Humpday Hall of Shame

Haunted Hump Day Hall of Shame | Community Education Centers

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame: Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

Community Education Centers (CEC) is a pretty creepy for-profit private prison corporation.  They recently made New York Times headlines for their mismanagement of New Jersey half-way houses and their ties to Governor Chris Christie, and have a well-documented history across the United States for egregious problems that have arisen in facilities that they run.

Beyond what actually happens in these facilities, it’s pretty creepy understanding the framework that private, for-proft prison companies employ in their business practices.  For CEC and the private for-profit prison business, incarcerated people are dollars signs before they are human beings.  And, reducing the number of people in prison is bad for their business. [node:read-more:link]

Humpday Hall of Shame: Jails Fargo

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

National Peoples Action and Public Accountability Initiative have co-released the first in a series of reports on Wells Fargo’s connections to the private prison industry.  The report shows that more than any other banking institution, Wells Fargo has provided critical financing to the private prison industry’s top giants — Corrections Corporation of America, GEO, and MTC — by either investing in them or by lending them significant amounts of capital.    According to the report’s executive summary:

  • Wells Fargo is a major lender to Corrections Corp of America (CCA), acting as the syndication agent and issuing lender on CCAʼs $785
  • Wells Fargo is a major investor in GEO Group, with $95.5 million invested through its mutual funds, and serves as trustee for $300 million of the companyʼs corporate debt.
  • Wells Fargo is a lender to Management & Training Corp (MTC). MTC is a private company and so it is difficult to find data on its investors and lenders, but Wells Fargo is listed as a lender to MTC in a Utah UCC filing.

Humpday Hall of Shame: A Fox in the Henhouse?

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

Right now New Hampshire is considering privatizing its entire public prison system.  Although this New England state’s prison population is relatively small compared to others’, we are concerned about the precedent that statewide privatization could set, being that no other state in the country has privatized its entire system, and we are worried about what opening this floodgate could mean for the rest of the region.

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Hump Day Hall of Shame: The Privatization of the Justice System Beyond Prisons

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

In a recent blog post on GEO Care’s potentional take over of Kerrville State Hospital and private prison companies getting into the business of mental health care, Jim Rigby, a well-known progressive Presbyterian minister in Austin, wrote, “When one lives in a capitalist culture where everything is for sale, one get(s) used to privatization.”

This led to me wonder where else privatization and profit are driving forces in the justice system beyond the movement to privatize prisons and immigration detention centers.   Per Rigby’s statement, I found myself looking at two issues that are rarely scrutinized for the private aspects of their practice; the businesses of debt collection and writing bail bonds.  It seems as though, in our culture, we have accepted as a norm the delivery of these services as being in the purview of business and not core government functions.   As it turns out, just like prisons, both debt collection and bail bonds have been built into industries in which private businesses are able to make a profit off of individuals’ interaction with the criminal justice system, and so their interest is in ensuring a consistent flow of “customers” in their direction.  It also turns out that there are alternatives. [node:read-more:link]

Hump Day Hall of Shame: As Arizona faces firestorm of criticism over private prison contract, ADC moves to privatize re-entry

Co-Authored by Caroline Isaacs, director of the AFSC's Arizona Program in Tucson 

You may have seen a lot of press recently about the announcement that Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) will make this Friday, awarding a contract for construction and management of up to 2,000 prison beds to one of five private, for-profit prison corporations.

Arizona advocates have engaged the support of state and national organizations to oppose Arizona’s planned expansion of its for-profit prison beds.  This week Grassroots Leadership added its name to a letter addressed to Arizona governor Jan Brewer, along with over 50 other organizations, faith leaders, and elected officials in an effort to block the award of a new private prison contract.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: GEO Group aims for take-over of Texas state hospital

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

In Texas, where both incarceration and immigrant detention rates soar, we’re accustomed to scrutinizing the state’s privatization efforts of these facilities.  However, there’s a new trend afoot in our state; privatizing state mental health facilities under the guise of cost savings to taxpayers, and Texas is turning over control of these facilities to companies that run for-profit prisons to provide care and safety to our state’s mentally ill population.

The state is currently considering a bid to privatize a state-run psychiatric facility by GEO Care, who promises to save the state millions of dollars a year.  

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Arizona Guarantees Occupancy at More Expensive Private Prisons

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

This week, we return to Arizona, familiar territory for our Humpday Hall of Shame.   Not only did private prison corporations reportedly play a role in driving that's state's harsh anti-immigrant law, now comes a two-part expose on the Arizona Departement of Corrections-contracted private prisons from the American Friends Service Committee.

In Part I of their series, they show that not only do for-profit prisons not save money, but that state officials have known that fact for quite some time.  However state law had mandated that-profit prison corporations show cost savings during the competitive bidding process before a contract is awarded.

In Part II, AFSC shows private prison contracts in Arizona have been amended to  promise 100% occupancy of private facilities.  See excerpts from the report after the jump.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Idaho set to send prisoners out-of-state again?

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

This week we return to Idaho, a familiar location for the Humpday Hall of Shame.  Back in April, we reported that Idaho, despite a long run of horror stories and lawsuits involving private prison corporations, continues to contract with private prison companies like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).   CCA operates the Idaho Correctional Center, a facility with a reputation so violent that it has earned the nickname “Gladiator School” from people incarcerated there.

Now, Idaho is looking to export prisoners to a CCA prison in Colorado.  See more from an AP article after the jump.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: NJ Governor Chris Christie & Community Education Centers

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

For today's Humpday Hall of Shame we induct both New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and private prison corporation Community Education Centers (CEC). CEC was subject to a three-part expose in the New York Times this week on its half-way houses in New Jersey.

The reports detail a stunningly flawed half-way house system with little-to-no security, prisoners subject to sexual assaults, theft, and murder, and more than 5,000 prisoners who simply walked away from the facility.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Private prison "insanity" in Arizona

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

This week, we return to familiar territory - Arizona.  Earlier this week, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a "compromise" budget agreement.  Included in that budget were 500 maximum security state-run prison beds and 1,000 private prison beds.  In fact, Arizona doesn't need more prison beds due to the state's declining prison population.

What's more the budget includes a provision that would remove a requirement to study the quality and cost of public vs. private prisons.  That provision is convenient for the private prison industry after a front-page NY Times report found that private prisons in Arizona were actually costing the state more than public facilities.

If this situation makes you think Arizona is going insane, you're not alone.  See what Arizona House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said of the new provision after the jump.

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