All of these avoidable lawsuits cost you, the taxpayer, tons of money!
Health care in America’s prisons is a joke, and especially with private prisons, an often fatal, tragic joke.
I have seen HUNDREDS of articles like this one! When will it end? When YOU speak out about it.
Excerpts from the Article:
The family of a prisoner who died at the Bi-State Jail in Texarkana has filed a federal civil rights suit alleging his death resulted from inadequate medical care.
The jail is unique in that it straddles the border of Texas and Arkansas in a city that spreads out over four counties in two states. The 164-bed facility, opened in 1985, is run by a for-profit company, LaSalle Corrections, and used by law enforcement agencies in both Texas and Arkansas.
On July 19, 2015, Michael Sabbie, 35, was arrested on suspicion of verbal assault, a Class C misdemeanor, in Texarkana, Arkansas after he had an argument with his wife during which he allegedly threatened her. He was booked into the jail.
During the intake process, Sabbie told a nurse he had heart trouble, diabetes, mental illness, a communicable disease, asthma and hypertension, and reported he had suffered from congestive heart failure. He also complained of shortness of breath and told the nurse he had pneumonia prior to his arrest.
Sabbie’s complaints about shortness of breath continued over the next two days. He was seen twice by nurses, but sent away without treatment and, at least once, without even a rudimentary check of his vital signs. Then he was returned to his cell.
Sabbie was taken to court where a bailiff noticed he was “coughing and sweating heavily around the head and face area.” He appeared before an Arkansas City District Court judge, who noticed his shortness of breath and asked if he wanted to sit. Sabbie replied that he had been spitting up blood and needed to go to a hospital. He was instead sent back to the jail.
As he and 10 other prisoners were being returned to their cells, Sabbie paused with his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath. Jailer Clint Brown then threw him to the ground and five other guards piled on. During the incident, which was video-recorded, Sabbie kept repeating, “I can’t breathe.” Lt. Nathaniel Johnson arrived and pepper sprayed him.
The guards then pulled Sabbie to his feet and escorted him to a nurse, who performed a perfunctory examination before sending him away again. The whole time, the video showed Sabbie gasping for breath. A guard wrote a disciplinary report, charging Sabbie with “creating a disturbance” by “feining [sic] illness and difficulty breathing.”
The guards then took him to a shower for “decontamination.” He collapsed to the floor, but eventually got up and was taken to his cell, still complaining of being unable to breathe. He was found dead the next morning, two days after entering the jail.
Aided by attorney Erik Heipt, Sabbie’s family, including his widow and three children, filed a civil rights complaint on May 24, 2017 against Southwestern Correctional LLC, d/b/a LaSalle Corrections, and Bowie County and the City of Texarkana, Arkansas. Heipt obtained copies of the video recordings, which disproved jail officials’ attempts to make it appear they found Sabbie dead on the floor of his cell with no explanation as to how he died. The lawsuit noted 19 times he was recorded saying, “I can’t breathe.”
“The senselessness of his death has affected me deeply,” stated Sabbie’s widow, Teresa Sabbie. “It was totally preventable. It sickens me to know he needed to go to the hospital and was denied. They treated him as if his life did not matter.”
“They want to expose what happened in the hopes that this sort of thing doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Heipt said of the family’s suit.
A custodial death report listed the cause of Sabbie’s death as natural and mentioned his collapsing in the shower as “Sabbie sat down in the shower.” Jail staff likely would have gotten away with whitewashing his death had it not been for the video recordings. The district court denied a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants on November 30, 2017, and the case remains pending. See: Sabbie v. Southwestern Correctional, LLC, U.S.D.C. (E.D. Texas), Case No. 5:17-cv-00113-RWS-CMC.
“Michael Sabbie is not the first inmate to die after being written up for faking an illness,” Heipt told the Huffington Post. “And if we allow this sort of reckless disregard for human life to continue in our county jails, he won’t be the last.”
Additional sources: www.huffingtonpost.com, www.nbcnews.com, www.nytimes.com, www.cbsnews.com
- There is no “law enforcement” official, police or prison guard, who is above the law. ALL must be held accountable for their conduct.
2. There is no official so virtuous that he or she should not be criticized when they have their heads firmly in the sand regarding serious problematic crimes – police abuse and prison abuse, any official misconduct!
