Tag Archives: Kentucky

Researchers to study University of Kentucky’s use of locally-produced food

Source: Linda B. Blackford, Lexington Herald-Leader, October 19, 2015

University of Kentucky researchers will study UK’s local food purchases more carefully in order to increase how much is bought from Kentucky farms. … In August, UK revealed that half of the local food purchases made by its dining partner, Aramark, were for soda and ice. … In the local column, Aramark reported spending $1 million for Coca-Cola beverages, $45,000 for ice from Home City Ice, $39,000 for Pepsi products and $5,000 for drinks from Ale-8-One, which in based in Winchester. UK officials said they had always considered soda to be local because Coke and Pepsi have bottling plants in Lexington.


UK Student Group Remains Opposed To Privatized Dining Plan
Source: Alan Lytle, WUKY, May 12, 2014

Members of a UK student group say they remain opposed to the university’s decision to privatize on-campus dining services. Brock Meade, a spokesman with UK Students United Against Sweatshops, says it would be a mistake for school administrators to sign a contract with Aramark Corporation. “Aramark has a really poor track record of operation in prisons and schools and we think that here at the University of Kentucky we operate our dining services best and we don’t see why we can’t pursue other financial alternatives to keep dining services in house and public,” Meade told WUKY…..

UK to Begin Dining Contract Talks With Aramark
Source: Food Management, May 12, 2014

Announcement follows more than a year of assessments on campus dining service options. University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has announced that dining service contract negotiations with Aramark would begin immediately, with the goal of executing a contract this summer. …
Continue reading

Inmate articulates concerns about conditions at Michigan Prison

Source: Elizabeth Hewitt, vtdigger.com, August 2, 2015

One month after Vermont inmates arrived at a privately run prison facility in northern Michigan, an inmate is voicing concerns about the conditions there. … The state recently terminated a contract with the Corrections Corporation of America, and began using a new for-profit prison company, the GEO Group Inc., based in Michigan. Last month, 280 Vermont prisoners were transferred by air from two facilities in Kentucky and Arizona to a single correctional facility in Baldwin, Michigan. … Bryer writes that there was no process for sick calls when inmates first arrived, and that medical services are not available at all on weekends and holidays. There are no windows in the building, and inmates get one hour of outdoor recreation a day, Bryer says. Some items in the commissary cost double what they did at the CCA facility in Kentucky, according to Bryer, and he says there are no curtains for the showers….


Editorial: Profiting from prisons
Source: Toledo Blade, June 11, 2015

Nobody doubts that Michigan needs more jobs. But setting up a privatized penal colony for some of the nation’s most dangerous inmates is not the way to treat them. In a fit of bad judgment, Michigan lawmakers narrowly passed a bill last month that would allow GEO, a multinational private correctional services provider, to bring some of the most dangerous offenders from Vermont and Washington state and house them in the former “punk prison” in Baldwin. The prison is in northern Michigan’s rural Lake County, one of the state’s poorest. … Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder reportedly has not yet decided whether to sign this bill. He should instead strike a blow for common sense and decency and veto it, without further delay.

Second private sector prison company, with a bad track record, vying for a piece of Michigan
Source: Tim Skubick, MLive.com, May 20, 2015

…. Enter the GEO Group, a private prison company which operates some 85,000 beds around the country and it wants to add Michigan to its roster. A bill would hire the Florida firm to reopen the moth-balled so-called Punk Prison in Baldwin. …. What appeared to be a fast track effort has been slowed down to a crawl in the Senate, where some have raised concerns about the possible “warehousing” of inmates and whether they are given rehab services. That from Sen. Patrick Colebeck, R-Plymouth. GEO is no stranger to Michigan as it ran the original punk prison and various state agencies concluded it was more expensive than many of the other facilities and by closing it, the state would save over $7 million. The company complained the auditor general’s report was “skewed.” It was finally shuttered but GEO is back for another bite of the prison apple which some folks feel is poisoned. ….

