Source: By J.L. MILLER, The News Journal (DE), 01/26/2006
DOVER — Lee McMillan, whose husband nearly died in prison after flesh-eating bacteria attacked his body, wants to know why the state won’t release an audit of Delaware’s prison health care system. So do some legislators, who are backing a bill that would require the state to release the audit and similar reports — as long as confidential information such as personal medical records is withheld. House Bill 320, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Wagner, R-Dover North, would make reports that are paid for with public funds open to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.
….. In defending his record, Correction Commissioner Stan Taylor pointed to the audit, prepared by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, but denied a Freedom of Information request for the report by the newspaper. Taylor and former Attorney General M. Jane Brady ruled the accreditation report was not a public document. Taylor, though, said the audit was critical of the work of First Correctional Medical, a Tucson, Ariz., company. In July, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Taylor awarded a $25.9 million no-bid contract to Correctional Medical Services of St. Louis to pick up the provision of medical care in Delaware’s prisons.
Source: Andria Simmons, Gwinnett Daily Post (GA), 01/20/2006
LAWRENCEVILLE — Gwinnett County officials have consistently stood behind the company they purchase Taser stun guns from and the county’s contracted medical provider for the jail in the face of civil lawsuits. That is, until this week. It appears Gwinnett is trying to distance itself from both companies, according to a cross claim filed this week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. The cross claim was filed against Taser International and Prison Health Services in the wrongful death lawsuit of a former county inmate, Frederick Jerome Williams. The county now says one or both of those companies — not Gwinnett — should have to pay if monetary damages are awarded in the Williams case, especially if the judge finds Williams died because of improper medical care or Tasers.
Related article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution: Medical provider may lose contract / Sheriff mulls firing firm in wake of inmate’s death
Source: J.D. Prose, Beaver County Times, (PA), 01/18/2006
BEAVER – Nearly two years after the Beaver County Commissioners first talked about privatizing the Beaver County Jail, the county prison board on Tuesday authorized them to contract with a Massachusetts company to run the Hopewell Township facility. “It’s a contract that is good for the county,” said Rick Towcimak, prison board member and county controller. “Our duty is to the taxpayers, to give them efficient government,” said Commissioners Chairman Dan Donatella, who is also the prison board chairman. Under the proposed contract with CiviGenics, the county would save a projected $5 million over the next three years. Most of the savings would come from the county no longer employing jail guards and having to pay their salaries and benefits.
Source: JONATHAN ABEL, St. Petersburg Times (FL), January 14, 2006
BROOKSVILLE – Daniel Ray Warren died in the Hernando County Jail on Nov. 2. In 21/2 months, allegations have come out that Warrem was battered and raped. On Friday, the Sheriff’s Office released its final report on Warren’s death, which found that he died of “self-inflicted hanging” and was beaten by other inmates while in jail. ….. The sheriff’s report brought up new names that were not included in earlier reports compiled by Corrections Corp. of America, the private company that operates the jail.
Source: Rob Moritz, Arkansas News Bureau, Jan 13, 2006
LITTLE ROCK – A legislative committee Thursday questioned the state Department of Correction’s use of $8 million in salary savings from open positions for other needs within the prison system. Prison officials went before lawmakers seeking permission to take the money from the agency’s regular salaries account. Prison Director Larry Norris said about $5.5 million of the money would be placed in the system’s medical assistance account. ….. Two prison units in Newport, the Grimes Unit and McPherson Unit, were managed by the Wackenhut Corrections Corp. of Coral Gables for several years, but management problems forced the state to retake control, the prison director said. “We’ve tried it and it did not work,” Norris said. “In my opinion, they can’t do it better for less.”
Source: Nashville Business Journal – 5:08 PM CST Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has notified Corrections Corp. of America that it won’t be renewing the company’s contract to house federal inmates at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona. At the end of 2005, the 1,500-bed Eloy prison housed about 500 inmates from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and 800 detainees for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The 500 inmates will be transferred to other facilities in the federal system by Feb. 28. The BOP said the decision wasn’t because of performance issues, but resulted from internal streamlining initiatives. ….. CCA operates 63 prisons, 38 of which are company owned, in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Source: Michael Erskine, Commercial Appeal (TN), January 10, 2006
A coalition opposed to private management of Shelby County’s jail and prison populations presented the Commission on Monday with a list of possible money-saving alternatives. A report by the local Coalition Against Private Prisons and the North Carolina-based Grassroots Leadership called for alternate sentencing for people convicted of misdemeanor offenses, as well as the transfer of state felons out of the Correction Center to make room for more jail inmates. …. The report comes a month after Sheriff Mark Luttrell and Mayor A C Wharton announced they would not support any proposal to privately manage the county’s jail and prison populations, halting an internal review of two privatization bids. The GEO Group and Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America had submitted proposals in hopes of landing a lucrative contract with county government to privatize the jail and Correction Center.
Source: GWEN FLORIO, Great Falls Tribune (MT), Jan 11, 2006
The weekend fight at the Crossroads Correctional in Shelby that injured two correctional guards comes after repeated complaints that the state’s only for-profit private prison is too crowded. Still, both the Legislature during its regular session last year, and the Corrections Advisory Council more recently, rejected plans to expand the prison. …… The incident is being investigated by three different offices — the state Corrections Department, the Toole County Sheriff and the private Corrections Corp. of America, which runs the prison. None is releasing names of the five officers or about a half-dozen inmates involved in the incident, which lasted a scant six minutes.
Source: By Marcia Moore, The Daily Item (PA), January 11, 2006
MIDDLEBURG — The Snyder County commissioners are closely following Beaver County’s attempt at privatizing its county jail. The commissioners contacted their counterparts in Beaver County after learning of their plan to save an estimated $1.6 million a year by hiring a private management firm to operate their prison. ….. The Snyder County Jail, which can house about 175 inmates and employs 32 full-time corrections officers and 18 part-time officers, has cost the county more than $2 million a year to operate. In the past two years, the prison board has taken steps to reduce expenses, including a recent move to no longer house federal inmates and reduce the inmate population to between 90 and 100. Beaver County officials said they anticipate saving $5 million over three years by having CiviGenics, of Massachusetts, operate their jail, which holds 400 inmates and has 70 full-time and part-time corrections officers. The union representing the jail employees [ed. note: SEIU] has been trying to negotiate an alternative way to lower costs.
Source: Associated Press (IN), January 5, 2006
NEW CASTLE, Ind. — A Florida-based company has taken over operations at an eastern Indiana state prison and plans to quickly begin adding inmates to the facility. About 20 new inmates are expected to arrive at the prison each day this week, said Craig Hanks, superintendent of the prison for GEO Group Inc. ….. GEO Group contracted with the Indiana Department of Correction to assume management of the prison for an initial term of four years with three two-year extensions.