3. There is no politician so powerful that you cannot call him or her on it when they LIE.
4. There is no person in the criminal justice system, in any court system (i.e. Family Court) who should not be reminded, when necessary, that their job is to do JUSTICE, to be FAIR.
5. There is no politician who from time to time should not be reminded that THEY work for YOU.
6. There is no prosecutor (United States Attorney, U S Department of Justice – for your district or state. Attorney General, DA) who should not be bombarded with complaints from the public and requests for PROSECUTION from the public when police, prison guards, CPS investigators, politicians, or other officials lie under oath or commit other crimes. Most such acts are federal crimes under 18 USCA Sections 241 and 242. Hold “public servants” accountable!
THERE SHOULD BE A 7th TRUTH: EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO A GOOD LAWYER WHEN “THE SHIT HITS THE FAN”! If YOU have any question or problem with ANY prison/criminal justice situation, CALL me at 302-423-4067. NO charge to chat, and I am able to help more than 95% of folks who call me every day from all over the country.
We can be sure that this problem is in prisons nationwide! The “health care” in prisons is abominable, and they – prison officials – lie like hell to hide that fact.
Excerpts from the Article:
Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections is apparently doing such an effective job in its coronavirus response that it’s bringing people felled by the disease back to life. On Dec. 21, DOC’s COVID-19 Dashboard showed that the number of people incarcerated who died of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania’s state prisons was 65. The next day, that number went down to 58.
But it wasn’t a Christmas miracle. It was just the latest and most egregious example of data errors and lack of transparency by the DOC on the coronavirus behind prison walls.
On the same date that seven fatalities disappeared from the data, so did nearly 25,000 tests, 11,000 of which were positive. The number of people who recovered also went down from 10,103 to 2,584.
The unexplained change in data wasn’t the first time, nor the first discrepancy.
The dashboard for Dec. 14 showed that a person incarcerated in State Correctional Institution Forest had died of the coronavirus. However, in a press release last week, DOC announced that the first death at SCI Forest was on Dec. 22.
Philadelphia’s Amistad Law Project found multiple instances in which the reported number of positive cases went down in specific prisons, without explanation.
According to a DOC spokesperson, there was a “system glitch” on the 21st that led to an erroneous report of cases and deaths. Other tests were removed because of a deliberate change — in cases when there was both a positive rapid test and lab test for the same person, for example, the dashboard reported two positives. Since the 24th, the dashboard reports individual positive cases.
The early SCI Forest death on the dashboard was an input error.
Data errors happen. But for data to be trustworthy, changes need to be transparent. The change in how tests are counted was not explained publicly. The language on the dashboard was not updated. It is also unclear if the dashboard data before and after the change is comparable — making analysis of trends unreliable.
Tracking trends is key. From mid-March to mid-October, 11 people incarcerated died of COVID in prison. In the months since, another 51 died.
The data is particularly important because it is one of few windows into the state’s prisons. Since March, visitations were canceled, though the capacity for video calls has increased. Family members have minimal ability to assess the risk to their incarcerated loved ones.
Claire Shubik-Richards of the Pennsylvania Prison Society says that the issue with the COVID-19 dashboard is just one manifestation of an inability to track basic issues, including who is incarcerated and why.
Case in point: When Gov. Tom Wolf instituted a reprieve program in April as part of the coronavirus effort, DOC estimated that 1,200 people would be eligible. The true eligible pool was much smaller, and fewer than 200 actually received reprieve.
If the Pennsylvania DOC can’t be accurate and transparent about its data, it sheds doubt on its ability to be transparent about how it’s handling COVID-19. Behind every number is a life, and far too many are being lost in prison during this pandemic.
Wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2018 death of woman in JSO custody According to the complaint, 28-year-old Lina Odom died because she did not get proper medical care.
Another example of the abominable “health care” prisons provide. I have read hundreds, yes hundreds, like this one!
Excerpts from the Article:
The death of a woman at the Duval County Jail in April 2018 is now the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit, which was filed Friday against the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and ARMOR Correctional Health Services.
According to the complaint, 28-year-old Lina Odom died because she did not get proper medical care. The suit says Odom’s initial health screening showed she was a drug addict who had previously suffered withdrawal seizures.
However, the complaint says that during a subsequent jail stay, staff was negligent in ignoring her extreme withdrawal symptoms, which caused her death.
The suit says the jail’s medical contractor, ARMOR Correctional Health Services, is responsible for her death and seeks compensatory damages and other relief.
