Last month at AALL’s Annual Conference in Austin, TX, HBR Consulting Managing Director Donna Terjesen and I participated in a panel discussion, Outsourcing Library Services, moderated by Cornell Winston, Law Librarian and Records Center Supervisor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We were expected to discuss our perspectives on outsourcing library services and were prepared to answer some tough questions from an audience of law librarians. My fellow panelists and I are grateful to AALL for providing a session to have a candid discussion about a topic that has often been the cause of much anxiety. I would like to share some of the thoughts expressed in our library outsourcing session, and also include opinions/comments that are often we hear. …
Source: WFHB, March 20, 2017
The Indiana Department of Corrections has discontinued its contract with Corizon Health, the private corporation that handles most of the state’s inmate healthcare. Corizon announced last week that it would be laying off about 700 employees in 22 locations around the state. The contract, which is worth $100 million a year, is being taken up by Pittsburg-based Wexford Health Sources. A representative from Corizon said in a letter to the state that Wexford may end up hiring many of Corizon’s former employees, though there’s no guarantee that will happen. The loss of the corrections contract is the most recent in a string of contract losses for Corizon. … An investigation by the South Bend Tribune last year revealed hundreds of inmate complaints and dozens of lawsuits against Corizon in Indiana. One severely disabled patient died after just 37 days in a state prison under the care of Corizon employees. Another died in an ambulance during a two-hour drive to a hospital, despite a much closer hospital being available. Wexford Health Sources’ record isn’t spotless, either. Wexford paid out $3.1 million to settle five years of complaints in Illinois, including delayed treatment and low-quality care.
Prisoner Death Shines Light on Private Health Contractors
Source: The Takeaway, WNYC, March 7, 2017
Nicholas Glisson died on October 10, 2010 in Indiana State Prison. … Glisson had complicated medical needs as a result of laryngeal cancer, and was under the care of Corizon Health, a private company providing medical care to prisoners in Indiana’s Department of Corrections. His mother, Alma Glisson, says he knew how to take care of himself. Alma blames Corizon for his death. What happened to Nicholas Glisson and what it means for private prison contractors if a jury rules in his favor is the subject of this week’s Case In Point story from The Marshall Project.
Prison health-care companies eye Indiana contract
Source: Virginia Black, South Bend Tribune, October 13, 2016
Some of the country’s biggest players in the increasingly privatized business of providing medical care to inmates have expressed interest in Indiana’s expiring contract with Corizon Health. Corizon, widely cited as the largest, has faced an onslaught of negative publicity in recent years, with a growing number of lawsuits and contracts ended in other states. Corizon and its role with Indiana’s Department of Correction was the subject of a Tribune series in June called “Profits over Prisoners?” Corizon’s three-year contract, worth nearly $300 million expires at the end of the year. Bids are due Nov. 9. Several competitors attended a conference last month for possible bidders. Among them were:
• Wexford Health, based in Pittsburgh and close on Corizon’s heels in the number of contracts it holds, has itself been the subject of controversy in delivering medical care in prisons, including in neighboring state Illinois.
• Centurion, based in Vienna, Va., whose contracts include facilities in Florida, Minnesota, Vermont, Mississippi and Tennessee.
• Correct Care Solutions, based in Tennessee as is Corizon, says on its website it operates in 38 states and in Australia. It also provides health care to Indiana inmates in some county jails, such as in Elkhart, Porter and Marion counties. …
Source: Majority Report, March 2, 2017
Rebecca Kolins Givan, an Associate Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers University, explains the thinking behind the push for privatization. Privatizing profit and socializing risk. Finance and making money off of public health services. The Post Office and rural mail delivery. How workers can organize in the face of cost cutting and privatization and the possibility for organizing in spite of the assault on the public sector and the distinct types of union organizing.
“The Long and Winding Road to Smart City P3s” is a program from Scranton Gillette Communications and Meeting of the Minds that explores the position of Public Private Partnerships for Transportation (P3s) in the modern infrastructure portfolio. This first panel presents the case of a successful P3 transportation project and the work that was needed to reap the economic and sustainability benefits. Panelists on this podcast include Mary Scott Nabers, President and CEO of Strategic Partners, Inc.; Marshall Macomber, President of ThinkP3; John Parkinson, Execuitve Director of AIAI; and Jennifer Aument, Group General Manager of North America Transurban.
In this episode, Chris Mitchell, the director of our Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews David Morris, a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the director of the Public Good initiative. The two discuss the climate surrounding privatization in our economy and how the incoming Trump administration will bolster these efforts nationwide. Morris delves deep into the history of public infrastructure including explanations of how our language around the subject has changed over the years, privatization in other countries, and hope for the future.
