the Family and Social Services Administration seized more than $9 million worth of its computers, servers and office furniture without paying for them after Gov. Mitch Daniels fired the technology giant last year.

L.A. Council to broach outsourcing of collections for emergency medical services

Source: Los Angeles Times (CA), July 14, 2010 | 12:33 pm

Los Angeles officials face opposition from organized labor and some City Council members over a proposal to contract out billing and collections for the fire department’s emergency medical services.

 ……. The two-part proposal includes a $10-million, six-year contract with Scan Health Inc., better known as Sansio, for the computer system. Under a separate six-year contract, the city would pay Advanced Data Processing Inc. up to 5.5% of net collections revenue to handle billing and collections.

San Jose considering privatizing its municipal water system

Source: By Paul Rogers, Mercury News (CA).  07/05/2010 10:12:19 PM PDT

Like a cash-strapped home- owner planning a garage sale to help pay the bills, San Jose city leaders are studying a plan to sell off or lease the city’s municipal water system to a private company.

The plan, although still in the early stages, could mean a windfall of $50 million or more for the city, although it almost certainly would result in higher water bills for some San Jose residents.

Corporate Con Game / How the private prison industry helped shape Arizona’s anti-immigrant law.

Source: By Beau Hodai, In These Times, June 21, 2010

…… An In These Times investigation shows that the bill’s promoters are as equally dedicated to border politics as they are to promoting the fortunes of private prison companies, like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Geo Group, which stand to reap substantial profits as more undocumented residents end up in jail.

…. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ALEC bills itself as “the nation’s largest bipartisan, individual membership association of state legislators” and as a public-private legislative partnership. As such, ALEC claims as members more than 2,000 state lawmakers (one-third of the nation’s total legislators) and more than 200 corporations and special-interest groups.

…. Looking at the numbers, it is easy to see why the private-prison industry is eager to expand into immigrant detentions. According to ICE Public Affairs Officer Gillian Brigham, in fiscal year 2009, ICE detained 383,524 individuals, with an average daily prisoner population of 32,098 spread across the nation’s 270 immigrant detention centers.

Laundry workers fight to save jobs

Sourrce: By ALFREDO ALVARADO, DC 37 Public Employee Press (NY), July/August 2010

 

For over a decade DC 37 and Local 420 have been beating back continual attempts by the city and the Health and Hospitals Corp. to privatize public hospital laundry work and close the Brooklyn Central Laundry.

The latest threat would shift the jobs to a private, out-of-state company, Angelica Textile Services of New Jersey, which has been trying to take over the laundry service for many years. HHC President Alan D. Aviles announced the plan May 11 as part of a broad restructuring and cost containment proposal aimed at ending the hospital system’s recurring budget problems. The current gap is projected at over $1 billion.

A Better Way to Balance the Budget

Source: DC 37 (NY), 2010

 

In February 2009, District Council 37 released “Massive Waste at a Time of Need,” a White Paper that demonstrated the waste in contracting out and called for replacing the outsourcing with a more accountable and reliable city workforce. Using city employees would improve service delivery, save taxpayers’ money and provide jobs in communities citywide through the civil  service system.

…..

More workers are needed to cope with the huge lines at city Food Stamp centers, but — according to the January plan for Fiscal Year 2011 — Mayor Bloomberg plans to raise contract spending by more than $250 million, from $9.2 billion annually to $9.5 billion, while cutting services, increasing the burden on taxpayers and eliminating thousands of city workers through attrition and layoffs.

City Hall’s Budgetary Exuberance May Soon Fade Away

Source: by Glenn Pasanen, Gotham Gazette (NY), Jul 2010

 

….. The CityTime computerized payroll project, significantly over budget, is “a prime example” of mismanagement, according to the comptroller. Juan Gonzales in a June 4 Daily News column pointed out that this system has already cost $700 million, 10 times its original estimated cost. It is not near completion, and the mayor is spending another $100 million on it this year

Earlier in the year the Daily News found that 230 private CityTime consultants received an average of $400,000 each this year. (City computer technicians cost an average $77,000 a year.) At a June 16 labor rally outside City Hall, Lillian Roberts, executive director of the city’s largest union, District Council 37, argued that a 15 percent reduction in city consultant contracts would save over $316 million and thus eliminate all service cuts and preserve city jobs.

Official: IBM failing to give Texas agencies basic help under contract

Source: ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News (TX) Tuesday, July 20, 2010By

Agencies that help Texans renew their automobile registration, draw unemployment benefits and apply for food stamps and Medicaid face crushing demands, even as their technology contractor can’t provide mundane services, a top state official said Monday.

 …..  Referrring to a troubled $863 million state contract with IBM, Swedberg described to a House budget panel “a major backlog of work requests” that he said haven’t been heeded by the contractor.

Many, he said, are day-to-day requests, such as adding memory to a server, restoring a file or resetting a password. It’s “frustrating … and more importantly, affects the agencies’ ability to serve citizens,” he said.