Category Archives: Child.Care

ICE releases nearly 500 from Dilley, Karnes City detention centers over weekend

Source: Jason Buch, My San Antonio, December 6, 2016

A legal aid group representing immigrant families at two controversial detention centers in Karnes City and Dilley said the federal government released 460 women and children, about 25 percent of those being held, over the weekend. Some of the families had been in detention only a short time and have not yet had their credible fear interviews, the first step in the asylum process, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services said in an announcement about the releases. … ICE, however, said the releases “were scheduled as a part of normal operations and not in response to the court ruling.” “ICE is currently reviewing the court’s ruling on the matter of the operating license for the South Texas Family Residential Center,” spokesman Carl Rusnok said. “Operational activities continue without interruption at this time.” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sought licenses for the facilities last year after a judge in California ruled that the Karnes and Dilley centers were in violation of a court settlement governing the treatment of immigrant children. …

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Immigration detention centers will continue operating despite judge’s ruling
Source: Julian Aguilar, Texas Tribune, December 6, 2016

Two privately run immigration detention centers in Texas will continue their normal operations despite a Travis County judge’s ruling last week that prevents the state from licensing the facilities as child care centers. Late Friday, state District Judge Karin Crump ruled that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services could not issue the licenses, which are needed to comply with a federal judge’s order issued last year. The centers are in Dilley and Karnes City and are operated by Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Group, respectively. The companies are under contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to run the centers holding some of the tens of thousands of Central American women and children that have illegally crossed into Texas since 2014. The centers have been criticized by rights groups for allegedly operating more like prisons. … In an email an ICE spokesperson said the agency is reviewing the ruling but said “operational activities continue without interruption.” The Texas Attorney General’s office filed an appeal of the ruling on Monday but declined to give additional details about the case.

Texas Judge Says “No More!” to Licensing Detention Facilities as Day Care Centers
Source: Ruth McCambridge, NonProfit Quarterly, December 6, 2016

In Travis County, Texas, Judge Karin Crump has ruled that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services must end the practice of licensing immigrant detention centers run by private prison groups as childcare facilities, whether or not they meet basic standards. The Texas facilities in question are in Karnes and Dilley; together, they can hold 3400 women and children. They are run by the two mega-groups in the private prison industry, GEO Group and the Corrections Corporation of America, and for the convenience of the feds are designated “state-regulated childcare centers.” The state made the concession, apparently, to “help out” the federal government after it was successfully sued twice for the conditions in which children were being held. The latest suit was brought in California and produced a ruling that advocates hoped would prevent further large-scale detention of families.

Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit opposing the use of private prisons, brought the suit, using as counsel Jerry Wesevich, an attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA). Wesevich says there was never any intention of putting the child’s interests first in this arrangement:

The state’s executives admitted in documents and testimony that DFPS wanted to license these facilities to help the federal government, and not the children. Motive matters, and we believe it was the key to the case.

My Turn: What it’s really like inside immigration ‘baby jails’
Source: Sambo Duz, Arizona Republic, September 20, 2016

I recently spent a week at the euphemistically named South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, the largest of the Department of Homeland Security’s “baby jails.” As a volunteer attorney with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, I conducted legal orientations and worked with recently arrived mothers and children to prepare them for the first step in the very long asylum process: the credible fear interview, in which asylum seekers must demonstrate a credible fear of returning to their country and a significant possibility of establishing asylum eligibility. … In the Dilley detention center, the tables are round and the outlets are covered — the place is baby-proofed, because babies are among the detained. Several times each day, a Corrections Corporation of America guard would knock on the door of the legal consultation room and ask the mother I was meeting with whether this lost, crying toddler was hers. … Last month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that children should not be detained in unlicensed and secure detention centers and that the government’s detention policy violates the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, which governs the standards for the detention, release and treatment of minors in immigration custody. Indeed, as a recent report by Human Rights First details, detention for any amount of time exacerbates the trauma these children have already suffered. And a growing body of medical literature has found that detention can have long-lasting health and developmental consequences for children. … Last month, Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the establishment of a subcommittee to evaluate whether DHS should follow the lead of the Department of Justice and phase out the use of private prisons. This announcement comes on the heels of Immigration and Customs Enforcement soliciting proposals for 1,000 additional family detention beds in Texas. …

Largest Private Prison Company Could Lose Lucrative Family Detention Contract
Source: Roque Planas, Huffington Post, August 12, 2016

