Posts Tagged With: CCA

Thinking About Investing In Prisons For Profit?

This following article was written in February of 2014, by an Investment Management Company, but it can be applied to any time of the year.  According to Strubel Investment Management

Dumb Investment of the Week: For-Profit Prison Industry

Strubel Investment Management‘s Dumb Investment of the Week for this week focuses on the private for-profit prison industry.

Since you know I happily invest in tobacco companies, alcoholic beverage manufacturers, and defense contractors, you know that the private prison industry must be pretty rotten if even I won’t invest in it.

The industry appears to operate a fundamentally flawed business model and seems thoroughly corrupt from top to bottom. We believe it is just a matter of time before Chaucer’s old adage about evil deeds being found out (“Murder will out, certain, it will not fail”) comes true.

Corrections Corporation of America (CXW), referred to hereafter by its better known industry acronym CCA, G4S plc (LSE:GFS), and The Geo Group, Inc (GEO)are the three main publicly traded companies that operate private for-profit prisons and detention centers.

These companies rode the dual wave of the war on drugs and deregulation/privatization (a better term might be “confiscation”) of public property and resources in the 1980s into a prominent political and financial force in the prison industry. A wave of overbuilding and lawsuits threatened the industry in the late 1990s, but the terrorist attacks of September 11 and a new focus on locating and detaining so called “illegal” immigrants have vaulted the private for-profit industry to record profits.

We believe the combination of a flawed business model and rampant abuse in the private prison industry will eventually outweigh the lobbying savvy of the companies and lead to the decline of the industry.

Industry Is Vulnerable to Abuse

The private prison industry stands unique among almost all other sectors of the economy in that the nature of its “customers” brings a very high risk of abuse.

It’s easy to take advantage of incarcerated persons. In many cases, the conviction of a crime strips individuals of certain right, their freedoms are severely restricted, and reduces or negates any sympathy society may feel toward them.

For instance, imagine if some large company perpetrated some abuse on my 80-year-old grandma. Well, let’s take a step back. First, it would be difficult for anyone to take advantage of her. As a free person, no company can truly force her to do anything. In addition, she has many family members, including my father and me, looking out for her. But, let’s suppose something did happen. As a non-convict and non-incarcerated person, she enjoys maximum rights under the law and would have a fairly easy time righting any wrongs through legal means. Also, as an 80-year-old widow and upstanding member of the community she presents a very sympathetic figure. Any media organization would eagerly take up her cause and be happy to publish a story on how some evil, faceless corporation took advantage of her. The community would likely be outraged and rally to her cause. Any local politician would be eager to help as well to show the voters how he’s “standing up for the little guy.”

With incarcerated people, the situation is very different. They are stripped of many rights. The operator of the prison system has almost complete control over their behavior and their daily lives. Many incarcerated people have less robust family support systems than mine, and the media and many politicians are going to be much less likely to champion the cause of a wronged convict than of my grandma.

It’s this dynamic that creates an enormous potential for abuse as we will show later throughout this article. Prisoners are easily taken advantage of and the for-profit nature of private prisons creates an overwhelming incentive to neglect the well-being of prisoners in exchange for increased profits. With public companies, the pressure of meeting investor and Wall Street expectations may make the temptation even greater.

Business Model Depends on Cutting Corners

In many, if not most, businesses there are multiple ways a company can increase profitability. Take Ford Motor Company, for example. Management has many options to increase profitability. They could design and build better cars than their competitors and take market share away. They could try charging more for their vehicles if they thought they were better than the competition. They could develop a new small, urban-friendly vehicle targeted to millennials living in cities, which would increase sales by enlarging the total pool of potential car buyers. They could develop more efficient manufacturing processes and cut costs thereby increasing profitability, or they could spend more money on advertising, which might lead to more sales. The point is that for a company like Ford that makes things that are useful to consumers and that consumers actually need and want, there are many levers managers can pull to improve the profitability of the company.

The private for-profit industry is an entirely different beast. The companies are paid a per diem rate for each prisoner at the prisons they own and operate. From Corrections Corp 10-K: “We are compensated for providing prison bed capacity and correctional services at an inmate per diem rate based upon actual or minimum guaranteed occupancy levels.”

Unlike Ford Motor Company, there is nothing a private for-profit prison operator can do to increase their top line “sales” figure without increasing bed capacity. They are compensated a fixed rate per prisoner. So, the only way that a private for-profit prison operator can increase profitability is cut costs. The less they spend per prisoner the greater their profit.

This means that private for-profit prison companies are highly incentivized to do the following:

  • Incarcerate the maximum number of people for as long as possible
  • Build and maintain prisons as cheaply as possible
  • Staff prisons as leanly as possible
  • Compensate staff as little as possible
  • Minimize the amount of medical care utilized by prisoners

Every dollar saved from staffing costs and prisoner care results in another dollar added to the company’s bottom line. Unfortunately, it seems that this pursuit of profit has led to unsafe conditions and systemic abuse of inmates at private for-profit prisons.