[Ed. Note: A full transcript of the audio is also available from the source.]
Source: Criminal, January 6, 2017
Walnut Grove was such a violent prison that one Federal Judge called it “a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts.” Today, we have the story of an especially troubled youth prison, the for-profit corporations that managed it, and the small town that relied on it.
As prison closes, Mississippi still reckons with debt
Source: Jeff Amy, Clarion Ledger, September 25, 2016
If you’ve got to keep paying for something, you might as well use it. That, more than anything, might be the logic behind the announcement from Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher last week that the state prison system intends to seek new uses for the recently closed Walnut Grove Correctional Facility. Fisher said last week saying the department is considering using the 1,500-bed facility as an alternative to prison, as a facility to house prisoners after parole violations, or to help prisoners prepare to re-enter society. … Grace Simmons Fisher, a department spokeswoman who is not related Marshall Fisher, said the department owes almost $194 million overall on Walnut Grove and three other private prisons — East Mississippi Correctional Facility near Meridian, Marshall County Correctional Facility and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. She couldn’t break down exactly how much the state owes for each. But it’s clear from bond documents the debt is largest at Walnut Grove — as much as $91 million. That’s in part because the prison is the newest, having opened in 2001. Walnut Grove and East Mississippi were also more expensive because each has 1,500 beds, while the two older prisons have 1,000 apiece. … Overall, the state is scheduled to be paying $21.8 million a year on the prisons’ debt until 2027. That comes out of money that lawmakers appropriate to the Corrections Department for private prisons — $74.6 million this year. …
Privately Run Mississippi Prison, Called a Scene of Horror, Is Shut Down
Source: Timothy Williams, New York Times, September 15, 2016
A privately operated Mississippi prison that a federal judge once concluded was effectively run by gangs in collusion with corrupt prison guards, closed Thursday, its prisoners transferred to other state facilities, officials said. Conditions at the prison, the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility, were deemed so substandard by Judge Carlton Reeves of Federal District Court, that he wrote in a 2012 settlement order that it “paints a picture of such horror as should be unrealized anywhere in the civilized world.” The move to shutter Walnut Grove, in Leake County, comes one month after the Justice Department announced that it would phase out its use of private prisons to house federal inmates after concluding that such facilities are more dangerous and less effective than prisons run by the government. But the Obama administration decision does not affect states, which have increasingly come to rely on private firms to manage prison populations, including Mississippi. … The Mississippi Department of Corrections said in June that it had decided to shutter Walnut Grove not because of the often-unrestrained violence at the facility, but for budget cuts. Grace Simmons Fisher, a corrections department spokeswoman, declined to comment on Thursday. Issa Arnita, a spokesman for the private prison contractor, said on Thursday in a statement that Management and Training Corporation had “made tremendous improvements to overall operations” at Walnut Grove since it took over management in 2012. But the 1,260-bed facility had been operating since 2012 under a federal consent decree for violating prisoners’ constitutional rights, and in 2014, Walnut Grove was the scene of two major riots. Last year, Judge Reeves extended federal oversight of the prison because of continuing constitutional violations. …
Mississippi closing private prison with history of abuse
Source: Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press, September 14, 2016
A Mississippi private prison with a history of inmate abuse is preparing to shut down, three months after state officials announced their intention to close it because of a tight state budget. Thursday is the final day of operations at the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility, Mississippi Department of Corrections spokeswoman Grace Simmons Fisher said. About 900 inmates have been moved to state-run prisons in the past several weeks, and only a few remained in the Walnut Grove prison late Wednesday. Fisher said they would be moved by Thursday. … Utah-based Management and Training Corp. took over management of the prison in 2012 from Florida-based GEO Group Mississippi has been paying MTC $14.6 million a year to run the Walnut Grove prison, which has been one of the largest employers in a town of about 500 residents. The prison had 215 employees in June and was down to 175 about two weeks ago, MTC spokesman Issa Arnita said Wednesday. …
Walnut Grove: Prison loss ‘devastating’
Source: Mollie Bryant, Clarion Ledger, July 9, 2016
Uncertainty hangs in the air of Walnut Grove, a community bracing itself for the loss of its largest employer this fall. The state’s decision to close the privately run Walnut Grove prison, which under federal oversight since 2012 for its conditions, will leave the tiny town facing a precipitous drop in revenue as many residents look for work. … Citing budget cuts and a declining number of inmates, the Mississippi Department of Corrections announced it would close the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility in September and transfer its 900 inmates to state-run prisons. The closure will mean about 200 fewer jobs in a town with a population that hovers around 500, and loss of revenue that will lead to furloughs and pay cuts for city employees. … The revenue loss will force the town’s 12 employees to begin a furlough once a week and police to take a $2-per-hour pay cut. … The state pays Management and Training Corp. $14.6 million per year to operate the prison, which is one of four facilities the company runs in Mississippi. While building the private prisons, the state racked up $195 million in debt. The Walnut Grove prison was presented to the community as an opportunity for jobs after the departure of several manufacturing plants. A shirt manufacturing and a glove maker closed several years ago and moved their operations overseas. It was touted as “recession proof.” The city annexed the land where the prison was built in 1999 and later expanded.
