Thursday, September 19, 2013

Private Prison Industry: Making Profits By Incarcerating, Detaining, Starving and Denying Basic Medical Care All Because the States Don’t Want the Responsibility / Cost Anymore

Even in my boring day-to-day errands and tasks my advocacy and this platform seeps into conversation.

Today I met a young man at his place of business who was assisting me and I mentioned his company invests in Private Prisons and that is why I was ceasing all business with his company, something I had meant to do for a few years but first I had to make other arrangements. I regret not making the change sooner.

He not only was unaware that his employer invests in this deplorable industry, but he wasn’t even aware this practice existed and asked for more information which I happily provided.  We discussed the for-profit prison system where inmates are denied 3 meals a day, denied basic medical care, have a high rate of death and must pay exorbitant canteen and telephone services. Then I explained how these companies must keep their beds full so they lobby individual State Legislatures and the Federal Government to pass mandatory minimum laws and to increases sentences so that their “customers” will be required to stay a certain amount of time no matter what a judge or jury may have thought about their specific case. Then of course I touched on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry and how we’ve swept up not only innocent citizens but by publicly labeling them a “predator” we’ve destroyed any chance for them ever to succeed at anything. When we were saying goodbye and he stated he was very interested in learning more I handed him a business card and then realized since starting this blog on July 1st  (after departing from RSOL-VA) I haven’t addressed private prisons here.

In Virginia we have one GEO Group run State Prison. Plus there is a Federal Immigration Detainment/Detention facility in Virginia that most citizens have never heard of.

So I am going to list some basic information on the Private Prison industry including articles and reports for anyone who is interested in this issue and I hope once you understand that allowing a private company to manage the incarceration, rehabilitation or detention of people for a profit is a violation of human rights. And ANY company or individual who invests in this vial practice is making money on the suffering, convictions and even on the deaths of other people.

Mary Devoy

Definition from Wikipedia:  

A private prison or for-profit prison, jail, or detention center is a place in which individuals are physically confined or interned by a third party that is contracted by a government agency. Private prison companies typically enter into contractual agreements with governments that commit prisoners and then pay a per diem or monthly rate for each prisoner confined in the facility. 

Today, the privatization of prisons refers both to the takeover of existing public facilities by private operators and to the building and operation of new and additional prisons by for-profit prison companies.

American Civil Liberties UnionPrivate Prisons:
Privately Run/Managed Facilities in Virginia: 

  1. The Geo Group, Inc. (formerly Wackenhut Corrections Corporation) to operate the Lawrenceville Correctional Center, Virginia’s only privately-managed State Facility.
  2. Immigration Centers of America operates the Federal ICE-Farmville Immigration (Detention/Detainment) Facility in Farmville Virginia.

Articles and Reports  (newest to oldest) 

This Is How Private Prison Companies Make Millions Even When Crime Rates Fall, September 19, 2013

Are governments incentivizing longer prison terms? September 19, 2013

Prison Quotas Push Lawmakers To Fill Beds, Derail Reform, September 19, 2013: 

ALFORD: An Inside Look at our Rotten Prison System, September 18, 2013:

The Winners in Immigration Control: Private Prisons, August 28, 2013:
The prison industry's profits have doubled from the government's increased spending on detaining undocumented immigrants. And that may be one reason the prisons, in turn, spend so much on lobbying.

GEO Group Stadium Deal Is Off; Private Prison Company Cites 'Ongoing Distraction' After Protests, April 2, 2013:

After Protests, Prison Firm Pulls Donation, April 2, 2013:

Va. Won't Privatize Sex Offender Treatment Program, March 15, 2013:

10 Worst Immigrant Detention Centers Should Be Closed, Detention Watch Network Report Says, November 16, 2012

Virginia Woman Sues Over (Employee) Husband’s Death at Immigrant Center, August 21, 2012 

Private Prisons Spend $45 Million On Lobbying, Rake In $5.1 Billion For Immigrant Detention Alone, August 3, 2012:
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group

Impact of Private Prisons: The Public Costs of a Private Riot (OK), July 26, 2012:

Gruesome Deaths Investigated at GEO-run Fla. Hospital, July 25, 2012:

DCF Reviews Deaths at GEO-Run State Hospital, July 25, 2012:

Thanks, AFSC: State Records Show Private Prisons Don’t Save Money, July 24, 2012:
So, to recap, private prisons are a waste of money and everybody knows it. But because the corporations pour millions into lobbying and campaign donations, Arizona politicians have adjusted state law to “look the other way”— thus paving the way for future contracts unencumbered by pesky accountability measures and ensuring that the state budget will continue to bleed millions into corrections at the expense of education, health care and social services.

