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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

“Progressive” Seattle Mayoral Candidate Exposed as Shill for the Private Prison Industry

By Ken Silverstein

“I’m running for Mayor so every family can see their future in Seattle,” says Casey Sixkiller. “It requires bold action, leadership experience when it matters most, and a mayor who wakes up every day focused on rebuilding a more equitable, inclusive, and thriving city.”

One can understand why Sixkiller, now Seattle’s deputy mayor, would be running to the left. His hometown is one of the most liberal cities in the country and heavily Democratic. A nonpartisan primary will be held on August 3 and the general election takes place on November 2. Given the city’s political makeup, only a perceived liberal candidate stands a chance to win.

That explains why Sixkiller, an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, constantly hypes his alleged liberal credentials. He’s “an advocate for social and environmental justice, and a firm believer that government can be a powerful force for change,” says his website.

But while claiming to be progressive, Sixkiller has been working as a Washington, DC lobbyist for corporate interests since 2007. His clients included private prison companies, oil and gas firms, weapons makers, and even a CIA front company, Evergreen Air, a transportation firm. His wife, Mariah, currently runs a ...

Illinois Prisoner’s Negligence Lawsuit Alleging Injuries from Wart Treatment Timely Filed

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of state law negligence claims based upon a prisoner being forced to self-apply a medication that was not supposed to be dispensed to patients. The court, however, affirmed the dismissal of a deliberate indifference claim.

The court’s January 26, 2021 opinion was issued in an appeal brought by Illinois prisoner Sidney L. Peterson. While at Stateville Correctional Center in January 2015, Peterson was prescribed a topical medication known as Podocon-25 to remove genital warts. In accordance with FDA regulations, the packaging stated: “Podocon-25 is to be applied only by a physician. It is not to be dispensed to the patient” (bold in original). It is to be applied sparingly and then removed thoroughly with soap and water because it is a caustic substance. Known adverse reactions are pararthesia, polyneuritis, paralytic ileus, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, coma, and death.

While Dr. Arthur Davida prescribed the medication, he did not apply it. Neither Sarah Mays, a licensed practical nurse, nor Loreatha Coleman, a registered nurse, applied it. Instead, Mays and Coleman instructed Peterson to apply the medication himself. Peterson sustained, “severe sores on his penis’’ and “permanent injuries and ...

Law Review States Prisons Better Off With Public Health Care Rather than Private

Micaela Gelman, professor of New York University School of Law, penned the article, Mismanaged Care: Exploring the Costs and Benefits of Private vs. Public Healthcare in Correctional Facilities, published in the November 2020 issue of the New York University Law Review.

The article compares current private health care operations in prison systems to three public models available in other institutional settings. Gelman said that although others have problems inherent in their operations, nonetheless, they are more productive and cost efficient than privatization of health care.

Gelman begins with the history of health care privatization in corrections. In the 1970s, prison populations began to explode because of the “tough on crime” laws. This explosion had a profound effect on health care. Prisons could not keep up with the needs of prisoners or costs for caring for them on their own. The primary concern of prison administrations was security, and health care was secondary. Whatever decisions were made about the medical treatment of a prisoner first ...

GAO Reports ICE Wastes Hundreds of Millions Each Year

Although ICE detains an average of 48,500 foreign nationals each day and is the lead agency responsible for providing safe, secure, and humane confinement for detained foreign nations, it does not build and operate its own immigration detention facilities. Instead, when ICE needs to acquire detention space, it primarily uses Intergovernment Service Agreements (IGSAs) with local governments to reserve bed space for ICE detainees. 59% of ICE detainees are housed in IGSA facilities.

Alternatively, ICE may enter into an agreement with U.S. Marshals Services (USMS) to have a rider on the USMS contract with a local prison, jail or private detention facility allowing ICE ...

After Backlash, Tennessee State University President Reverses Decision to Join CoreCivic Board

News media reported that TSU President Glenda Glover had decided to join the board as a director with an over $200,000 annual salary. A CoreCivic news release quoted Glover as saying she wanted to help African-Americans and be “an inside voice that can help CoreCivic realize the full potential of its purpose of helping people prepare for the next step in their lives.”

“As the daughter of a civil rights leader, it is my belief that I would be in a better position to help the population that needs it most by speaking from the boardroom where decisions are made,” said Glover.

