Humpday Hall of Shame

Humpday Hall of Shame: CCA Refuses Moment of Silence to Honor Employee Slain During Prison Riot

Last week Grassroots Leadership joined people from around the country in Nashville, TN to protest outside of Corrections Corporation of America's annual shareholder meeting where, this year, the for-profit prison company was "celebrating" their 30th anniversary.  Among the protestors was long-time Grassroots Leadership ally Alex Friedmann who is a former prisoner and current President of the Private Corrections Institute (PCI).  Alex spent six years in a CCA-operated prison and since his incarceration he has dedicated his life to criticizing the private, for-profit prison industry.  To that end, he became a CCA shareholder in order to engage in shareholder activism.  Alex owns enough shares in the company to attend shareholder meetings and to advance shareholder resolutions; a tool that he has used to try and force the hand of the company to acknowledge and address its record of abuse, neglect and mismanagment.  

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Adding Insult to Injury: CCA "honors" Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

After two puzzling celebrations -- Black History Month and Women's History Month -- CCA is back at it, this time with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  We have our own ideas about CCA's treatment of people of color and, after the jump, a special message from Kat Brady, our ally in Hawai'i and longtime activist for criminal justice in her state.

Not surprisingly, Hawai'i incarcerates the largest proportion of Asian American and Asian Pacific Islander (API) individuals, and more than 1,700 people from Hawai'i are incarcerated in CCA facilities on the mainland.  As a result, Asian/API men are disproportionately represented in CCA facilities relative to state-operated facilities.  In state-operated facilities, Asian/API men represent 63% of the total population, whereas in out-of-state CCA facilities Asian/API men represent 69% of the total population.  These facts make CCA's latest public relations exploit of people of color particularly nauseating.  It's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and you-know-who is "honoring" it!  In his commemorative blog post, CCA CEO Damon Hininger writes,

"Last year, I visited Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, Calif. I was inspired by the preservation of history and values in the midst of other cultural influences in L.A. The fact that it remains a close-knit community is evidence that we all carry the strength to keep traditions alive and uphold standards set before us at CCA."

We had no idea that CCA holds up the preservation of history, traditions and culture and standards for their company!  We decided to reach out to our new friend in Hawai'i, Kat Brady, to see what she knows about Hawai'i's incarcerated population in CCA facilities.  

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Humpday Repeat Offender: Idaho

Something is rotten in the state of Idaho.

We have two troubling developments to report on: first, that the state is once again sending people to prison beds in other states; secondly, that Corrections Corporation of America's Idaho Correctional Center continues to put thousands of incarcerated people in danger every day due to negligence.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Terry Stewart Strikes Back

A year and a half after his induction, Terry Stewart is making a return appearance on the Humpday Hall of Shame.  Stewart has a checkered past in corrections, dating back to his time as the Arizona Department of Corrections director from 1995 to 2002 and, most recently, in a questionable deal between Arizona and private prison health care provider Corizon.

Since he left his post as ADOC director, Stewart has made a healthy career in the prison industrial complex.  In 2003, he started his own prison privatization consulting firm, Advanced Correctional Management, and began hawking for-profit private prisons to his own former co-workers as a consultant for companies like MTC (Management and Training Corporation) and Corizon Correctional Healthcare.

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A Double Dose of Privatization Pitfalls

A prison physician – Dr. Mark E. Walden - has been accused of sexually abusing at least 25 men incarcerated at two separate private prisons in New Mexico.  Alleged abuses began in 2010 and include excessive and inappropriate digital anal penetration and probing during examinations, according to lawsuits.  

The allegations against Walden point to a double dose of privatization gone amuck.  Read more about A Double Dose of Privatization Pitfalls

Colorado at a Crossroads

Colorado has a great opportunity to close some of their prisons.  The state’s incarcerated population is decreasing even faster than anticipated, which, at just over 20,000 total incarcerated persons, is down to what officials expected to see in two and a half years.  Serious crime is down by a third since 2002; restructured sentencing is sending fewer and fewer people back to prison for parole violations.  All in all, the state has 7,500 fewer people behind bars Read more about Colorado at a Crossroads

Another Bad Party: CCA "Celebrates" Women's History Month While Women Perish at Dawson State Jail

Last month we were nauseated by Corrections Corporation of America’s “celebration” of Black History Month.  In a message from CCA President and CEO Damon Hininger, citing Dr. King’s legacy and the second inauguration of President Obama, the company touted themselves as one that values progress, equality, and diversity.  Dr. Niaz Kasravi, Director of the NAACP Criminal Justice Program, in response to Hininger’s message stated, “we believe that there is nothing to celebrate about an industry that has built a fortune on the incarceration of people of color”.

This month CCA is at it again with their commemoration of Women’s History Month – “celebrating women’s contributions to history and society”.  A few days ago, the country’s oldest and largest private prison corporation posted an article on their website that oozed with pride for their female CCA employees who “continue to make history and challenge old ideas by advancing in corrections”.

The article cites two female CCA employees who have ascended to leadership roles within the company, in addition to two women who serve on the CCA board of directors.  The women are lauded for “challenging stereotypes” and the “unique contributions” they bring to the workplace.  Twice women are quoted expressing their gratitude to men who have mentored them and helped them to succeed… a view that seems to support old ideas rather than challenge them. 

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