Vermont DOC Moving Out-of-State Inmates to Michigan
Source: Steph Machado, My Champlain Valley, May 19, 2015

Vermont will be moving 318 prisoners from Kentucky and Arizona to Michigan. The Department of Corrections announced a new contract with the company GEO, which owns the North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, Michigan. The inmates are currently in facilities owned by CCA, whose contract with Vermont is expiring. …. The state will be paying GEO less than it paid CCA–about $600,000 less annually, at the current out-of-state population of 318. ….

Bill to open private prison clears state House
Source: Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, May 7, 2015

GEO Group officials say allowing the company to house prisoners from other states with the highest security levels would give them the flexibility they need to make the prison economically viable. …. A bill that’s expected to allow Michigan’s former “punk prison” to open as a privately run adult facility housing prisoners from other states passed the state House in a narrow vote Thursday. House Bill 4467 was approved 57-53, and now moves on to the Senate. The bill removes a restriction that prevents the Florida-based GEO Group, which wants to reopen and operate the former private youth prison near Baldwin, from accepting prisoners with the highest security levels — those above Level 4. …. As proposed, the bill would also allow GEO to take inmates from Michigan prisons, but the company says that’s not part of its plans. A Michigan Department of Corrections official said that the state has no interest in sending Michigan inmates to the private prison. ….

Michigan House votes to let private prison house high-security inmates from other states
Source: Jonathan Oosting, Mlive.com, May 7, 2015

The Michigan House on Thursday narrowly approved legislation aimed to help one of the country’s largest private prison companies bring out-of-state inmates to its shuttered facility in Baldwin. House Bill 4467, approved in a 57-53 vote, would allow The GEO Group Inc. to house Level V high-security inmates at the now-empty North Lake Correctional Facility…. State Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, spoke out against the bill, calling it “a form of backdoor privatization of state prisons” because it would also allow the state to house Level V inmates there, if it chooses to at a later date. Singh also said that GEO Group has “a spotty track record across the country, but also here in the state of Michigan.” He pointed to a 2005 Michigan audit, fines for understaffing in New Mexico, a prisoner escape in Arizona, and a scathing Justice Department report about a Mississippi youth prison that GEO Group took over in late 2010. ….

Bill would allow private prison near Baldwin to re-open
Source: Paul Egan, Lansing State Journal, April 23, 2015

The former “punk prison” near Baldwin would re-open as a private prison housing adult inmates from other states, bringing about 150 jobs to one of the most economically depressed areas of the state, under a bill taken up Thursday by a House committee. As proposed, the bill would also allow the prison, operated by the Florida-baed GEO Group, to take inmates from Michigan prisons, but the company says that’s not part of its plans and a Michigan Department of Corrections official said the state has no interest in sending Michigan inmates to the private prison, which has been closed for about four years. House Bill 4467 would remove a restriction that prevents GEO from accepting prisoners with the highest security levels — those above Level 4. GEO officials say allowing the company to also bring Level 5 and Level 6 prisoners from other states would give them the flexibility they need to make the prison economically viable…. The prison near Baldwin opened as a private youth prison in 1998 under former Gov. John Engler, a Republican. Ot closed in 2005, under former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, amid reports it was too costly to run and neglected the health and educational needs of its young inmates. Later, under the GEO Group, it briefly housed inmates from California, with the restrictions in place on the security levels of the inmates, but closed in 2011….

Federal Beds To Keep More Vermont Prisoners In Kentucky
Source: Laura Krantz, VT Digger, January 19, 2015

A deal in the works to house more federal inmates in Vermont prisons will hamper the state’s effort to reduce the number of local prisoners incarcerated in Kentucky and Arizona, the corrections commissioner said Monday. Vermont contracts with the U.S. Marshals Service to house up to 40 federal prisoners in Vermont prisons. The feds pay the state $129 per prisoner per day. … The deal will be good for the state’s pocketbook, but bad for the DOC’s goal of reducing the number of prisoners it houses with private prison contractor Corrections Corporation of America.