But the reaction from community leaders was swift and fiercely critical of her for agreeing to join the board of a company that profits off of mass incarceration and the disproportionate imprisonment of Black people.

“There can be no (rational) position for such a decision,” tweeted the Rev. Davie Tucker, Jr., leader of Nashville’s Beech Creek Missionary Baptist Church, who said the ...

Kentucky Leases Closed Private Prison to Use as State Facility

Long-time readers of Prison Legal News are undoubtedly familiar with the scandal and corruption surrounding the for-profit private prison firm CCA. An in-depth article concerning CCA’s Otter Creek Correctional Center (OCCC) located in Wheelwright, Kentucky, appeared in PLN’s September 2011 issue.

That article laid bare OCCC’s inadequate medical care, lax oversight and unfettered abuse of prisoners and staff so brutal that one employee pulled a pistol in the warden’s office and shot herself dead. Kentucky and Hawaii finally removed their prisoners from that facility in 2012.

The prison’s reopening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic was heralded as providing 270 jobs for Floyd County. The state legislature appropriated the needed funds to reopen and operate the prison for only a single fiscal year. Governor Andy Beshear stated the prison’s reopening occurred to ease the ...

GEO Group Puts Money, Lobbyist into Defeating Bill to Prohibit Private Prisons in Virginia

Virginia has one private prison, Lawrenceville Correctional Center (LCC). The GEO Group is paid more than $2 million per month to manage the prison. LCC has been in the crosshairs of private prison critics.

“We’re incarcerating the people, and we have a responsibility for those inmates to do it right,” said state Senator Adam Ebbin, the Democrat who sponsored the bill that would prohibit the Virginia Department of Corrections from contracting with private prisons. “However, private prisons by contrast have a motive to make money, lowering their operating costs, hiring fewer employees and pay and train them less than state operated prisons.”

The GEO Group responded by touting its party line of being a well-oiled machine that runs efficiently. “If it ain’t broke, why are we trying to fix it?” asked Tyler Bishop, a GEO Group lobbyist. “Unlike government run facilities, contract facilities provide greater accountability because they are governed by detailed contracts and typically have on site, full time contract ...

Washington State Governor Signs Bill Banning Private Prisons Statewide

Currently, there is only one private, for-profit detention camp in the state, the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma. The facility is operated by the GEO Group on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As a result of the new law, it will close when the GEO Group’s contract comes to an end in 2025. Crucially, the law will also prevent any other private facilities from opening in the future.

There were a few major objections to the law — mainly from Republicans — about whether the government had the authority ...

Narrowing the Remedial Gap: Damages for Disability Discrimination in Outsourced Federal Programs

I. Introduction

Kamyar Samimi, a sixty-four-year-old legal permanent resident from Iran, died in U.S. immigration detention in December 2017. After more than four decades in the United States, he’d been confined at the Aurora Contract Detention Facility, a large immigration detention facility near Denver privately operated under a contract between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the GEO Group.

Samimi had taken methadone for twenty-five years, but facility medical staff cut him off and then, according to his family’s subsequent lawsuit, failed to treat his acute withdrawal despite his increasingly desperate pleas.2 His family alleges that it took just two weeks of neglect for him to die3 — the first of ten deaths of ICE detainees in fiscal year 2018.

The lawsuit against GEO is currently in discovery. It seeks damages for negligence and violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which forbids disability discrimination in federal programs such as ICE detention. It alleges that GEO’s failure to accommodate Samimi’s disability — opioid use disorder — led to his inability to access mental health care, food, and water, and therefore violated the ...

Sixth Circuit Upholds Prisoner’s 18 U.S.C. § 111 Conviction for Assaulting Federally Contracted Private Prison Guard

Federal prisoner Derrick Grant was awaiting sentencing for an armed robbery conviction at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, a privately owned and operated prison, when he decided to punch the next guard he saw. He walked up to a female guard and punched her in the face, which caused bruising on her neck and jaw. He was charged with assaulting a designated person under § 111, eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 40 months’ imprisonment consecutive to his robbery term. With the assistance of Cincinnati attorney Anna M. Greve of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, he appealed.

The Sixth Circuit noted that 18 U.S.C. §§ 111 and 1114 criminalize assaulting “any officer or employee of the United States … or any person assisting such an officer or employee in the performance of such duties.” It rejected Grant’s argument that the guard was not covered by § 111 ...