Abuses of the System and Mistreatment of Inmates

The abuses in the private prison industry are literally too numerous to mention. In the following sections we will present several examples and anecdotes in each category of abuse and neglect as well as a summary of any relevant statistical information that shows how that type of abuse is rampant across the entire private prison complex system.

Maximize Incarceration Rates

Private prisons are most profitable when operating at maximum occupancy rates. While many private prison contracts specify minimum occupancy guarantees (an issue we will address later in this article), the rate guarantees are usually less than 100%. Many private prisons have resorted to other tactics to keep their prisons filled.

The most notorious case might be the “kids for cash” scandal where two judges in Luzerne County, PA, were found guilty of and sentenced to 17.5 years and 28 years, respectively, for taking over $2.6M in kickbacks from Mid Atlantic Youth Service Corporation to sentence youths convicted of minor crimes to jail at the their private prison facility.

A study of New Mexico prisons showed that prisoners at private prisons run by CCA lost “good behavior” time, or reductions in their original sentence, at a rate EIGHT times higher than inmates in New Mexico state-run prisons. It’s important to keep in mind that CCA is generally able, through their contracts, to cherry pick the best (meaning, least violent and disruptive) inmates to house in their prisons. For example, a 2004 study found that minimum or medium level security inmates made up 90% of the prison population at private prisons but only 69% of the population at state-run prisons.

The maximization of incarceration rates also runs counter to the public good. By keeping prisoners incarcerated when they otherwise should not be, private prison companies are draining money from the state and federal coffers that could otherwise be spent on more productive uses such as education and infrastructure.

Staff Prisons as Leanly as Possible

Another way that private prison operators maximize profits is by reducing staff and operational expenses to the detriment of prisoner safety.

The most notorious example of lax prisoner oversight and inadequate staffing levels is the escape of three inmates from Kingman state prison in Arizona. Kingman was run by a private company, Management and Training Corp. One of the escaped prisoners, John McCluskey, murdered a New Mexico couple at a rest stop before being recaptured.

Another example is Idaho Correctional Center. This prison operated by CCA was so violent that prison staff and inmates referred to it as “gladiator school.” An investigation showed that the violence at ICC was three times higher than other prisons in Idaho. The reason for the violence was the lack of staff to adequately supervise prisoners. CCA was recently fined $1M by the state of Idaho for violating its contract and falsifying staff records to show that the prison was adequately staffed when, in fact, it was not.

In 2012, the assault rate at four privately run Mississippi prisons was THREE times higher than the average at state run prisons. Tennessee and Idaho also reported higher assault rates at private prisons than public ones.

The most violent prison of them all may be the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional facility in Mississippi. According to the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, the average juvenile facility has one guard for every 10 to 12 inmates. At Walnut Grove, run by The GEO Group, there was one guard for every 60 inmates. This has led to skyrocketing violence. Walnut Grove won the title of Mississippi’s most violent prison in 2012.

The tales of prisoner beatings, rape, and mistreatment are too numerous to mention but are so bad the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit. After a judge stated that Walnut Grove was “a picture of such horror as should be unrealized anywhere in the civilized world” and “[the GEO Group] had been derelict in their duties and remain[ed] deliberately indifferent to the serious medical and mental health needs of the offenders” and the US Department of Justice also accused the facility of “systemic, egregious, and dangerous practices exacerbated by a lack of accountability and controls,” the state ended its contract with The GEO Group. (Not having learned their lesson, the facility is now run by another for-profit entity–Management and Training Group.)

Or take the case of a CCA injury settlement for 193 Colorado inmates over a prison riot. In that case, The Colorado Department of Corrections audit found that CCA was plagued by high staff turnover and was slow to correct problems at the Crowley County Correctional Facility.

Because of the fractured nature of the private prison industry and the lack of oversight, it is difficult to find comprehensive data for the entire industry to compare staffing levels. CCA’s 2012 10-K discloses that the company has a capacity of 92,500 beds and 16,620 non-corporate staff. Some of these staff members are employed in the company’s prisoner transportation business. Additionally, not all beds may be occupied or a facility may be filled beyond its rated capacity. In any case, using the disclosed figures, CCA employs only one non-corporate staff member per 5.56 potential prisoners. While prison overcrowding has been a constant issue since the war on drugs began, the Federal Bureau of Prisons had one staff member for every 4.9 inmates, which was regarded as understaffed compared to a 3.7 to 1 ratio in 1997.

Also, a review of the literature, cited throughout this article, regarding audits of private prisons when negative events occur (riots, inmate abuse, escapes, etc.) has found low staffing levels and inadequate staff training to be a contributing factor in each incident.

Reduce Operating Costs

It also should come as no surprise that if private prisons are financially incentivized to cut back on staffing they also appear to cut back on the maintenance and capital expenditures needed to keep prisons operating safely and efficiently.