Advocates renew push to keep inmates in VT
Source: Terri Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff, August 17, 2014

…. A group of advocates is making a push to halt the long trips, the separation of inmates from family and the use of a for-profit company to house prisoners. About 25 people gathered in Burlington on a recent evening to strategize how to keep Vermont from renewing the out-of-state prison contract with Corrections Corporation of America when it comes due next year. … The group plans to launch a drive Sept. 22 titled “Locked Up & Shipped Away” and hopes to collect petitions from the Vermonters urging public officials to stop sending Vermont inmates out of state, Wizowaty said. Group members also plan to organize efforts to ask political candidates for their support at candidate forums through the fall. The group plans to hold organizational meetings in the coming weeks in Burlington, Montpelier and Brattleboro. … Wizowaty wants to halt or shorten the state’s next contract for out-of-state prison beds. Time and simple short-term math are working against her, but the state is looking for new options with a new contract. … Richard Byrne, the state Corrections Department’s out-of-state unit supervisor, said he is in the process of sending notices to states, counties and private prison operators that might have space. The state likely will put out a formal request for proposals in September to replace the existing four-year CCA contract, which expires June 30. … As of last week, because the state’s own prison were full, Vermont had 482 inmates serving time in two out-of-state prisons run by Corrections Corporation of America: 444 in Beattyville, Ky., and 38 in Florence, Ariz.

Candidates for governor propose privatizing parks

Source: Associated Press, July 28, 2015

Kentucky’s two major nominees for governor said Tuesday the state should consider privatizing at least some of its public park system as a way to save money to deal with upcoming budget issues. …”We are not our best advocate for becoming the tourist destination we could be,” Republican nominee Matt Bevin said at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting in Louisville. “You know how many people drive through here on the way to somewhere else who don’t stop here? Too many. Frankly, our state parks are a little sad, some of them. That’s an area where frankly I think privatization could go a long way toward enhancing them, making them more of a destination that people would want to return to.” Kentucky has 49 state parks and spends about $83 million a year maintaining them, according to the most recently approved budget. They include resorts with restaurants and hotels and recreational parks with camp sites and picnic shelters.

University of Kentucky Trustees Approve Fifth Phase of EdR’s On-Campus Housing Expansion

Source: Student Housing Business, July 9, 2015

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has approved the next phase of the university’s on-campus housing revitalization that will bring the total number of beds delivered or currently under development to 6,504…The largest on-campus housing development in American public higher education to date, the University of Kentucky’s revitalization began in late 2011 when the UK Board of Trustees saw an opportunity for investment in student success by enhancing the undergraduate experience with new living-learning communities.


University of Kentucky set to approve $74 million dorm project for upperclassmen
Source: Linda Blackford, Lexington Herald-Leader, June 9, 2015

University of Kentucky trustees are set to approve the fifth phase of new, privately funded student housing on campus, this time for upperclassmen and graduate students…The project will be funded and built by EdR, a Memphis-based campus housing company that is responsible for $422.3 million in construction aimed at replacing and updating UK’s aging housing stock…The terms between EdR and UK for University Flats are the same as those for the other 12 residence halls that have been built or are under construction by EdR. The company will have a 75-year lease and collect rent, paying back some of it to UK after meeting profit thresholds. For example, EdR receives a 2 percent management fee for operating the buildings. After EdR receives a 9 percent rate of return from rents, UK receives 25 percent of the net income…But because UK owns the building, EdR does not have to pay property taxes under a special agreement set up by the state revenue department.

