6:53 am in Uncategorized by WhyIHateCCA
Previously published on WhyIHateCCA
Cell in Alcatraz. Photo by Miss Millions.
Mississippi, of all places, has had enough. Not exactly known for its hospitable prison system, the state announced last Friday that it intends to terminate its contract with the GEO Group to operate 3 facilities, effective in July. One of those facilities is Walnut Grove, which was recently the target of a lawsuit that brought sweeping change to the way Mississippi incarcerates its youth. Plagued with violence, medical neglect, and persistent sexual abuse, the facility’s conditions were so abysmal that the Department of Justice called it “some of the worst abuse” they had seen in any investigation of a prison or jail. Children housed there used terms like “barbaric,” “a war zone,” and “the deepest depths of hell” to describe it. The settlement in the lawsuit removed all juveniles from Walnut Grove and mandated that they never be held in solitary confinement. Lest you feel bad for GEO getting slapped around so hard in the lawsuit, remember that they earned millions of dollars in profit by treating children like shit.
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2:16 pm in Uncategorized by WhyIHateCCA
I don’t want to re-hash everything I’ve written about the absurd privatization push / corporate handout happening in Florida. You can find plenty of material on it by just looking back
. I want to take a minute though to try to update the situation, again, as well as possible. So I won’t go into a long rant about anything here, I’ll just give you some quick bullet points. And just FYI, none of this even deals with the brewing situation in Southwest Ranches, where CCA is forcing an immigration detention center down the throat of a very angry populace.
- Florida is also trying to privatize healthcare for its entire prison system (in addition to privatizing half the prisons). The bidding process has drawn a lot of scrutiny and generated many questions, so much so that the state had to push back the date for the bids to be submitted. It will probably go through though, unfortunately. In a related story, North Carolina is foolishly looking to do the same thing.
- The executive director of the union representing COs in the state wrote an excellent opinion piece urging the state Senate to find some other way to save money, considering the questions surrounding the claim that the venture will save $22 million.
- The editorial board of the Palm Beach Post came out with an excellent piece questioning Gov. Scott’s motives in pushing the privatization, given the $1 million donated by the industry leading up to the last election and questions regarding the proposed cost savings.
- Also, the state should really consider the company it’s about the get in bed with, as a GEO Group guard appears to have been extremely negligent in permitting a prisoner to commit suicide.
- Finally, I couldn’t help but link to this absurd example of poor journalism, as the editorial board at the Daytona Beach News-Journal claims privatization offers “Major Savings.” The argument is based on practically nothing but the long-ago dismissed notion that if private prisons fail to offer savings, they won’t get contracts (they actually just lobby harder and still get them). The real icing on the cake comes when the author(s) admit that the state previously lost tens of millions of dollars in a privatization venture, but make no mention of how a similar problem could be avoided this time around. Really, this is one of the absolute dumbest things I’ve ever seen an editorial board write.
1:21 pm in Uncategorized by WhyIHateCCA
A prisoner with a long history of mental illness and prior suicide attempts killed himself last week while under the guard of GEOCare, a subsidiary of the GEO Group. This would be the same company who just spent 3/4 of the million dollars spent on lobbying for the prison industry in just this past election cycle. Lobbying that resulted in the state’s super pro-privatization Governor successfully shepherding his plan to privatize the correctional services of 18 counties through the legislature.
The GEO Group has long had a cozy relationship with the Floridian government, being based in Boca Raton and peddling their influence for years through campaign contributions and lobbying. They managed to convince the state to embark on one of the most ambitious prison privatization schemes in history, which they will likely stand to benefit the most from given their relationship and the ease with which they’ve been awarded contracts by the government in the past. And they will now get control over thousands of new prisoners, some of whom will undoubtedly have similar psychiatric situations to Mr. Bragman.
This is shaping up to be a disaster of monumental proportions. This is what Florida’s taxpayers have just unwillingly signed up for.