First Coast News reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for comment. However, JSO declined to comment, citing pending the litigation
The video above was published in May of 2018.
‘She was begging for help’: Family launches investigation into Lina Odom’s death
Inmate dies after being taken from pre-detention center in ‘medical distress’
Practical Tip – There Are Support Groups for Parents Who Have Lost Kids to Overdose, Shootings, Suicide … and for Others With Such Losses – kra
Did you know that there are a vast number of support groups for victims of our dysfunctional justice system and of our crazy world?
SOME ARE LOCAL, SOME ARE WORLDWIDE; SOME ARE PUBLIC, SOME ARE PRIVATE.
Just google whatever you may need. i.e. “support groups for Moms of those killed by drug overdose” or “support groups and similar organizations for children of those killed by gunfire”. Or “support groups for the wrongly convicted”.
One group for those who have lost loved ones to an overdose calls for fentanyl to be deemed a weapon of mass destruction! A worthy goal for getting attention, though it, like most “tough on crime” policies will not stem the rising tide of deaths.
From connecting to others to ease that “I am alone in this” feeling to many practical leads, there is a plethora of support out there. 🙂
SPREAD THE WORD!
Washington Supreme Court Announces Prohibition Against Blanket Shackling Policies at Pretrial Proceedings
I was not familiar with every state’s policy on this, but my research shows that Washington was the only one with this clearly prejudicial, unconstitutional policy.
The ruling here is the only fair one possible.
The Supreme Court of Washington issued a ruling that both clarified the standards governing the use of shackles during all court appearances and criticized the adoption of blanket policies for shackling without an individualized inquiry.
John W. Jackson, Sr. was accused of “assault in the second degree, domestic violence” after allegedly strangling his wife during an argument in early 2017. During Jackson’s pre-trial hearings, he was required to be shackled and in a jail uniform. During the trial, he was allowed to wear street clothes but was required to wear a leg “brace” that prevented him from walking normally or potentially escaping.
Jackson’s attorney objected to this treatment and filed a motion requesting the court conduct an individualized hearing on the need to restrain Jackson during appearances. On August 4, 2017, the Clallam County Superior Court issued an opinion on Jackson’s motion, as well as similar motions by other defendants then pending, which adopted the policies of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office on the restraint and shackling of in-custody defendants until a viable alternative, such as videoconferencing, was available.
During his trial, Jackson raised concerns that the jury could see his leg brace under his clothing, and it would be difficult for him to stand while preparing to testify. He was ultimately excused from standing when the jury entered and when he took his oath. He was ultimately convicted at trial and filed an appeal on the basis that the court violated his rights by shackling him throughout the proceedings.
The Washington Supreme Court noted the long history of a defendant’s right to appear in court without shackles or bonds, having its roots in English common law. Further, article I, section 22 of the Washington Constitution states this right includes “the use of not only his mental but physical faculties unfettered, and unless some impelling necessity demands the restraint of a prisoner to secure the safety of others and his own custody, the binding of the prisoner in irons is in plain violation of the constitutional guaranty.”
In the past, the Washington Supreme Court discussed the importance of preserving this right and for individualized assessment of the need for shackling, explaining “restraints are viewed with disfavor because they may abridge important constitutional rights, including the presumption of innocence, privilege of testifying on one’s own behalf, and right to consult with counsel during trial.” State v. Hertzog, 635 P.2d 694 (Wash. 1981).
A court retains discretion in determining when shackles are necessary, but a “broad general policy of imposing physical restraints upon prison inmates charged with new offenses because they may be ‘potentially dangerous’ is a failure to exercise discretion.” Id.
The Court announced the extension of “the trial protections against blanket shackling policies to pretrial proceedings as well…. We now determine that the constitutional right to a fair trial is also implicated by shackling and restraints at nonjury pretrial hearings.”
The Court stated that its position is based on “[w]hat we now know regarding the unknown risks of prejudice from implicit bias” and the culture in some county courts “in which incarcerated defendants are virtually guaranteed to have their constitutional rights violated” by blanket shackling policies.
The Court of Appeals agreed that Jackson’s rights had been violated by the shackling, but it also concluded that he could not demonstrate the violation wasn’t harmless and thus affirmed his conviction. The Washington Supreme Court reversed this finding. While the high court had adopted a harmless error analysis regarding shackling during jury trials that placed the burden on defendants in State v. Hutchinson, 959 P.2d 1061 (Wash. 1998), it later shifted the burden to the State to prove “that the shackling did not influence the jury’s verdict.” State v. Damon, 25 P.3d 418 (Wash. 2001).