Mississippi to close privately-run prison as inmates dwindle
Source: Jeff Amy, Associated Press, June 10, 2016
Mississippi officials plan to close a privately-run prison in Leake County in September, another sign of Mississippi’s falling prison population after lawmakers cut prison sentences. The Mississippi Department of Corrections announced Friday that it would close the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility, which is run by Utah-based Management and Training Corp. Commissioner Marshall Fisher said he made the decision because of lower-than-requested state funding in the budget year beginning July 1, as well as the decreasing number of inmates. … Fisher said MTC’s 215 employees at Walnut Grove could apply for jobs at other state prisons. However, the move could be a financial disaster for the 1,900 resident-town in Leake County, Mayor Brian Gomillion said. … The state pays MTC $14.6 million a year to run Walnut Grove. …
Judge Allows Class-Action Suit Over Mississippi Prison Conditions
Source: Timothy Williams, New York Times, October 1, 2015
Inmates at a privately run Mississippi prison where, they say, guards arranged for prisoners to attack one another, ignored fires set by inmates to signal distress, and allowed prisoners to trade whiskey and cellphones will be permitted to file a class-action lawsuit against the facility, a federal court judge ruled this week. The judge, William H. Barbour Jr., granted the request by inmates at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian on Tuesday in their lawsuit against the Mississippi Department of Corrections. … The company that operates the prison, the Management & Training Corporation, based in Utah, also runs another Mississippi prison, the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility, which is under federal court oversight for conditions including severe and systematic violence against inmates. … At the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, about 70 percent of the 1,200 inmates have some form of mental illness, advocates say. Inmates there say that they are punished for seeking medical care, that toilets often do not work and frequently overflow, and that some inmates live in near-total darkness because light bulbs are not replaced.
Mississippi prisons prove dangerous to staff, inmates
Source: Jerry Mitchell, Clarion-Ledger, October 5, 2014
Mississippi taxpayers spend more to keep people in prison than on economic development, disaster relief, drug enforcement, hospitals, hospital schools and the state’s entire judicial system combined. So what exactly are taxpayers getting for $389 million in taxes? A system where gangs rule, where corruption festers and where at least one private prison has been called “barbaric.” …. Three different private contractors have operated East Mississippi Correctional Facility since it opened in 1999. The current operator is Utah-based Management & Training Corp., which was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Seeing Squalor and Unconcern in a Mississippi Jail
Source: Erica Goode, New York Times, June 7, 2014
Open fires sometimes burn unheeded in the solitary-confinement units of the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, a privately run state prison in Meridian, 90 miles east of here. Inmates spend months in near-total darkness. Illnesses go untreated. Dirt, feces and, occasionally, blood are caked on the walls of cells. For years, the prison, the state’s primary facility for inmates with mental illnesses, has been plagued by problems. When a previous private operator, the GEO Group, left in 2012 after complaints to the state about squalor and lack of medical treatment, hopes rose that conditions would improve. But two years later, advocates for inmates assert that little has changed under the current operator, Management and Training Corporation, a Utah-based company. Civil rights lawyers and medical and mental health experts who toured the facility recently painted a picture of an institution where violence is frequent, medical treatment substandard or absent, and corruption common among corrections officers, who receive low wages and minimal training…..
Source: EMS1.com, January 8, 2014
In this week’s Inside EMS Podcast, hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson wonder if EMS is safe from outsourcing after news about AMR closing billing operations in California and hiring overseas contractors in India and the Philippines. “I guess EMS now is not safe from the outsourcing bug,” Cebollero said. …. Cebollero said it also opens the door for other large ambulance companies to follow suit if AMR is successful.
Michael Deane, Executive Director of the National Association of Water Companies, provides some guidance of how and when to consider a public-private partnership for your community.