For example, since CCA purchased the Lake Erie Correctional Institution in 2011 from the state of Ohio, there has been a rash of problems. The purchase audits and inspections by the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction have detailed poor living conditions and rising rates of criminal and violent activity at the prison. Inmate-on-inmate violence increased by 188% and inmate-on-staff violence increased 300% under CCA’s supervision, both rates well above average. A particularly notable incident came on March 10, 2013, when a supply fan broke and a building was flooded with toxic fumes, sickening 75% of the building’s inmates. The audits also showed that inmates had inadequate food, medical care, and in some cases inadequate housing.

In another example, former ACLU attorney Will Harrell was recently quoted as describing a Coke County, Texas, facility run by The GEO Group as “disgusting” and that “there was an infestation of insects everywhere you looked, including the kitchen. Insects in the food. It was horrible.” In 2007, The Texas Youth Commission, which was responsible for monitoring the facility, eventually fired several of its employees after it was found that they colluded with prison officials to cover up the conditions at the prison. An independent audit found prisoners living in filth (auditors visiting the prison got so much fecal matter on their shoes they had to wipe them off on the grass outside) without adequate access to toilets, denied access to medical care, denied access to legal counsel, and subject to racial segregation.

Minimize Medical Care

In addition to reducing expenses by cutting staffing costs and not properly maintaining capital infrastructure, private prisons also appear to reduce expenses by neglecting to provide adequate medical care to prisoners.

For example, after an inmate died recently, the Colorado Medical Board admonished the physician employed by CCA at Bent County Correctional Facility run by CCA, for providing inadequate medical care.

Another article details a 2005 investigation into Prison Health Services, a for-profit company that was responsible for the death of two prisoners in a two-month period because the company denied the prisoners their medications. The nurse admitted in a court deposition that she had joked to staff, “We save money because we skip the ambulance and bring them straight to the morgue.” There is also the case of Correctional Medical Services, which was the subject of a report that exposed how the company actively discouraged treatment for hepatitis among prisoners. Metro Correctional in Kentucky had seven inmates die in one year, and an investigation by the prison itself found that the prison may have been responsible for two of the deaths.

Comprehensive studies on the privatization of prison healthcare services and prison healthcare in general are very rare. A 1994 study by the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission of the privatization of healthcare at the Greensville Correctional Center in Virginia found that it was a complete failure. Problems included inadequate care and staffing, cost overruns, and inadequate medical equipment.

The Private Prison Industry Runs Counter to the Public Good

Society benefits from having the minimum number of incarcerated persons, but the private for-profit prison industry does nothing to further this goal. The private prison industry benefits from locking up the maximum number of persons possible.

According to a recent article, 65% of private prison contracts have lockup quotas, meaning that the state guarantees that they will fill the prison to a certain capacity or will pay the difference. The most frequent lockup quota used in contracts is 90%, but three prisons in Arizona have lockup quotas of 100%.

This means that governments are paying to lock up prisoners whether or not there are any actual criminals to fill the jails! State and federal government entities are essentially guaranteeing profits to the private prison industry!

This leads to a grotesque scenario where there is pressure to increase the severity of sentencing laws to keep the prisons full. Private prison companies have been lobbied for three strike laws (mandates of 25 to life for multiple felony convictions) and truth-in-sentencing (keeping prisoners incarcerated for their entire sentence) legislation.

Privatization Deals Are Not Beneficial to Governments

All the abuses perpetrated by private prisons might be tolerable by the general public, since prisoners are usually not sympathetic figures, if the private prison industry lived up to its promises of incarcerating inmates more cheaply than public prisons. This is not the case; numerous studies have shown that incarcerating inmates at private facilities is more expensive than at public facilities or in a best case scenario costs the same.

When examining studies of the cost-effectiveness of private prisons, care must be taken to ensure that the underlying methodology of the study is valid. The private prison industry has a habit of generously donating to politicians and other groups to influence studies, showing the benefits of private prisons. There are enormous amounts of biased and poorly constructed studies that purport to show that private prisons offer cost savings over publicly run prisons. These studies, however, contain many flaws, such as the failure to adjust for differences in inmate populations, failure to include overhead costs, and comparisons to a hypothetical prison rather than actual operating facilities. A final trick used to present privatization as more effective is studies that highlight the cases of severely troubled state institutions after they are put under new, private management. In these cases, the state-run institutions are so poor that any new management, government or private, likely would have improved the prison.

The studies with the soundest methodology compare actual private prisons to actual state prisons with like characteristics (building size, location, prisoner demographics, security level, etc.).

The best study to date is the analysis of the 2010 data released by the Arizona Department of Corrections. This study compared like prisoners in actual, operating private and public prisons. The study found that using private prisons to hold minimum-security prisoners did not save any money, and that for medium-security prisoners was actually more expensive.

Another, albeit old, study that was well done and free from bias was the 1985 study of the transfer of the Florida School for Boys at Okeechobee, a juvenile detention facility, to a private non-profit organization. The study addresses one of the key claims made by the private prison industry that the private sector can provide public goods (in this case incarceration services) more efficiently than government organizations. Despite being a non-profit organization, the private manager was unable to realize any cost savings. Of note is one particular finding: Staff at the facility had much lower morale after the transfer. This finding once again corresponds to the articles cited throughout this report that staff issues including lower morale are one of the prominent downsides to the privatization of detention facilities.