The country’s largest private prison company saw its stock price dip this month, after revealing to investors that it might lose a lucrative contract to lock up migrant families in south Texas. Corrections Corporation of America reported in an Aug. 3 earnings call that it has presented a new plan to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to reduce costs at the South Texas Family Residential Center, located an hour south of San Antonio. … Immigration authorities have been shopping around Texas for a new family detention center that might replace the Dilley facility or a similar facility in Karnes City, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Losing the contract would put a major dent in CCA’s revenues. The 2,400-bed Dilley facility generated $244.7 million for the company last year, according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in February ― more than 13 percent of the company’s total revenue. …

Licensing of Detention Centers Violates State Law, Hurts Families, Attorneys Say
Source: Alexa Garcia-Ditta, Texas Observer, May 14, 2016

Attorneys representing detained immigrant women and children argued in court Friday that Texas is violating state law and jeopardizing families by approving child care licenses for the state’s two family detention centers. Lawyers for the state and private prison companies that operate the facilities maintained that the families’ lawsuit will keep Texas from ensuring that children are fully protected. … Robert Doggett and Jerry Wesevich — Texas RioGrande Legal Aid attorneys representing the plaintiffs — argued before Travis County Judge Karin Crump that DFPS that does not have the legislative authority to issue licenses to immigrant detention centers. The state’s main motivation, they said, is keeping them open and in compliance with the 1997 Flores v. Meese agreement, which prohibits detention of children in unlicensed facilities. Last summer, a federal judge in California reaffirmed the Flores agreement and ordered that children in unlicensed centers be released. … Jay Brown, an attorney representing the Corrections Corporation of America that operates the Dilley facility, argued that the immigrant facilities do not meet the state’s definition of “secure detention center,” which the Legislature wrote before the centers began housing children. …

Judge weighs fate of South Texas family immigration detention centers
Jazmine Ulloa, American-Statesman, May 13, 2016

As long as immigrant family detention centers remain open in Texas, the state Department of Family and Protective Services should be allowed to regulate them to protect the safety and welfare of immigrant children, state lawyers argued Friday. In a Travis County hearing, lawyers with the Texas attorney general’s office sought to show the benefits of allowing the state agency to provide child care licenses to the controversial facilities in South Texas. … State District Judge Karin Crump on Friday extended a temporary restraining order against the Department of Family and Protective Services, keeping the agency from issuing a child care license to at least one of the centers. Now, she is weighing whether to issue a temporary injunction that would invalidate the new rules all together. … On the other side, immigration lawyers and three immigrant detained mothers argued that jail-like facilities are no place for children. The mothers, who were brought in from Dilley, took the stand in bright T-shirts and jeans they said had been handed to them by detention center officials. They said they escaped gang violence and terror with their children only to end up in a place where they feel incarcerated. Their children have grown depressed and have trouble sleeping at night as guards shuffle through their rooms about every 30 minutes, they said. They said they are served the same dishes over and over, and the water tastes like chlorine and makes their children sick. …
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West Virginia finds new vendor for public employee day care

Source: Associated Press, September 26, 2016

West Virginia officials have found a group to run a day care center at the Capitol complex for children of public employees. The Department of Administration says Discovery Kingdom Child Care will take over the West Virginia Public Employees Day Care Center. … Kanawha County Schools has said it will stop operating the Capitol complex day care facility after Dec. 2. The Kanawha school system has been in charge since the center’s inception in 1992. The change-over date will be determined during the transition period. The center serves children from six weeks through five years of age. …

Faculty Senate deliberates Child Care Center

Source: Katie Burkes, LSU Reveille, November 9, 2015

LSU Faculty Senate grappled with privatization of the LSU Child Care Center at its Monday meeting in the Student Union’s Capital Chamber. It ultimately tabled the discussion before an internal committee’s December deadline to produce a decision. … Hachmann reported companies the university administration is considering include Bright Horizons Family Solutions — the largest provider of employer-sponsored childcare in the U.S. — along with nationally recognized brands KinderCare and Children’s Creative Learning Centers — both part of Knowledge Universe, a private company. … However, Hachmann also acknowledged brewing fears about what privatization could mean for the CCC. Common concerns included weaker curriculum designs, rising teacher-to-student ratios, letting go of qualified teachers, less professional development opportunities and increased teacher turnover. She said parents expressed worries that “inflexible policies from a distant corporation will not account for the unique needs of the LSU community.”