In the present case, the Court expressly disavowed Hutchinson’s “substantial or injurious effect” test and announced: “We hold that the State bears the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the constitutional violation was harmless as set forth in” State v. Clark, 24 P.3d 1006 (Wash. 2001).
After reviewing what occurred at trial, the Court concluded “the State cannot prove harmlessness beyond a reasonable doubt….”
Accordingly, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals on the issue of harmlessness and remanded for a new trial “with instructions that at all stages of the proceedings, the court shall make an individualized inquiry into whether shackles or restraints are necessary, and for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.” See State v. Jackson, 467 P.3d 97 (Wash. 2020).
Florida’s Lowell prison is cesspool of sexual abuse by staff, feds say in blistering report – OUTRAGEOUS! – kra
This is a problem in every prison, but Florida is notoriously out of control!
I know from my daily work, the emails and calls I get, that truer words than these were never spoken:
“The report demands reforms, but DOJ stopped short of holding anyone criminally liable or accountable. “They could never make this a criminal case because they would have to arrest everybody. That prison is so corrupt that everyone is in on it,’’”
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: Practical Tip: How YOU can become a “prison reform advocate” – or any ADVOCATE! Here is how! EASY as 1, 2 ,3 ! DO IT!! = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/practical-tip-how-you-can-become-a-prison-reform-advocate-here-is-how-do-it/
Excerpts from the Article:
In a scathing rebuke of Florida’s Department of Corrections, the U.S. Department of Justice has found that officers at Lowell Correctional Institution have raped, sodomized, beaten and choked countless female inmates as part of a pattern of civil rights abuses that goes back years.
The sexual torment by staff at the women’s prison so horrified DOJ investigators that they have put the state on notice, instructing prison officials to institute remedial measures to protect inmates within 49 days or face legal consequences.
“[The] sexual abuse of women prisoners by Lowell corrections officers and staff is severe and prevalent throughout the prison,’’ DOJ said in a report issued Tuesday. These acts, DOJ noted, continue at the Central Florida prison in violation the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
For at least a decade, women at the prison have complained that officers tramp through their dorms and showers and grope, rape and threaten to beat and even kill them if they don’t comply with the officers’ sexual demands. If they report the abuse, they are subjected to retaliation, thrown into solitary confinement or lose visiting privileges with their children and families.
Inmates told Justice Department investigators that they are attacked in bathrooms, closets, laundry areas, outdoors and in officers’ stations. Sometimes officers march into their sleeping quarters in the middle of the night and force themselves upon them.
“We are so used to Lowell getting away with everything. It’s got to stop now. I hope this is a big hammer on top of that prison,’’ said Debra Bennett, an activist who has been fighting for reforms at Lowell for years.
“Our punishment was to be removed from society for our crimes — not to be raped or groped or pushed and beaten, crippled and killed.’’
Federal investigators reviewed over 100,000 pages of documents and interviewed dozens of inmates at the facility, the second-largest women’s prison in the country.
The sprawling, dilapidated compound, located in Ocala, has been the focus of federal scrutiny since 2018. Lawyers for DOJ’s civil rights division began meeting with inmates and their families about the inhumane conditions and abuses that had been documented in a 2015 Miami Herald investigative series, “Beyond Punishment.’’
The DOJ discovered that the prison’s culture not only fostered an environment where sexual assault and exploitation happened; they found it was thriving. This is in large part because the Florida Department of Corrections continues to soft-peddle investigations, allowing guards with numerous sexual assault complaints to continue working in the prison. This condones the behavior, DOJ said.
“Prisoners spoke of sex between staff and prisoners as a regular event, suggesting a normalization of sexual abuse by staff,’’ the report said.
Corrections officers frequently withhold basic necessities, such as soap and toilet paper, from the prisoners as leverage to get them to perform sexual favors, the DOJ found.
Even as DOJ investigators were visiting the prison and collecting evidence, prison staff continued to intimidate and sexually violate Lowell inmates.