Social Mores and Budget Issues Impact Incarceration Rates

The final issue is the shifting tides of social mores. Society as a whole seems to have grown tired of the “war on drugs” that resulted in the mass incarceration of millions of Americans for non-violent, victimless crimes against the state.

http://strubelim.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/2-10-14_inc_rates.jpg

(Graphic source: Wikipedia)

With the commencement of the war on drugs and emphasis on detaining immigrants, the incarceration rate has risen from a steady 100 persons per 100,000 to an astonishing 500 persons.

The cost to society for this misguided adventure has been enormous. With many states still facing budgetary pressures, reducing incarceration rates is an easy place to save money.

Finally, social mores threaten to reduce the number of persons convicted or held on drug related and immigration offenses, which are the two main drivers of the increase in incarceration rates. The recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington shows that the social mores on drug use are changing. Immigration reform has the potential to wind down the immigration equivalent of the war on drugs. As the social and demographic makeup of the United States changes, society is less likely to view the incarceration of drug users and immigrants as desirable.

With an enormous amount of bed capacity built up in the prison system (both public and private) to house quintupling of inmates, any drop in incarceration rates will radically affect private prison companies’ bottom lines. Almost every other civilized country has incarceration rates ranging from 150 to 50 odd people per 100,000, which is the historic range for the United States as well.

Summary

In summary, we find there is no economic or social reason for the private prison industry to exist. The horrific records of abuse at many private prisons and the changing social mores of the country place the profitability of these companies at risk.

Intense lobbying and generous campaign finance contributions by the private prison industry should keep the corporate coffers and jail cells filled in the short term. Also, with some private prison companies converting to REITs for the tax benefits, shareholders may reap a short-term windfall. Over the next ten years or so, however, the private prison industry is at great risk as its reason for existence begins to fade.

About the author:

Ben Strubel

President and Portfolio Manager of Strubel Investment Management, LLC a value oriented,independent, fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) based in Lancaster, PA.Visit Ben Strubel’s Website

We asked permission to use this article from Mr.Strubel. His response:
You are welcome to share the article with anyone you like. Glad you liked the article.

Ben Strubel, MBA
President and Portfolio Manager

Strubel Investment Management, LLC

Montana, you have Prisons For Profit in your state. Not only CCA, (Shelby Correctional Institute) and Cascade County Regional Prison, the state has learned how to use this cookie cutter system to make money for the select that have investments in it.  Montana Department of Corrections rents from private industries even, as you see in Cascade County Regional.  Phone fees are astronomical at $14-$15 per 15 minute local phone call and $17-$20 per 15 minute long distance phone call, forcing all inmates to cut ties with their families. Although, it has been proven that inmates with communication and visitation from loved ones will help decrease the numbers of those returning back into the system. Makes you wonder with these fees, canteen fees, visitation restrictions, etc. if they really want an inmate to be successful on the outside.  It makes them more money for them to return to prison.  Look at the Montana Parole Board and their high return rate!  Look at the incarceration rate! Montana, seriously, is this something to be proud of?

 

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America’s incarceration nation

mejustice:

No one likes to talk about this, of course: “We sell products made by prison labor” isn’t the kind of slogan likely to generate consumer enthusiasm. But to those in the know – as an online video promoting UNICOR’s call-center services boasts – prison labor is “the best-kept secret in outsourcing.”

Maybe Incarceration Nation really is a foreign country.

Originally posted on Prisonmovement's Weblog:

English: A visual representation of states in ...

A visual representation of states in the United States by number of imprisoned persons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Rosa Brooks

You already know that the United States locks up a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. If you look at local, state and federal prison and jail populations, the United States currently incarcerates more than 2.4 million people, a figure that constitutes roughly 25 percent of the total incarcerated population of the entire world.

A population of 2.4 million is a lot – enough, in fact, to fill up a good-sized country. If the incarcerated population of the United States constituted a nation-state, what kind of country would it be?

Here’s a profile of Incarceration Nation:

Population size: As a country – as opposed to a prison system – Incarceration Nation is on the small side. Nonetheless, a population of 2.4 million is perfectly respectable:…

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The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America

Originally posted on Prisonmovement's Weblog:

Prison for Profit: CCA, GEO et al Put Revenues...

Prison for Profit: CCA, GEO  Put Revenues Ahead of Rehabilitation (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

Prisons for Profit are morally and socially wrong.  Click the link below to read all 30 reports….

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s oldest and largest for-profit private prison corporation, is commemorating its 30th anniversary throughout 2013 with a series of birthday celebrations at its facilities around the country.

Over the last 30 years, CCA has benefited from the dramatic rise in incarceration and detention in the United States. Since the company’s founding in 1983, the incarcerated population has risen by more than 500 percent to more than 2.2 million people. Meanwhile, the number of people held in immigrationdetention centers has exploded from an average daily population of 131 people to over 32,000 people on any given day.

