Private Prisons Raping The American Tax Payers

ProfitPolitics4_zps951ddb18

“Promising to keep private prison cells full will be illegal in Nebraska if a proposal from state Sen. Amanda McGill (D) becomes law.

McGill, who is running for higher state office this year, has introduced legislation banning the government from guaranteeing payment to private contractors regardless of the level of service the contractor provide. While that may sound so obvious as to be unnecessary, states often make those kinds of promises to corporations when they privatize public services.

The most notorious examples are private prison contracts that guarantee companies like the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) a certain minimum occupancy level at prisons, and promise to pay CCA the difference should prison populations sag below that level. Such “lock-up quotas” appear in two-thirds of all prison privatization contracts, according to a report last fall by the anti-privatization group In The Public Interest (ITPI).

Skyrocketing profits aside, the prison industry saw some setbacks last year. In a single month last fall, CCA lost contracts in Idaho, Texas, and Mississippi. The Idaho prison that closed was so violent and brutal that it was nicknamed “Gladiator School,” and CCA juiced its profits there by understaffing the facility, effectively outsourcing prison security to gangs of prisoners.

America spends 2.5 times as much per prisoner as it does per public school student. The country’s incarceration levels help drive economic inequality, and the combination of criminalization and neglect creates a “cradle-to-prison pipeline” for black and latino Americans.

McGill’s legislation would ban those kinds of payment guarantees across all state contracts, but is specifically targeted at prison contracts.”* The Young Turks hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian break it down.

*Read more here from Alan Pyke / Think Progress:

Nebraska Lawmaker Wants Her State To Stop Paying Private Prisons For Empty Cells 

“Guaranteed Occupancy” Is a Crucial Part of the Business Model
When CCA made its 2012 offer to 48 states to buy the state prison systems outright, that offer came with one important condition: the state would have to “guarantee” a 90% occupancy rate. Last year, In the Public Interest (an anti-privatization group) reviewed 62 private prison contracts. Two-thirds of them (41 total) included occupancy requirements

Million Shares Club: 36 Major Private Prison Investors

Lady Justice @JUSTICEONREVIEW:

corruption money

“Each of these following companies own over 1 millions shares of CCA and GEO, and collectively own over two-thirds of CCA and GEO.” Unbelievable!!

  •  American Century Companies Inc.
  • Ameriprise Financial Inc.
  • Balestra Capital LTD.
  • Bank Of America Corp.
  • Bank Of New York Mellon Corp.
  • Barclays Global Investors
  • Blackrock Fund Advisors
  • Carlson Capital LP
  • Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn LLC
  • Dimensional Fund Advisors LP
  • Eagle Asset Management Inc.
  • Epoch Investment Partners, Inc.
  • FMR LLC
  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
  • Hamlin Capital Management, LLC
  • ING Investment Management, LLC & Co.
  • Invesco LTD.
  • Jennison Associates LLC
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Keeley Asset Management Corp.
  • Lazard Asset Management LLC
  • London Co. Of Virginia
  • Makaira Partners LLC
  • Managed Account Advisors LLC
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Neuberger Berman Group LLC
  • New South Capital Management INC
  • Northern Trust Corp
  • Principal Financial Group Inc
  • Renaissance Technologies LLC
  • River Road Asset Management, LLC
  • Scopia Capital Management LLC
  • State Street Corp
  • Suntrust Banks INC
  • Vanguard Group INC
  • Wells Fargo & Company

Originally posted on Prison Divestment Campaign:

There are 36 U.S.-based major financial investors that own over one million shares of CCA and GEO combined. The following companies each own over 1 million shares of CCA and GEO, and collectively own over two-thirds of CCA and GEO:

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

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:

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 policies that have driven prison expansion. Now a multi-billion dollar corporation, CCA manages…

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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

Public Schoolteachers’ Pensions Are Partially Funded by Private Prisons

Lady Justice @JUSTICEONREVIEW:

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

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement'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

Can You Hear Me Now? Prison Phones

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski

In an online question-and-answer exchange last month, U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski called prison phone rates a “serious issue for families, communities, security” and said the FCC is “preparing next steps.” Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Bloomberg News

Prison Phones Prove Captive Market for Private Equity

By Todd Shields on October 04, 2012

U.S. prisoners pay as much as $17 for a 15-minute call with their families in a jailhouse phone market dominated by two private equity-backed companies, and that cost now is drawing scrutiny from regulators.