Play VideoDuration 1:18Video: ‘Beyond Punishment’ – Former inmate fought to get biopsy
Among the litany of crimes listed in the report was a 2018 incident in which a sergeant grabbed an inmate, pulled her clothes off and sodomized her; another involved an officer who took a prisoner outdoors, pushed her down on the ground and put his penis in her mouth; a third cited an officer with a history of sexual abuse complaints who woke an inmate in the middle of the night, forced her to have sex, then supplied her with prescription drugs.
“These were not isolated incidents,’’ DOJ said.
Some of the violence was documented with photographs and other evidence. One woman, for example, suffered lacerations and bruises on her neck when a guard grabbed her by the throat and forced her to perform oral sex. Another inmate who was raped saved her clothing so that investigators could test it for DNA.
“Prisoners were forced or coerced to perform fellatio on or touch intimate body parts of staff. In other incidents, staff demanded that prisoners undress in front them, sometimes in exchange for basic necessities, such as toilet paper.’’
The report demands reforms, but DOJ stopped short of holding anyone criminally liable or accountable. “They could never make this a criminal case because they would have to arrest everybody. That prison is so corrupt that everyone is in on it,’’ said Bennett, who was incarcerated at Lowell years ago and now runs a nonprofit to assist women at the prison.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office did not respond to a request for comment.
“It’s shocking to see this kind of sexual abuse at every level of the prison, from trainees to lieutenants. It’s just been acceptable at that facility,’’ said Julie Abbate, former deputy chief of special investigations in DOJ’s civil rights division.
Florida’s own prison investigators condone the violent behavior by ignoring or losing evidence, dismissing credible complaints from staff and administering trivial discipline to officers who were caught, DOJ said. The agency often “inordinately delayed’’ investigations or kept them open indefinitely, transferred repeat offenders to other prisons or simply moved officers to different locations on the compound where they continued to grope and rape inmates, the report said.
“A Lowell sergeant, who was arrested in February 2017 on charges of having sexual intercourse with a prisoner had been the subject of numerous allegations for years, some of which had been closed by [FDC investigators] as unfounded despite being inadequately investigated,’’ DOJ said. “By under-exploring or ignoring potential available evidence… or abruptly closing a case without completing the investigative process, [FDC] fails to provide accountability…and corrective action to prevent future sexual abuse.’’ DOJ cited the Miami Herald’s series about rampant physical and sexual abuse at Lowell as putting the state “on notice’’ years ago about the risk of harm and serious civil rights violations against women. Yet, the “piecemeal measures’’ that FDC instituted after the series failed to meet the agency’s constitutional obligations to protect inmates, DOJ said.
For example, Justice Department investigators found that FDC has known for some time that staffers have used mezzanine areas at Lowell for sexual encounters with inmates, but have not installed cameras to cover those areas.
In another case, FDC showed blatant disregard for inmate safety by ignoring multiple sexual assault complaints filed against an officer. “While this officer was ultimately relocated to another facility, it took ten allegations…involving sexual misconduct before action was taken against the officer,’’ the report said.
The prison system’s history of corruption and abuse — and its inability to adequately supervise corrections officers and staff at Lowell — has forced the Justice Department to intervene to protect inmates’ constitutional rights, DOJ said.
Abbate said it’s imperative that FDC institute independent monitoring at Lowell, because the unlawful behavior is so ingrained that the sexual abuse of female inmates won’t end until there is new oversight at the prison.
“This is about fixing it going forward. It’s important to have a culture change so this doesn’t happen again. It’s the same disregard for prisoner humanity, whether it’s sexual, physical or mental abuse all across Florida prisons,’’ she said.
It is the same all over America! Worse in state prisons!
THIS has saved many lives: How to Force Proper Health Care in Prison – Practical Tip- Know an Inmate? SHARE THIS!
Excerpts from the Article:
At a New York City federal prison that’s recorded relatively few confirmed cases of COVID-19, medical requests made by incarcerated people during the pandemic topped the usual number by hundreds. Many went unaddressed for weeks, according to a federal watchdog report published on November 10. The failure to respond to the medical needs of people who are incarcerated appears to be borne of the facility’s dire medical staffing shortage.
According to the US Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General report, requests for medical attention by prisoners at the Bureau of Prison’s (BOP) Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn (MDC-Brooklyn) have surged during the COVID-19 crisis relative to pre-pandemic numbers. A total of 2,160 requests were filed between March 2 and September 23 of this year, compared to 1,649 during that same period last year.
BOP did not respond to Filter‘s request for comment.
