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This site contains over 2,000 news articles, legal briefs and publications related to for-profit companies that provide correctional services. Most of the content under the "Articles" tab below is from our Prison Legal News site. PLN, a monthly print publication, has been reporting on criminal justice-related issues, including prison privatization, since 1990. If you are seeking pleadings or court rulings in lawsuits and other legal proceedings involving private prison companies, search under the "Legal Briefs" tab. For reports, audits and other publications related to the private prison industry, search using the "Publications" tab.

For any type of search, click on the magnifying glass icon to enter one or more keywords, and you can refine your search criteria using "More search options." Note that searches for "CCA" and "Corrections Corporation of America" will return different results. 


Articles about Private Prisons

CoreCivic Sued Over Prisoner Who Committed Suicide in Tennessee Prison

The incident and subsequent cover-up attempts led to a futile referral for criminal prosecution, though two employees were dismissed by CoreCivic, the nation’s second-largest private prison operator with 2019 revenues of $1.981 billion.

According to a report by The Jackson Sun, CoreCivic’s four Tennessee prisons have a suicide rate nearly double that of prisons operated by the state’s Department of Corrections (DOC), accounting for 63 percent of the state’s prisoner suicides despite holding just 35 percent of the prisoner population.

Addison Smith, 27, was transferred to the South Tennessee Correctional Center in Clifton from the firm’s Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility in Hartsville on July 23, 2019. He was placed in administrative segregation because of suicide attempts and hallucinations dating back to his initial bipolar disorder diagnosis at age 10. He told a mental health counselor at the prison that he had been off his psychiatric ...

CoreCivic and Securus Technologies Agree to Pay $3.7 Million to Settle Suit for Illegally Recording Attorney-Client Conversations

Private Health Care Services in County Jails Comes at High Price

The 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that deliberate indifference to a jail detainee’s health care constituted “unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain,” violating the Eighth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment and opened the door for those in the jails’ care to file suit and hold the jails accountable. Subsequently, the 1980s saw the birth of the private health-care industry to help cover costs and shoulder this responsibility.

Next, the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill in the 2000s saw the closure of mental health hospitals and ensuing growth of county jail populations and therefore, the private health care industry. By 2010, 62% of the nation’s jails had privatized medical care.

But Reuters points out that utilization of the health care industry ...

$40,000 Settlement for Corizon’s Breach of Contract

Corizon Health paid $40,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging it beached a contract with Nursefinders.

The February 26, 2016, settlement resolved a lawsuit Nursefinders filed in a Virginia state court, but which was removed to a federal court, on March 20, 2015.

Nursefinders employs nurses and other health-care professionals for ...

NBA Owner Capitalizes on Mass Incarceration; Players Silent

NBPA members went on a three-day playoff strike in August 2020, triggered by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who was left paralyzed, shot seven times as he leaned into a car. The strike resulted in an agreement between the league and players to establish a social-justice coalition and associated advertising with a focus on civic engagement, ballot access and reform of police and the criminal justice system. Franchises that own their own arenas pledged to “work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 election.”

Yet the players and league were strangely silent about one of the owners exploiting incarcerated individuals for profit.

As reported in The American Prospect, Tom Gores, the owner of the Detroit Pistons NBA franchise, is a billionaire who founded Platinum Equity, a private ...

North Carolina Case Involving Death of Black Prisoner: “I Can’t Breathe,” Revisited

Just before Neville, 56, lapsed into a coma at FCDC on December 2, 2019, he managed to rasp to the sheriff’s deputies and jail nurse who had hogtied him, “I can’t breathe.” Two days later, on December 4, 2019, he died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center without ever having regained consciousness.

In the interim, Kimbrough’s office got O’Neill’s office to drop its charges against Neville. As a result, the death did not technically occur in custody, so the sheriff was relieved of any duty to report its details to the state Department of Health and Human Services. The death was not publicly reported for six months and then only under pressure from the Winston-Salem Journal.

It sounds like they rushed to get him out of custody so they would not have ...

Federal Judge Approves $25 Million Class Action Settlement Against Global Tel*Link

Under the terms of the settlement, individuals incarcerated in New Jersey prison and jails between 2006 and 2016 who used the GTL phone system, as well as individuals who received telephone calls through the company from New Jersey prisoners before June 2010 or in Essex County, N.J., before June 2011, would be able to file claims.

GTL also had been heavily criticized for requiring people receiving calls from a prisoner to make deposits into a company account and then keeping those deposits if the accounts became “inactive,” generally after the prisoner had been released. Plaintiffs had alleged in their initial complaint that, “Defendants fail(ed) to inform their customers that they will be charged a service or set-up fee ...

California Passes Bill Allowing ICE Detainees to Sue Private Contractors

In the latest in an ongoing battle between California leaders and ICE officials, state Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) authored AB 3228 to combat abuse and neglect inside private detention facilities. “For-profit private detention centers must be held accountable in the face of egregious human rights violations and harm to the health, safety and welfare of Californians, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bonta said.

AB 3228 was an extension of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), also proposed by Bonta. AB 32 was passed to end the practice of private-run prisons in California. State-run facilities were responsible for the health and welfare of ICE detainees. If abuses were present, detainees had recourse to hold the federal government accountable through the Federal Tort Claims Act.

But private prison companies, such as the GEO Group, CoreCivic and Management and Training Corp., were not governed by the Act. So, the Assembly adopted AB 32, which held ...

$177,500 Settlement in Lawsuit Over Five Louisiana Prisoners Pepper-Sprayed While Handcuffed

by Matt Clarke 

Thanks to a public records request by The Associated Press, news broke in March 2020 that Louisiana-based private prison firm LaSalle Management Company had settled for $177,500 a lawsuit over a 2016 incident in which five prisoners were pepper-sprayed while handcuffed and kneeling.

Adley T. Campbell, ...

Privatized Food Service Problems at Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County Jail

Much of the audit’s 34 pages focused on flawed record-keeping and Trinity either over charging for meals or failing to reimburse the county for commissions as stipulated in the contract. The county was overcharged at the Shuman Center, for example, by $8,413, including more than $6,000 for food donated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At the jail, the county was overbilled more than $1,600.

There also is a discrepancy concerning meals from a program called Trinity Take-Out, which allows prisoners to order specialty items like cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches at prices ranging from $12 to $20. Trinity’s contract with the county provides ...