As East Texas Public-Private Psych Facility Struggles, State Plans More Privatization, July 21, 2012:
Sixteen months after the Montgomery County Mental Health Treatment Facility opened in Conroe, the state’s first publicly funded, privately run psychiatric hospital is facing at least $53,000 in state fines for serious shortcomings in patient care.

Private Prison Company May Take Over Virginia Sex Offender Center, July 16, 2012:

Alabama Judge Calls Private Prison a ‘Debtors Prison’ and ‘Extortion Racket’, July 15, 2012:

South Florida Private Prison Plan Back in Court, June 28, 2012:
While the state largely has abandoned its push to privatize 29 South Florida prisons, lawyers were back in court Wednesday arguing if the Legislature was right to hatch the plan at all.
The issue: whether lawmakers were allowed to propose the massive privatization through last-minute budget language called proviso — a process that bypasses the Legislature’s long-standing committee structure.

Xavier Scullark-Johnson Dies After Private Prison “Cut Costs” By Denying Him Medical Care (MN), June 26, 2012:

Va. Approaches Decision on Privatizing Sex Offender Program, June 25, 2012:

Op-Ed: Prisons, Privatization, Patronage, June 21, 2012:

Prison Firm Abandons Mississippi Amid Lawsuits and Scathing Federal Study, June 19, 2012:
Government finds staff misconduct at Walnut Grove among the ‘worst that we have seen in any facility anywhere in the nation’

Private Prison Group Quits Mississippi, Heads North, June 19, 2012:

More Evidence Private Prisons Don’t Work, June 11, 2012:

Op-Ed: Plantations, Prisons and Profits, May 25, 2012:

Virginia Considers 2 Jail Firms with Sketchy Pasts, April 30, 2012:
GEO Group Inc and Liberty

Prison Industries: “Don’t Let Society Improve or We Lose Business”, April 26, 2012:
GEO Group

Justice Department Says Youths Subjected to Sexual, Other Abuses at Company-run Miss. Prison, March 21, 2012:
GEO Group

Out of Eden: When the Private Prison Bubble Bursts, February 22, 2012:
All over the US, small towns like Eden, desperate for jobs, have welcomed private prisons
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group

Wrong Track for Savings: How Florida’s Prison Population Became a Runaway Train, and Why Better Policies, Not Private Prisons, Can Put the Brakes on Correctional Costs by Justice Policy Institute, February 2012:

The Number of People in Private Prisons Has Grown By 1,664% in the Last 19 Years, February 2012:

Too Good to be True: Private Prisons in America by Cody Mason The Sentencing Project, January 2012:

Wells Fargo’s prison cash cow : The bailed-out bank has used its taxpayer money to invest in private prisons, April 11 2012:

Wells Fargo Courts Latinos While Investing in Private Prisons That Profit From Detaining Immigrants: Report Calls for Bank to Break Ties, September 27, 2012:

Immigrants To Wells Fargo: Stop Investing In For-Profit Detention, October 17, 2011

Expanding Private-Prison Industry Benefits From Weak Oversight Structure, November 2, 2011:
CCA and GEO Group

Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies, Justice Policy Institute, June 2011:

Population of Detained Immigrants in Virginia Increases Dramatically in the Wake of Secure Communities, June 16, 2011:

Va. could privatize costly sex-offender program , May 27, 2011:

New Private Prison in Milton Shows Florida Cost-Savings Challenge, May 2, 2011:
A private prison in central Florida serves as a cautionary flag to lawmakers looking to expand for-profit incarceration as a way to avoid future budget shortfalls.

Effort to Privatize Florida Prisons Raises Questions of Cost, April 23, 2011:
The Legislature is moving to privatize many prisons in the state to save money, but how much privatization really saves is an unanswered question. (GEO Group)

Privatizing Prisons Could Prove Profitable to Politically-Connected Companies, April 5, 2011:
A South Florida company (GEO Group) that operates private prisons could profit from lawmakers’ plans to outsource corrections operations.

Immigrant detention center in Va. would be mid-Atlantic's largest, July 18, 2010
Richmond-based Immigration Centers of America