CCA has made profits from, and at times contributed to, the expansion of tough-on-crime and anti-immigrant…

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The Money Behind Our Prison System

Prison Corporations In America

Prison Corporations In America

According to a recent article from smartasset written by Brian Kincade:

The American prison system is massive. So massive that its estimated turnover of $74 billion eclipses the GDP of 133 nations. What is perhaps most unsettling about this fun fact is that it is the American taxpayer who foots the bill, and is increasingly padding the pockets of publicly traded corporations like Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group. Combined both companies generated over $2.53 billion in revenue in 2012, and represent more than half of the private prison business. So what exactly makes the business of incarcerating Americans so lucrative?

Most of it has to do with the way the American legal system works, and how it has changed over the last 40 years. In the 1970’s, lawmakers were dealing with a nationwide rash of drug-use and crime. By declaring a nation-wide war on drugs in 1971, President Richard Nixon set a precedent for hard-line policies towards drug-related crime.  New York governor Nelson Rockefeller followed suit declaring “For drug pushing, life sentence, no parole, no probation.”  His policies once put into action promised 15 years to life in prison for drug users and dealers. His policies catalyzed the growth of a colossal corrections system that currently houses an estimated 2.2 million inmates.

prison_20130611-021

The average cost of incarcerating an American prisoner varies from state to state. Some states, like Indiana have managed to keep prices low at around $14,000 per inmate. While states like New York pay around $60,000 to keep its citizens behind bars. The costs of running the American prison system is expensive and has become increasingly so despite public opposition.

According to a 2012 Vera Institute of Justice study, the number of those incarcerated has increased by over 700% over the last four decades. The cost to the taxpayer? $39 billion.

Where is all of this money going? The Vera institute study contends that that many corrections-related costs, such as employee benefits and taxes, pension contributions, retiree health care contributions, legal judgments and claims are deemed central administrative costs. Moreover, many states fund inmate services—such as hospital care in 8 states, and education and training in 12 states—outside of their corrections departments.  It’s a nice accounting trick but this amounts to a $5.4 billion gap between the reported corrections budgets of the 40 states examined by the study—$33.5 billion—and the actual cost to taxpayer of $39 billion.

Continue to read The Economics of the American Prison System

Montana, remember this prison system and this prison mentality is right in “your” backyard.  This corporation is in bed with the political system.  Helping to create new laws to lock “you” up.  Donating and funding money for lobbying, and for special events, such as Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s Inaugural Ball.   The prison system is growing fast and then add in the factor of a Board Of Pardons And Parole that on the majority will not release inmates that are doing very well.  Instead they release those that they think will end back up in the economic prison loop.  Montana has the highest incarceration rate than any other state surrounding.  It is time for reform.  It is time for taxpayers to stop  paying for a system that we cannot afford, just to line the pockets of corporations and politicians and state officials receiving kickbacks.

Sources: CCA, Vera Institute of Justice, The Nation, AFSC, CJR, University of Chicago Crime Lab, Barclays Capital, NPR, AFSC

Photo Credit: CCA, The New York Times, KQED

Categories: Montana Politics, Wake Up America | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sesame Street Now Giving Tools To Children, To Cope With America’s Incarceration Epidemic

Sesame Street Prison Program

 

According to an article, released today,  “My Dad Is In Jail”  by Mike Riggs,  the following was stated:

Nearly seven million people are under correctional supervision in the U.S.; more than two million of them are in a jail or prison. If you want to know what those numbers mean for the American family, consider this: The makers of Sesame Street decided to design and release an educational kit titled “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration.”

Actually, I believe the number is at 7.5 million under correctional supervision and 2.3 million within jail or prison.   Large Corporations have made this a profit industry as you can read here,  Private Prisons Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’ with Steve BullockMontana Governor’s Ball Receives Thousands From Largest Prison Corporation In America.   They are even partially funding public school teachers pensions, as seen here.  Public Schoolteachers Pensions Are Partially Funded By Private Prisons.

You can view the entire “Sesame Street Educational Kit” here.   I would have to fully agree with Mike Riggs following comment.

 “Congratulations, America, on making it almost normal to have a parent in prison or jail.” — Mike Riggs

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Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’

Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’.

Excerpt from the above link:

A major U.S. private prison operator known for inmate abuseviolations, and disregard for the truth reported a 56-percent spike in profit in the first quarter of 2013, due in part to its new strategy for drastically reducing its taxes, the Associated Press reports. During a conference call touting its success, representatives at GEO Group boasted that the company continues to have “solid occupancy rates in mid to high 90s” and that they are optimistic “regarding the outlook for the industry,” in part due to a “growing offender population.” GEO Senior Vice President John Hurley assured investors during the call:

We have a longstanding partnership with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshal Service and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. … We continue to see meaningful opportunities for us to partner with all three of these federal agencies, notwithstanding the various issues with the federal budget, which we believe will have no material negative impact on our business. The federal bureau of prisons continues to face capacity constraints coupled with a growing offender population.