Campus seeks to fund new dorms through public-private partnerships
Source: Jacob Blair, Eastern Progress, April 29, 2015

Eastern is taking campus housing projects in a new direction by seeking a private developer to construct new space for 1,100 residents and renovate existing residence halls. Barry Poynter, vice president for finance and administration, said the university was authorized $75 million during the state’s budget session in 2014 to pursue public-private partnership (P3) lease agreements. As state lawmakers increasingly cut funding to state universities, schools like Eastern have begun looking for creative ways to fund much-needed construction projects, such as new residence halls. One option growing in popularity is public-private partnerships–meaning a private developer takes on the risk to build and manage a facility and the university pays to use it. The Grand Campus apartments are an example of this arrangement. ….The University of Kentucky is spending almost $345 million to fund the construction of 12 residence halls by 2016, according to leasing summaries between the university and Education Realty Trust (EdR), a private housing developer for colleges and universities. The project will result in room to accommodate 9,000 undergraduate students in Lexington. The lease summaries list the cost of the new buildings at approximately $345 million, though EdR’s website said the agreement is a $500 million deal. The lease agreements call for EdR to construct the buildings, finance the building to develop and manage the buildings. The University of Kentucky pays EdR a management fee each year, but the university receives a percentage of the gross revenue. The university could receive a quarter of the net income if EdR performs well financially that year….

KY DOC contracts/MOUs re: Otter Creek Correctional Center

Source: Beryl Lipton, MuckRock, April 10, 2015

Beryl Lipton made this request to Finance and Administration Cabinet of Kentucky.

Pursuant to Kentucky Open Records Act , I hereby request the following records:
All contracts (and their amendments) and memorandums of understanding entered into by the Kentucky Department of Corrections for services and activities related to the Otter Creek Correctional Center (https://www.cca.com/facilities/otter-creek-correctional-center)

Private Prison Closure Worries Rural Kentucky Town
Source: Associated Press, April 25, 2012

After a sex scandal at a privately run prison in rural Kentucky, the state cut off the institution’s funding and now it’s shutting down — and that worries town officials in an impoverished Appalachian community where incarceration meant jobs and economic survival….The prison, run by Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America, is set to close by this summer as Kentucky pulls its inmates out of the facility that was at the center of a sex scandal. It broke in 2009 when inmates accused prison staff of forcing them to trade sexual favors for privileges….Kentucky paid CCA $21 million in fiscal 2010 to operate Otter Creek, along with the Marion Adjustment Center, which has roughly 800 Kentucky inmates and Lee Adjustment Center, which no longer houses Kentucky inmates.

Prison closing leaving more than 170 jobless
Source: WYMT TV, April 13, 2012

ICE contracts/MOUs re: California City Correctional Center

Source: Beryl Lipton, MuckRock, April 20, 2015

Beryl Lipton made this request to Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States of America.

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
All contracts (and their amendments) and memorandums of understanding entered into by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for services and activities related to the California City Correctional Center (https://www.cca.com/facilities/california-city-correctional-center)….

Prison Company Pays $8 Million in Back Wages
Source: Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press, August 20, 2014

The nation’s largest private prison company, Corrections Corp. of America, has paid more than $8 million in back wages and benefits to current and former employees guarding federal inmates at a prison in California City, officials with the U.S. Department of Labor said Tuesday. The payments came after an investigation found that the federal prison subcontractor underpaid 362 employees at the California City Correctional Center under the terms of its contract, where pay rates are established by law, according to federal officials. … Corrections Corp. of America — the fifth-largest prison system in the nation — has come under scrutiny before. In Kentucky, it paid $260,000 last week to settle claims that it denied overtime to shift supervisors and forced them to work extra hours. In Kansas, CCA and a group of collections officers, case managers and clerks settled in 2009 in federal court over allegations of unpaid overtime.

Gov. Jerry Brown moves ahead with second private-prison deal
Source: Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed another private prison deal to take inmates out of California’s crowded prisons. The arrangement, announced Tuesday morning by Corrections Corp. of America, requires the state to pay $28.5 million a year for what is now a federal detention facility in California City. That prison can hold 2,304 inmates. CCA in a statement to stockholders said the three-year contract requires the Tennessee-based prison operator to pay the first $10 million in needed upgrades to accommodate California’s higher-security inmates. After that, the statement said, California taxpayers will foot the bill. The deal will cause CCA to incur operating losses at first as it moves out federal immigration detainees and prisoners held for the U.S. Marshals Service to make room for the California prisoners who will arrive in December. In September, California signed a $30-million, three-year contract with Geo Group for 1,400 prison beds at two facilities within the state…