Many of the requests describe fears of exposure to COVID-19. “Please allow someone to see me immediately, I am high risk for the Corona Virus. Not saying I have it, but would love immediate care if I do end positive,” wrote one prisoner in a redacted March 29 request made publicly available by the The Intercept. Two days earlier, another wrote that “i had a cold a few weeks ago i was never seen but now i have this cough like i am choking on spit and my chest and heart hurts when i am breathing.”
The modest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among those incarcerated at MDC-Brooklyn—16, as of November 10—is almost certainly an undercount. The facility had a limited supply of testing equipment, but less than half of the kits it did have between March and May were actually used. MDC-Brooklyn Health Services staff simply assumed some prisoners were positive, reserving testing “generally” for “only symptomatic inmates housed in units without a confirmed case.”
The Health Services team wasn’t prepared to meet their incarcerated population’s needs. “Patients may repeatedly submit sick call requests with COVID-19 concerns, but the facility lacks the clinical response to find and care for those individuals,” wrote former NYC Correctional Health Services medical director Dr. Homer Venters in a report on MDC-Brooklyn for a lawsuit filed by incarcerated plaintiffs in April.
From the early days of the pandemic through September, the facility had a single doctor on staff (compared to MDC-Brooklyn’s usual three, pre-COVID-19) while only half of Mid-Level Providers were available (three out of six). Two new temporary medical workers joined the MDC-Brooklyn team in April, bringing the total number of employees up to 22. The authorized count is 30.
MDC-Brooklyn staff knew the shortage was a problem. A majority of the facility’s respondents to the OIG survey (71 percent) identified “Additional staff to cover posts” as an immediate need, compared to 39 percent of BOP-wide respondents.
“The shortage of medical staff at MDC Brooklyn was among the biggest challenges in appropriately screening inmates and staff members for COVID‑19 symptoms,” states the OIG report. “This shortage continued through September 2020 and resulted in MDC Brooklyn struggling to meet the medical needs of non–COVID‑19 inmates.”
As a result, hundreds of medical requests have gone unaddressed for months at a time. One hundred twenty-five requests submitted in March, approaching the height of the outbreak, remained unaddressed by May 1. Even after the pandemic’s epicenter moved out of New York City, the high number of requests continued—many with the same attending delays. Of an unspecified number of requests made in early July, 160 had not been scheduled or seen by September 23.
For those requests that were lucky enough to receive responses, Venters stated in his report, the subsequent action was insufficient. “After multiple requests, the only response was for a health staffer to come to their cell and take their temperature,” Venters wrote, a practice he cites as a “serious deviation from accepted standards.” He found that “no thorough symptoms were elicited and no other physical examinations were conducted.”
The full picture of the quality of Health Services’ responses has been obstructed by staff. According to Venters, employees were destroying the paper request slips during the early days of the city’s outbreak, up until a court intervened. “This represents a gross deviation from basic health care standards because the sick-call requests form part of the patient’s medical record,” he wrote. “[It] renders impossible any evaluation of whether the assessment and care provided was appropriate to the patient’s original concerns.”
Private prisons are the worst thing ever to hit the criminal justice system. They use this legal bribery to keep their contracts, although lawmakers are flooded with complaints from inmates’ loved ones, so they must know what is going on.
Obama was phasing them out of the federal system, then tRump came along and welcomed them back, because they donated so much to him!
Because of their abysmal performance, these companies know that they will not have many of their contracts renewed, so the crafty devils have diversified into private probation companies (equally disastrous) and other areas!
Excerpts from the Article:
The volatile 2020 presidential election campaign led private prison operators, dominated by CoreCivic and GEO Group, to open their wallets, with a vast percentage of their approximately $2 million in combined contributions going to the Republicans, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.
With a sitting president who has campaigned against illegal immigration and in favor of strict enforcement of immigration laws, the industry clearly wants to maintain its profit stream from facilities holding immigration detainees.
However, whether or not President Donald Trump is reelected, or his Democratic challenger Joe Biden prevails [Editor’s note: This story is being written shortly before the election], the private prison concerns will not likely be going out of business any time soon, for a reason that transcends party politics: There is insufficient space in federal prisons or immigration-holding facilities to house all detainees. There also is no support in Congress for increasing bed space.
In a little-reported development, the Department of Justice quietly transferred the last immigration detainees from its prisons in 2018.
