Source: Tennessean, March 12, 2006
A group representing state employees vowed to try to kill proposed legislation to remove a layer of oversight for a private prison contractor in Tennessee. Zoyle Jones, president of the Tennessee State Employee Association, said yesterday that the bill is a step toward “widespread prison privatization” in the state. The bill advanced by a Senate committee Tuesday would eliminate a mid-contract comparison of a prison run by Corrections Corporation of America with two run by the state Department of Corrections.
Source: AIMEE GREEN, Oregonian, Thursday, March 23, 2006
….. In fall, the Clackamas County Jail convened a committee to look at the possibility of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars by contracting out its food service to a private company, like many jails and prisons across the country. But after months of study, committee members decided that contracting out for food service didn’t turn out to be all it was cracked up to be, Howard said. Private companies have much higher employee turnover, said Al Jacobs, food services coordinator for the jail. Jail officials worry that such turnover might increase the likelihood of contraband being smuggled into the jail — everything from drugs to weapons — and require more background checks for hiring staff.
Source: By Christian Bottorff, Lansing State Journal, March 19, 2006
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a former Lansing woman who died of massive head injuries in a solitary confinement jail cell has been settled. The family of Estelle Richardson sought $60 million in the federal lawsuit that accused Corrections Corp. of America, which runs the Metro Detention Facility, and four guards who struggled with her the day before she was found dead.
Source: Kelli Kennedy, Associated Press (FL), March 12, 2006
Four former inmates of the Citrus County Detention Facility filed a federal lawsuit against the private company that runs the jail, alleging two former officers put human waste in their food and drinks. The inmates were subject to cruel punishment, torture and battery in 2004, when they were forced to eat the contaminated food, claims the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Tampa. A spokesman for Tennessee-based Corrections Corp. of America said company officials took immediate action once they heard about the incident. ….. The lawsuit said correction officers Kevin Hessler and Alexander Diaz “intentionally and repeatedly fed the plaintiffs urine and fecal matter, even after the plaintiffs protested and resisted” because the food tasted and smelled bad. …. Charles Mulligan, a former supervisor employed by Corrections Corp. of America, said one of the corrections officers acknowledged putting human waste in an inmate’s drinking jug, according to transcripts of a telephone hearing with the Office of Employment Appeals in Tallahassee on Feb. 16, 2005.
Source: By Tina Moore, Philadelphia Inquirer (PA), Tue, Mar. 14, 2006
….. Six inmates have died from unnatural causes since 2001 at Delaware County’s George W. Hill Correctional Center in Thornton. Operated by the GEO Group, it is the only privately run adult jail in the state. In addition to Atkinson’s death, two prisoners committed suicide, another was killed by a fellow inmate, and the fourth died of an overdose of heroin smuggled into the jail. A fifth died in 2005 of head and neck injuries after repeatedly throwing himself against his cell door, county officials said.
Source: Associated Press (MT), Feb 28, 2006
HELENA Attorney General Mike McGrath says the state does not need to undergo privatization review, before awarding a contract for a privately run methamphetamine treatment prison. The M-E-A–M-F-T, a union representing many state employees, argued the meth facility duplicates drug treatment programs already administered by the state, and is subject to a review for privatizing those services. The Department of Corrections argued the treatment prison is a new program, was not replacing services already offered, and thus was not subject to the review.
Source: By Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News (CO), March 6, 2006
Eighteen months ago, inmates rioted at a private prison in Crowley County, setting fires, smashing everything in two cell houses and seriously damaging another three. More than 100 officers were needed to stop the violence, which injured 13. A state investigation blamed the riot on mismanagement by Corrections Corp. of America, the prison’s owner. The company had 33 guards overseeing 1,122 inmates when the riot began. The state Department of Corrections tightened its contract with CCA to require more and better trained staff. Now, the company has a major advantage in bidding for 2,250 new private prison beds that Colorado urgently needs for its soaring number of convicts.
Source: By Deirdre Cox Baker, Quad City Times (IA), Feb 22, 2006
An annual contract for food and laundry services at the Scott County Jail may switch from area firms to a national company based in Philadelphia. Scott County Sheriff Dennis Conard said Tuesday that the change to Aramark Correctional Services Inc. will provide a cost savings to the county and include several other advantages. But a county employee said the change may cost her job, and a representative of Thoms Proestler Co., Rock Island, said food costs would be less with the area firm. ….. Further, Aramark can provide food transportation to the jail annex at 46th and Tremont streets in Davenport, work that is handled now by county staff. Laundry services now managed by a Scott County correctional officer would be managed by an Aramark employee, and Conard said additional savings should come from bulk purchases made by the Aramark, which has services across North America and in Europe.
Source: By KAREN KELLER, HERALD NEWS (NJ), Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Passaic County Jail inmate prayers — and stomach rumblings — have been heard. Sheriff Jerry Speziale is firing the jail’s meal provider, Aramark, and inmates will take charge of the kitchen come May, Speziale spokesman Bill Maer said. “We can do it as well as them at this point,” he said. The company’s $1.7 million annual contract is being terminated based on poor “quality, service, attentiveness,” Maer said. Jail officials haven’t estimated how much they will save by cooking in-house, but the financial aspect is secondary, Maer said. Inmates said the food is cold, measly in portion size, not varied enough and served on dirty trays, forcing some to pay as much as $200 a month on prepackaged food from the jail’s commissary.
Source: By POLLY ROSS HUGHES, Houston Chronicle, Feb. 16, 2006, 3:03AM
AUSTIN – A civil rights lawsuit announced Wednesday blames the private corrections system for the 2004 suicide of a South Texas woman found hanging in her cell after reporting that a male inmate raped her. …… The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio, names GEO Group Inc., the nation’s second-largest private prison company, among the defendants.