treatment industrial complex

Things are just as bad as we feared at a “civil commitment center” in Texas

This private prison facility in West Texas once incarcerated prisoners from Idaho. Ever since Idaho canceled the contract with GEO Group in 2008, the county has been desperate to fill the facility that had become a money pit for local taxpayers.

I hate to say we told you so. In this case, I really, really hate it.

An exposé in the Texas Observer this month confirmed everything we feared about the Treatment Industrial Complex (TIC), a term we use to describe private prison companies’ scheme to expand their revenue by exploiting new markets in healthcare, treatment, and re-entry. [node:read-more:link]

Feb 12, 2018
Texas Observer

A Prison By Any Other Name

"Cate Graziani, a researcher with Grassroots Leadership who tracks the private prison industry’s movement into treatment and civil commitment programs, says the Littlefield contract felt like a 'consolation prize' after Correct Care failed for several years to privatize another state hospital.

'We had just told the state all about this company’s track record of serious problems, and then we turn around and they’re putting people in Littlefield months later,' she said." [node:read-more:link]

Oct 27, 2016
89.3 KPCC

California counties look to private firm to run new state psychiatric hospital

A statewide consortium of county mental health officials is planning to create California's first privately-run state mental health hospital. It says it's the fastest way to address the persistent shortage of beds for the state’s most dangerously and severely mentally ill.

But critics of prison privatization worry care will worsen, pointing to past problems with the contractor, Correct Care Recovery Solutions, a spinoff of the private prison giant GEO Group.


Still, many state and local governments are attracted to the private market's promise to drive down costs. That worries critics.

"They are securing these contracts by promising to treat the most people at the lowest cost," said Cate Graziani, a community organizer at Grassroots Leadership, a group critical of privatization. "And what this results in is a dangerous practice of cutting corners, especially staff. And this is where we see incidents of abuse, neglect and death."

Graziani points to South Florida State Hospital as an example. The facility was one of the first state mental health hospitals in the U.S. to be privatized. It was managed by a division of GEO Group until 2014, when Correct Care Solutions bought the unit.

Mental Health and Criminal Justice Coalition Visits Bexar County

On Wednesday May 11th, members of the Mental Health and Criminal Justice Coalition visited  San Antonio, TX to learn more about Bexar County’s jail diversion programs. Hosted by the Center for Health Care Services (CHCS), the group met with program administrators, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and representatives from mental health and judicial services of Bexar County. [node:read-more:link]

Mar 9, 2016
Palm Beach Post

Here’s how business makes money off the state’s mentally ill and sex offenders

As the public rethinks harsh mandatory sentences swelling prison populations, a GEO Group offshoot and other private prison firms are focusing on another cash-for-inmates opportunity: privatization of state mental health hospitals and civil commitment centers, particularly in Florida and Texas.

Grassroots Leadership, a Texas-based criminal justice advocacy group, is taking aim at this “net-widening,”especially in Florida and Texas,  with a report released Wednesday.

It’s a perfect profit center, the report’s authors said, because unlike traditional prisoners, terms of confinement can leave people there indefinitely.

Some aren’t going to make it out alive, such as the mental patient who died in a scalding bathtub in South Florida State Hospital, the tissue on his face “sloughing” off, as The Post reported in 2013.

As problems have surfaced at GEO-run facilities, protests have grown.

Last month, another man died in  the state’s privately run 198-bed Treasure Coast Forensic Treatment Center. He had reportedly been punched by another inmate.

If Grassroots’ criticism of mental health and civil commitment centers seem familiar, so does the company involved. Boca Raton-based GEO Group spun off its medical unit a few years back; the spinoff became part of Correct Care Solutions LLC. A former GEO executive became  president and CEO of Correct Care. [node:read-more:link]

Mar 9, 2016

Stop the treatment industrial complex

As more individuals are being treated and rehabilitated both inside and outside prison walls, for-profit companies are stepping in and profiting. Community corrections is particularly expansive, and includes an array of out-of-jail programs like probation and parole services, halfway houses, day reporting centers, drug and alcohol treatment programs, home confinement, electronic monitoring, and various supportive services such as educational classes and job training. Although many of these services are provided by public-sector and nonprofit entities, the expansive reach of treatment and rehabilitation is increasingly attracting for-profit companies. Their success depends not on being effective, but in keeping as many people as possible under supervision for as long as possible. The lengthier, deeper and more expansive the treatment, the greater the profit.

Read more: 
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Jun 9, 2015

Violent sexual predators held indefinitely - for a profit

"Bob Libal is the executive director of Grassroots Leadership in Austin Texas, which is a non-profit fighting to end for-profit incarceration - claiming no one should profit by the imprisonment of human beings. 

He described Correct Care as a spin-off of GEO, which he notes is "deeply embedded in Florida." 

Overall, Libal says there "appears to be a conflict of incentives" at play and the center is on the radar of his organization and others like it..." [node:read-more:link]


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