As a result, DOJ and immigration officials were left with no other option but to use private facilities to house them. Both major companies made about $1.3 billion from contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2019 alone, representing 30 percent of their income.
Private prison companies’ stock initially rose upon President Trump’s election, but generally slumped thereafter. With the Democratic platform calling for the abolition of private prisons, and with the bipartisan interest in prison reform and reducing mass incarceration, the industry appeared to be hoping to at least maintain a status quo by favoring Trump and the GOP.
GEO Group spokesman Pablo Paez, when questioned about the preponderance of money flowing to Republicans, said it “should not be construed as an endorsement of all policies or positions adopted by any individual candidate.” He added that, “The services we provide today are in no way different from the high quality, professional services we provided for eight years under President Obama’s administration,” when detentions and deportation initially spiked, and then tapered off. Nonetheless, GEO Group’s founder and CEO gave over $500,000 to Republicans this past year, and only $10,000 to Democrats.
CoreCivic spokesman Ryan Gustin also denied party favoritism in its political contributions, stating that such assertions, “are misleading and portray our company in a false light.” Nonetheless, CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger donated $26,300 to Republicans during this election season. People and groups linked to the company have given $228,000, mostly to the Republicans.
Regardless of the election outcome, the Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement will still be required to honor the contracts signed by their departments, meaning that any serious reduction in private prison detentions will remain firmly in the future.
Great news! You have seen me say many times: The BEST way to reduce crime is to educate inmates. All studies prove it!
Excerpts from the Article:
Ed today to lift a 26-year-old ban on Pell Grants for people in prison. The restoration of access to Pell Grants means that incarcerated people can once again apply for federal Pell Grants in order to pay for college courses.
Access to education is transformative, and today’s bipartisan vote will improve community safety for everyone while also opening a new chapter of opportunity for incarcerated people and their families, marking a step toward increasing equity for Black and brown communities. The measure lifting the ban was included in Congress’ year-end omnibus appropriations bill.
Evidence that access to postsecondary courses in prison improves lives and communities is overwhelming and has been further demonstrated by the success of the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative.
Nicholas Turner, president and director of the Vera Institute of Justice, released the following statement in response to this historic vote:
“The Vera Institute of Justice is overwhelmed with joy and gratitude that more people in prison will now be able to access higher education. We thank leaders in the Senate, House, and Obama and Trump administrations for working tirelessly to right the wrong of the Pell ban, and the partners and formerly incarcerated advocates whose leadership, willingness to share their stories, and constant guidance have been essential to this effort.
Allowing people in prison to access higher education is a critical step toward a more equitable society, especially for Black and brown people who have historically been sentenced to prison at higher rates and trapped in cycles of incarceration. Pell Grants are one of the most straightforward and effective ways to create opportunities for incarcerated people and to strengthen their families and communities when they come home.
Lifting the ban on Pell Grants has been one of Vera’s most important policy goals. We look forward to working with more corrections departments and colleges across the country to ensure that the life-altering opportunities of higher education are available to all eligible students.”
Since 2015, as part of the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, Vera has provided technical assistance to the participating college in prison programs. There are now 130 colleges in 42 states and the District of Columbia participating in the initiative, through which incarcerated students have earned more than 4,500 bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, postsecondary diplomas, and certificates.
From the beginning of this effort to increase access to Pell Grants for people in prison, Vera has followed the lead of formerly incarcerated students, who deserve to be celebrated as the real champions of this fight. Boris Franklin, who was incarcerated in New Jersey and earned credits toward a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Rutgers University while in prison, says, “I know from firsthand experience that education is the best way to invest in the full potential of people in prison. Earning my degree has helped me get a better job and improve my family’s future while contributing to my community. I’m thrilled that now all people in prison will have the same opportunities to further their education.”
Vera was proud to partner with College and Community Fellowship, Drug Policy Alliance, Prison Fellowship, the Unlock Higher Ed coalition, and many others over the past four years on this successful effort to restore access to Pell Grants. Over that time period, support and endorsements from countless other organizations and individuals have been instrumental, including higher education groups, law enforcement organizations, businesses, chambers of commerce both big and small, and many others.
Vera especially honors and acknowledges Fred Patrick, who joined Vera in July 2012 to launch its work on postsecondary education in prison. In 2015, he was named director of Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, which he led until his passing in July 2019. This victory for justice would not have been possible without his steady and kind leadership.
The Whole Story