Global Tel*Link Corp., Securus Technologies Inc. and smaller competitors in the $1.2 billion inmate-phone industry bid for exclusive contracts to provide telephone service, agreeing to pay as much as two-thirds of calling charges to government or private prison operators. Those commissions can drive fees to levels that make it difficult for prisoners to maintain contact with spouses, children and parents.

“Hello, does anybody hear me out there?” David Wrobleski, serving a life sentence in a Michigan prison, wrote July 15 to U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Over the years, I have lost most of my contact with my family and friends due to the increased cost of a telephone call from the prison setting. I come from a very poor family.”

In an online question-and-answer exchange last month, Genachowski, a Democrat, called prison phone rates a “serious issue for families, communities, security” and said the FCC is “preparing next steps.” He didn’t provide details.

A collection of civil rights, religious groups and members of Congress is pressing the FCC to act on a petition filed in 2003 by prisoners and family members to cut “exorbitant” rates. Representatives from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the United Church of Christ, the National Urban League and other organizations met with Genachowski in September and asked for a clear date for action.

Singapore Cheaper

“It is cheaper to call Singapore at 12 cents a minute from a cell phone than it would be to speak to someone in prison in this country,” a group of 30 organizations and individuals said in a May 18 filing asking the FCC to cap interstate rates. The current system, they said, provides “every incentive to choose bids that maximize fees.”

Global Tel*Link, based in Mobile, Alabama, has about 50 percent of the correctional phone services market, followed by Securus with almost 30 percent, according to Standard & Poor’s.

Global Tel*Link directed questions to its owner, American Securities LLC, a Park Avenue private equity firm. Caroline Harris, a spokeswoman for American Securities, declined to comment. So did Michael Millican, a spokesman for New York-based Castle Harlan Inc., which owns Securus.

Commission Criticism

Prison phone charges vary by location. A 15-minute call through Global Tel*Link costs $2.36 in Massachusetts and more than $17 in Georgia, according to a study released Sept. 11 by the Prison Policy Initiative, an advocacy group in Easthampton, Massachusetts. In New York, where commissions aren’t allowed, Global Tel*Link charges about 5 cents a minute, according to the study.

The commissions phone companies pay to prison operators “are the product of a public policy decision made by correctional authorities, and in some cases state legislatures,” which may use their share of phone fees to fund prison operations and inmate welfare funds, Dallas-based Securus said in a filing with the FCC.

Prison calls cost more than residential telephone service for reasons that include security requirements and bad debts, according to Securus, which said in a filing that it has about 1,400 contracts in 46 states.

Extra Security

Prison calling services include security capabilities such as preventing call-forwarding and conference calls, and caller identification based on voice analysis, Global Tel*Link said in an Oct. 3 filing at the FCC. Chief Executive Officer Brian Oliver discussed inmate calling in a meeting with Commissioner Ajit Pai, a member of the agency’s Republican minority, according to the filing.

Prisoners make collect calls or set up prepaid accounts funded by relatives or by their earnings from prison jobs that pay cents per hour. Service providers may collect per-call fees in addition to time-based charges, according to the Prison Policy Initiative.

Forty-two states got commissions from phone companies in 2008, averaging 42 percent of the charges and reaching as much as 66 percent, according to a July filing by groups asking the FCC to set a benchmark rate of 20 cents or 25 cents a minute.

Until recently, charges from Global Tel*Link ran about $100 a month for Tom and Dora Pickles, 79-year-old retirees in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Their son, Scott, is serving a life sentence in Connecticut after killing his wife and two children.

“We have counted that as an expense that was just there — we didn’t care what it was, were going to live with it, and pay it,” Dora Pickles said in a telephone interview.