USDA Announces First Private Sector Investments through U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund

Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Release No. 0218.15, July 28, 2015

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the first round of investments in rural infrastructure projects through the U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund. Through the Fund and its expanded public-private partnerships, USDA has facilitated the investment of nearly $161 million in private capital 22 critical water and community facilities projects in 14 states… Investments include 11 community facilities projects in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin, including building new nursing homes, constructing new preschool and day care facilities, constructing a new facility for a rural ambulance service that covers a 685 square mile area in South Dakota, and building or upgrading two new critical access hospitals in rural Illinois and North Carolina. In addition, the Fund invested in 11 critical water projects in California, Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas. Projects include upgrades to existing water systems and the construction of a new reservoir. At least 38 additional critical infrastructure projects are in the pipeline for investment. …

Missouri legislation would require state workers to visit some child care facilities

Source: Stacey Lindsay, Fox 14, May 27, 2014

… The two pastors run the FBC Learning Center, a not-for-profit ministry day care and preschool out of First Baptist Church in Carl Junction that accepts child care subsidy dollars from the state of Missouri. Now, a new bill will require the center to follow stricter rules, including onsighon [sic] sighting and inspections…..

EEOC Settles Disability Discrimination Suit Against Osceola Community Hospital

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Press Release, March 7, 2014

Consent Decree Provides $75,000 to Experienced Child Care Worker Refused Hire Because of Her Cerebral Palsy, Federal Agency Says

Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley, Iowa will pay $75,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The agency had alleged that Bright Beginnings of Osceola County, a day care center operated by the hospital, unlawfully failed to hire a volunteer employee into a paid position for which she was qualified because of her cerebral palsy. The woman who brought the charge of discrimination against the hospital already volunteered in the day care center and held a job driving a school bus. Still, the EEOC’s investigation revealed, the county refused to hire her into a paying job in the center out of an unfounded fear that her disability meant that she could not safely care for the children. Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Osceola Community Hospital d/b/a Bright Beginnings of Osceola County), Civil Action No. 5:12-cv-4087 on Sept. 26, 2012 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. Judge Mark Bennett entered a consent decree on February, 28, 2014, resolving the litigation. Under the terms of the decree, Osceola Community Hospital will pay $75,000 to the discrimination victim. The decree also requires the hospital to institute a policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability and to distribute the policy to all of its employees. The hospital will also have to train its employees and report regularly to the EEOC on its compliance with the ADA….
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Osceola Community Hospital
Source: Osceola Community Hospital, 2014

Osceola Community Hospital is a locally owned, private, nonprofit, health care organization located in Sibley, Iowa providing inpatient, outpatient and community health services to the citizens of Osceola County and the surrounding area.

State Education Department – Extended School Day Program

Source: State of New York, Office of the State Comptroller, 2012-0052, February 25, 2014

From the press release:
The SCO Family of Services (SCO), a provider of extended school day programs for the State Education Department (SED), submitted $194,320 in reimbursement claims for expenses that were unnecessary, not allowable or unrelated to its programs, according to an audit released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. …

SCO has two contracts worth $2.7 million to provide extended school day services for the SED. SCO provides academic, arts and music activities during non-school hours to children who attend high-poverty, low-performing schools.

The SFY 2014-15 executive budget proposes a $500,000 grant to SCO to expand its five-day-a-week School Age Child Care/Afterschool Program.

DiNapoli’s auditors, however, found that more than 30 percent of SCO’s prior reimbursements were misspent on inappropriate costs, including:

$90,348 to pay staff who worked when the program was not operating;
$29,360 for three instructors not assigned to the grant;
$11,188 for the SCO educational coordinator who did not work for the extended day program;
$3,173 for an adult aerobics class; and
$2,670 for disc jockey services. ….

Complaint: Broward denies Pre-K to diabetics

Source: Scott Travis, Sun Sentinel, November 14, 2013

Prekindergarten programs in Broward County are violating federal law by turning away children with diabetes, alleges a complaint filed Thursday with the U.S. Justice Department. The Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center said after receiving complaints, it surveyed 75 pre-K programs in the county, posing as prospective parents of diabetic children. Only 16 percent of pre-K programs agreed to make full accommodations, according to the complaint, which the law center filed on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. These accommodations include feeding children special food, checking their glucose levels and giving them insulin. … The complaint is filed against the two agencies that administer the programs in Broward County, the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County and the state Department of Education. … There are about 483 private providers participating in Broward County’s state-funded voluntary pre-K program, serving about 16,000 children. …

Army seeks to expand public-private partnerships

Source: Andy Medici, Federal Times, October 28, 2013

The Army is looking to expand privatization efforts to nearly all commercial-like services, according to Army officials. Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, the Army’s top installations official, told a conference of the Association of the United States Army that the privatization of housing and utilities has been a success and the Army is looking to expand privatization efforts further. … He noted that the Army’s privatization of housing and utilities has been a success and said a likely next step is in-home child care within local communities. He said the Army will test various business models to make sure they work financially before rolling out something across all installations. Another candidate: dining halls. The Army is looking at issuing dining cards that could be used at its installations and at local restaurants, according to Army officials. …