The federal prison population has swelled 790 percent since 1980, in large part due to draconian drug and immigration laws. And the United States maintains the title of the world’s number one jailer. Private prison operators nonetheless remain enthusiastic about the prospects of high incarceration rates for business. Representatives on this call shied away from the strong language fellow prison firm Corrections Corporation of America used during its investor call in February, when CEO Damon Hininger assured a strong “continued demand for beds” even after immigration reform. GEO executives explained that they are now taking the position that “discussing our approach and strategies about any particular procurement is really not in the best interest of our company or our shareholders.”

Following a trend of corporations achieving dramatic tax reductions by becoming a real estate investment trust (REIT) – a mechanism historically reserved for firms holding real estate as an investment — both GEO and fellow prison operator Corrections Corporation of America successfully persuaded the Internal Revenue Service recently that they are essentially holding real estate, analogizing prisoners to renters paid for by the government. In reality, the job of running a prison is only nominally about the facility where it’s housed, and primarily about ensuring humane prisoner treatment, inmate rehabilitation, and public safety. But private prison corporations charging “rent” to house prisoners make no more or less money depending on whether they achieve these goals, particularly not when immense political spending to lobby for incarceration and privatization outweighs the public pressure from widely reported abuses at private facilities.

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Public Schoolteachers’ Pensions Are Partially Funded by Private Prisons

mejustice:

The largest prison corporation of America has become enmeshed with our society.

Originally posted on Prisonmovement's Weblog:


Photo via Flickr user Rennett Stowe

By Ray Downs

Public schools and prisons are becoming increasingly linked—police officers are now a constant presence in many schools, which has led to students getting hassled and arrested by cops for what could be described as normal kid stuff, including performing science experiments on school grounds. There’s even a name for this phenomenon: the school-to-prison pipeline, which takes kids, mostly minority students who live in poverty, out of the classroom and into the legal system, shuffling them into the prison-industrial complex before they’re old enough to vote.

But there’s another, less obvious way schools are tied to prisons. Retirement funds for public school teachers (as well as other government employees) in several states have a combined $90 million invested in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, the largest private prison companies in the world. Though individual teachers didn’t decide to…

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Montana Governor’s Ball Receives Thousands From Largest Prison Corporation In America!

Montana Governor Steve Bullock Receives Thousands From This Prison Corporation

Montana Governor Steve Bullock Receives Thousands From This Prison Corporation

According to the Independent Record:

Gov. Steve Bullock’s Inaugural Ball Committee raised about $315,000 in donations and ticket sales, spent $263,000 on two gala events in February and will donate the $52,000 left over to Montana charities, according to a report released this week.

Melanie Brock, executive director of the ball committee, prepared the report.

She said the committee began work in mid-November, shortly after Bullock was elected governor, to plan for two events. The Inaugural Ball was held Feb. 9 at the Exhibit Hall at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds, preceded by a reception for sponsors. The next day, the Governor’s Children’s Inaugural Ball took place in the same room.

Nearly 3,000 people attended the Saturday night ball. Tickets were $25 apiece.

A total of $315,400 was raised to pay for the balls, with $275,275 coming from sponsors and $40,125 from ticket sales.

Expenses totaled $262,932, the report said.

It was the first Montana governor’s inaugural ball since the 2005 event honoring Gov. Brian Schweitzer. No ball was held in 2009, after Schweitzer’s re-election, because of the national recession.

Major sponsors included corporations, including a number of energy-related and utility businesses, and individuals.

The largest contribution of $25,000 came from Phillips 66, Bartlesville, Okla., which has an oil refinery in Billings,

Donating $10,000 each were: Plum Creek Administrative Corp. Inc., Columbia Falls; NorthWestern Energy, Butte; CCA of Tennessee LLC, the Nashville company that owns a private prison in Shelby; PPL Montana LLC, Allentown, Pa.; Washington Corps., Missoula; MHA , formerly the Montana Hospital Association, Helena;

TransCanada, Calgary, Alberta, which is seeking to build the Keystone XL Pipeline; Cloud Peak Energy Resources LLC., Gillette, Wyo., which owns the Spring Creek coal mine near Decker; Deloitte Consulting, Camp Hill, Pa.; Nix, Patterson & Roach LLC, a law firm from Daingerfield, Texas; and MDU Resources, Bismarck, N.D.

Making the largest individual donations were: Fred Kellogg and Amy Smith, Kalispell, $5,000; Thomas Boland, Florence, $2,500; Paul Gatzemeier and Barbara Skelton, Billings, $2,500; Shane and Gina Colton, Billings, $2,500; and Beth Alter Esq., New York, N.Y., $2,500.