Reducing Recidivism

After Connecticut rebid the contract and switched providers this year to Securus, charges dropped to less than $4 from about $13 for 15 minutes, the longest call allowed, Tom Pickles said.

“It certainly was a big break when it changed,” he said. “And by the way, that’s the quickest 15 minutes of the week.”

Connecticut reduced long-distance calling rates for most of its 16,000 inmates in 15 institutions, Brian Garnett, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Correction, said in an interview. “We are very cognizant of the strain that phone rates can place on family support of an inmate,” he said.

Keeping prisoners in contact with family reduces repeat incarcerations, Nancy La Vigne, director of the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, told Congress in a May 2010 hearing. Contact while in prison reinforces ties between fathers and children, giving prisoners a greater stake in good behavior, La Vigne said.

Private Equity

Global Tel*Link was bought in December by its management and American Securities, a private-equity firm with investments that include Oreck Corp., a vacuum-cleaner maker, and the Potbelly Sandwich Works restaurant chain. Terms weren’t disclosed for the acquisition from Veritas Capital and GS Direct LLC, theGoldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) investing unit.

Castle Harlan acquired Securus from HIG Capital LLC in May 2011 for $450 million, according to a video posted on Castle Harlan’s website. Securus was headed toward $80 million of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2012, up from $62 million at the time of the purchase, William Pruellage, co-president of Castle Harlan, said on the video.

Corrections Corp. of America, the largest private prison operator, said in a regulatory filing that an FCC decision to bar commissions would have a material adverse effect on its results. The company gets commission revenue “in some instances,” though not all, Steve Owen, a spokesman for the Nashville, Tennessee-based company, said in an interview.

Call Monitoring

Eight states, including New Mexico, have banned prison phone commissions and as a result the cost of calls in those states has dropped, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, which oversees phone services, said in a resolution adopted Sept. 25.

The National Sheriff’s Association told the FCC in a 2008 filing that capping rates for interstate calls would “seriously hamper the ability of sheriffs to effectively manage our nation’s jails.” Inmate charges help cover the cost of monitoring calls, Fred Wilson, a spokesman for the Alexandria, Virginia-based group, said in an interview.

If commissions are cut, localities could face a choice on whether to have taxpayers make up the difference, Wilson said. “Is that still going to get picked up, or is that program going to go away?” he said.

Money from commissions goes toward programs such as recreational and library supplies in Massachusetts, maintenance of county jails in Arkansas, and a victim compensation fund in Texas, Global Tel*Link said in its Oct. 3 filing.

‘National Priority’

Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat on the five-member FCC, supports limiting fees. “Connecting husbands to wives, parents to children, and grandparents to grandchildren should be a national priority,” she said in a statement.

Democratic Representatives Bobby Rush of Illinois and Henry Waxman of California urged the FCC Sept. 12 to act “as soon as possible” on the petition from 2003.

“It shouldn’t take the FCC one more decade to ensure that prison phone services are priced in line with their true costs and made more affordable,” Rush said in an e-mailed release.

Source: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-10-04/prison-phones-prove-captive-market-for-private-equity#p1

The company that Montana uses for their prisons is http://www.telmate.com/.  The prison phone business is booming.  They even have a “Now Hiring” banner on their website.    If you want to see how a prison can become corrupt and how profits are made well here you go.

 http://montanacorruption.org/2012/09/11/a-video-explanation-of-how-a-prison-system-can-become-corrupt-a-must-see/

Telemate advertises that their calls are around $3.85 for a 30 minute call.  But we have been checking on that and they end up being around $5+ for a 30 minute call.  They say how they are cheaper than calling collect yet we have records of a phone bill that shows that the collect calls were cheaper to use.   I asked Telemate if they can send an itemized receipt like phone companies do, they said “No, you would have to get a subpoena.”  Inmates families have to get a subpoena when it is their money that is being spent?  Why?  Why don’t they want families to know where that money goes too?  The DOC financially breaks the families in every way that they can but they can’t provide something that shows where their money has gone too.