Damon Hininger

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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What version of Black History is CCA reading?

February is Black History Month, an observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom to honor the contributions of black people throughout history in these countries.  In the United States, many also commemorate Black History Month by reflecting upon the legacy of slavery and discrimination that marks this history, and the scars that we still live with as a society that have yet to heal.    

It’s no surprise that our stomachs turned when we noticed that Corrections Corporation of America’s President and CEO, Damon Hininger, posted a letter addressed to the “CCA Team” entitled “Celebrating Black History Month” on www.insidecca.com yesterday morning.

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