At first I thought…”okay…kudos”… they are donating money that is leftover, until I realized that CCA donated $10,000 to Governor Bullock’s Inaugural Ball. Now, why would the largest prison corporation in American donate $10,000 to a ball? How much did they donate to his campaign, to a governor, former Attorney General that is pro-prison all the way? They always donated to Schweitzer also, and we saw the Montana incarceration rates skyrocket under that administration. Partying up on the suffering of Montanans. A corporation that demands 90+ occupancy and wants to buy out all the prisons in America with a 20 year contract based on that. Wonder why it’s becoming more of a police state? These corporations spend millions helping to write laws.montana_correctional_institutions

Related Articles:

Private Prison Company To Demand 90% Occupancy

Danger Private Prison Corporation Offers Cash In Exchange For State Prisons – CCA

How Can We Compete Against Private Prisons Lobbying To Lock Us Up?

ACLU Challenges Corrections Corporation Of America CEO To Public Debate About Prison Privatization

Prisons For Profit The Modern Day Slavery

Privatized Prisons

The U.S.’s Growing For-Profit Detention Industry, Montana It Is Here!

Montana, this should infuriate you!  Oh wait, but the Executive Director of the Ball Committee, Melanie Brock had this to say.  “The fundraising took place completely independent from the governor, the governor’s office and official staff,” Brock said.   Yeah, right…we all know how lobbying works…it’s against CCA’s rules and Montana’s for that matter to donate over a certain amount of money towards campaigns.  Yet if you notice in the article it states from the former days of former Governor Schweitzer: “Of the nearly $97,000 left over, Schweitzer donated $50,000 to the state for repairs and maintenance of the governor’s mansion and the governor’s office. The remainder $47,000 went into Schweitzer’s constituency services fund, which paid for his political-related travel and other costs.”   Huh..everything that makes it nicer for the Governor and for his political career.  There are plenty more articles on here that show the connection between CCA and politicians, showing the incentives and profits that they make.

An officer from Shelby, Crossroads Correctional Institute in Montana let it be known how CCA gives the Warden a budget to go by, but if the Warden comes in under the budget they give him an incentive, a kickback.  Research, read through the articles, see what is happening in your state and the crimes being committed by our officials.   Americans are demanding the truth, Montana you should demand the truth.  These are your fellow Montanans that are suffering.

The definition of “Bribe”

1. Something, such as money or a favor, offered or given to a person in a position of trust to influence that person’s views or conduct.
2. Something serving to influence or persuade.

Bribery is an act of giving money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.

The bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient’s conduct. It may be any money, good, right in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, object of value, advantage, or merely a promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity.[1]

In economics, the bribe has been described as rent. Bribery in bureaucracy has been viewed as a reason for the higher cost of production of goods and services.

Many types of bribes exist: tip, gift, sop, perk, skim, favor, discount, waived fee/ticket, free food, free ad, free trip, free tickets, sweetheart deal, kickback/payback, funding, inflated sale of an object or property, lucrative contract, donation, campaign contribution, fundraiser, sponsorship/backing, higher paying job, stock options, secret commission, or promotion (rise of position/rank).

Politicians receive campaign contributions and other payoffs from powerful corporations, organizations or individuals in return for making choices in the interests of those parties, or in anticipation of favorable policy. This is not illegal in the United States and forms a major part of campaign finance, though it is sometimes referred to as the money loop. Convictions for this form of bribery are more easy to obtain with hard evidence, that is a specific amount of money linked to a specific action by the bribed. Such evidence is frequently obtained using undercover agents, since evidence of a quid pro quo relation difficult to prove. See also influence peddling and political corruption. Bribery often makes an unfair advantage towards people wants.

Taken From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bribery

We are not even talking about election laws and funding political campaigns.  We are just talking about plain out, “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.”  Don’t even try to persuade me that CCA is not getting something out of this deal.  Ten thousand dollars just for this event and that’s not talking about all the lobbying, gifts, incentives,etc.  You wonder why Montana is such a police state and only has plans of increasing the incarceration rates according to Montana DOJ and DOC.   Montana demand answers.

Why The Laws Are Getting Crazier...Prisons For Profit

Why The Laws Are Getting Crazier…Prisons For Profit

Categories: Montana Politics | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who’s Getting Rich off the Prison-Industrial Complex?

mejustice:

Officials of Montana stated “they have to keep inmates in their private prisons and prisons, that’s how they get paid” and “it’s about business, it’s dollars and cents.” With that kind of mindset, do you think your officials really care about you and your family? Do you think they really care if you are innocent or not or if a citizen has received an unfair sentence or if they ever receive a fair parole? You are just a dollar sign that pays some good salaries, unless you have some money to get out of it or if you know someone in the good ole boys club.  You know deep down inside what I’m saying is true.  Sure there are those that need to be in prison and those that need to never get out. But on the whole, Montana…start looking at your incarceration rates and start researching your criminal system.

Originally posted on Prisonmovement's Weblog:

This is definitely worth a blog post and some thought people…..

By Ray Downs

You likely already know how overcrowded and abusivethe US prison system is, and you probably are also aware that the US has more people in prison than even China or Russia. In this age of privatization, of course, it’s also not surprising that many of the detention centers are not actually operated by the government, but by for-profit companies. So clearly, some people are making lots and lots of money off the booming business of keeping human beings in cages.