Jerry Brown Considers Prison Alliance Between Private Company, Union
Source: Saki Knafo, Huffington Post, August 22, 2013

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has no intention of releasing state prisoners convicted of nonviolent drug offenses, despite a federal court order requiring the state to reduce its prison population by the end of the year, sources told HuffPost. Instead, Brown and legislative leaders are discussing a proposal to create an unconventional partnership between the state’s powerful prison guard union and the nation’s largest private prison corporation — an alliance that may permanently expand California’s prison system while curbing nascent efforts to reduce the state’s mass incarceration of nonviolent offenders. Under the plan, one of several the governor has proposed in conversations with legislative leaders in recent weeks, the for-profit prison giant Corrections Corporation of America would lease one or more of its prisons to the state, which would in turn use California prison guards and other public employees to staff the company’s facilities. …

State eyes private prisons option
Source: Associated Press, August 6, 2013

California will seek to move thousands of inmates to private prisons in a last-ditch attempt to avoid releasing violent offenders to ease prison crowding, the state corrections chief said Monday. The state will take the step after the U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to delay a lower court order requiring California to free nearly 10,000 inmates by year’s end, Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard told The Associated Press. Beard said the state will soon ask a lower federal court to permit the state to house at least 4,000 inmates in privately operated cells in California and other states….

Kentucky House passes public-private partnership bill

Source: Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press, February 26, 2015

In a debate overshadowed by an ambitious bridge proposal on the state’s northern tier, the Kentucky House passed legislation Wednesday evening that would authorize use of public-private partnerships for mega-dollar transportation work and other projects. The bill would sanction ventures partnering Kentucky’s government with private sources. As part of the arrangements, a private company could construct, finance or operate a public facility. Supporters said the partnerships would yield far-reaching results to jump-start projects that otherwise might be put on hold due to limited government revenues….

General Burnside Island State Park to Lead Way For Park Privatization in Kentucky

Source: Jonathan Meador, WKMS, July 25, 2014

The Kentucky Department of Parks is poised to allow private corporations to develop at, or even operate aspects of, state parks, and expansion of previous efforts permitting commercial activity. …. About a dozen states permit some form of park privatization scheme, including Tennessee, Florida and California.

Kentucky prison food contract up for bid

Source: Adam Beam, Associated Press, July 4, 2014

The $12 million contract to feed Kentucky’s 21,200 prison inmates is up for bid for the first time since a 2010 audit found significant problems with the state’s current contractor. But some of Kentucky’s biggest critics of Philadelphia-based Aramark now say they are satisfied with the company’s response to the criticism. …. Aramark’s contract expires at the end of this year, and Kentucky officials have already put out a request for proposals and hope to decide on a contractor by September. Aramark spokeswoman Karen Cutler confirmed the company would be bidding again for the contract. … But Aramark could be getting some competition. South Dakota-based CBM Managed Services is considering bidding on the contract…..
Audit: State overpays by thousands of dollars on prison food contract
Source: Valarie Honeycutt Spears, Herald Leader, October 8, 2010

An audit of the state Department of Corrections’ $12 million food service contract with Aramark Correctional Services has found that the state is overpaying the company thousands of dollars a year and is not ensuring that Aramark serves the proper quantities of required ingredients or meets its obligations. State Auditor Crit Luallen released the report Thursday.

Board of Regents committee meetings held Friday, privatization of Health Services discussed

Source: Trey Crumbie, WKU Herald, June 27, 2014

The Board of Regents committee meetings convened Friday morning in the Cornelius A. Martin Regents Room, following the special budget approval meeting. All items were approved and the privatization of WKU Health Services was a focal discussion during the meetings. The decision to privatize WKU Health Services came in March to help overcome a $3.1 million budget shortfall. Although no contract is in place, WKU is in negotiations with Graves Gilbert Clinic, to privatize WKU Health Services. Graves Gilbert Clinic is a health clinic in Bowling Green….