But who are these people?

Using NASDAQ data, I looked through the long list of investors in Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, the two biggest corporations that operate detention centers in the US, to find out who was cashing in the most on prisons. When we say “prison-industrial complex,” this is…

View original 1,135 more words

Categories: Montana DOC/BOPP, Montana DOJ, Montana Politics, Prison Corruption | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welfare Recipients: Do You Voluntarily Want to Go to Prison?

 

 

As a non-partisan citizen of this country, it is extremely frustrating to watch and hear the current news cycle that has become enamored with some of the most outlandish ideas and concepts from both political parties.    One of these extreme concepts was presented by a Republican candidate for the New York governorship, Carl Paladino. (2010)

Mr. Paladino stated that he wanted to “transform some New York prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients, where they could work in state-sponsored jobs, get employment training and take lessons in ‘personal hygiene’.”   When questioned about his idea that is gaining some steam in the Tea Party, Mr. Paladino stated that “he doesn’t want to send welfare recipients to prison dormitories- it would be voluntary.”  Wow!  So, there you have it- a voluntary program to that will create more financial strain on the state of New York, train welfare recipients without a defined scope and purpose and teach the respective individuals how to clean themselves.

Too many single mothers, individuals who have lost their jobs in this stagnant economy and the self-responsible poor who have tried to pick themselves up, what a derogatory, condescending and indifferent proposal that has been presented by Mr. Paladino.  Most non-partisan historians would agree that the welfare system that dates back to the 1930s during the Great Depression has helped countless families and individuals overcome difficult and destitute times.  In 1996, under President Clinton, the bipartisan Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 changed the nation’s welfare system into one requiring work in exchange for time-limited cash assistance and created the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

Many critics continue to question this legislation.  But, with over 40 million people in the United States currently living at or below poverty thresholds, the reformed welfare system is still sorely needed.  To be sure, continual accountability and oversight of the TANF program is needed, as there will always be those who will try to do the opposite of what is right.  But, to isolate millions of people in neo-housing projects (i.e., prison dorms) to implement actions that are already required by law is simply not a wise mechanism to solve any problems associated with the TANF program in New York or anywhere else.  And, as a candidate for governor, Mr. Paladino should know that his proposal is not sound from at least three perspectives.

To Continue Reading: http://prisonreformmovement.com/2010/09/06/welfare-recipients-do-you-voluntarily-want-to-go-to-prison/

Prison Break: Budget Crises Drive Reform, But Private Jails Press On

CCA—the largest company in the nation’s private prison industry—had made the first-ever outright purchase of a state penitentiary. Now it wanted more, striking while the leg-iron was hot. Until that sale, for more than three decades various for-profit incarceration businesses had only contracted to run state and local lockups or built new private ones themselves. The CCA poured $72.7 million into Ohio’s cash-starved coffers to buy the Lake Erie Correctional Institution.

Then the CCA dangled $250 million in front of officials in other states agonizing over how to squeeze dollars from dirt in a down economy. In return for sacks of cash, the company wants 20- to 30-year contracts for housing criminals. And the already controversial full privatization also requires states to grind out convictions and sentences for two or three decades at today’s pace and severity, maintaining a guaranteed 90 percent occupancy rate—calibrating the wheels of justice to fit a profit-margin spreadsheet.

Corrections Corporation of America spokesman Owen says the company has never promoted criminal legislation, including within ALEC: “It was always, in my recollection, a passive membership that permitted our representative to observe dialogue by decision-makers.”

But once ALEC had firmly embraced initiatives to lower incarceration rates, the CCA soon quit the organization, in 2010. The company would have severed ties earlier but had prepaid for the year, Owen says, noting that with digital, online information it is now easy to “track and monitor trends” without being involved in ALEC.

In addition to the rub of ALEC’s redirected criminal justice priorities, other longtime private prison advocates now question the CCA’s call for a 90 percent occupancy rate in prison purchases. They include libertarians and free-market apostles who embraced the Reagan administration’s revolutionary drives for both privatization of government products and services as well as increasingly harsh laws. “Clearly it would be a very bad public policy and tie the hands of public officials,” says Marc Levin, who runs the justice initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a libertarian think tank that added incarceration to its agenda in 2005. “I’m sure Marriott hotels would like a government guarantee for a 90 percent occupancy rate.”

To Continue Reading:

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/prison

_break_budget_crises_drive_reform_but_private_jails_press_on/

  • It is just amazing some of these outlandish ideas.  Except that CCA is not an idea, it is real and it wants to make profits from prisons being full across America.  What business wouldn’t want 20 year contracts with each state with a 90 percent occupancy rate?   That welfare recipients might want to go to prison may not end up being so outlandish after all if they have to fill these prisons up.   Prisons for profit already look at citizens with a dollar sign over their head.  That means any way they can find an excuse to lock you up. 

 

Categories: Common Sense | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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