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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

Diabetic Sues for Meals

Prisoners with medical conditions are entitled to special diets if needed to avoid illness. Robert Taylor is a diabetic and an Illinois state prisoner. His medical condition requires that he receive a special diet to insure that he receives the proper amount of sugars and carbohydrates. He was receiving the proper diet at the Joliet Correctional Center until the prison's food service contract was given to Service America Corporation (SAC), after which he never received the special diet. Taylor filed administrative grievances to receive the special medical diet and prison officials claimed they were working with SAC to ensure that he received a proper diet, however, nothing was done to ensure that he actually received the diet. Taylor filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by not providing him with a special diet. He claimed this failure violated the eighth amendment. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, which the district court denied.

In a brief ruling the court held that Taylor had adequately set forth a claim because he had informed prison officials of his need for special meals yet ...

Health Problems in WY

We have a new Health Service provider that took over from the state. They worry about costs over and above prisoners' health care. The name of the provider is Wexford Health Services, Inc. Their home office address is 4500 PGA Blvd. Suite 302, Palm Beach, FL 33418. It is rumored that they provided services in Alabama ten years ago and were kicked out. Besides Wyoming they are providing services in Michigan, Illinois; South Dakota and Florida. I'm wondering if you could print something asking if any of your readers has information about past or present litigation against this company or has discovered any other information about them they would be willing to share. There are several suits filed against them in Wyoming, but none of them are in the discovery stages yet that I am aware of. We are having problems with them changing medication without doctors orders, not passing out medications in a timely manner or handing out the wrong medications to the wrong people. They deny surgery after the doctors have recommended it, have tampered with medical records, lied to the prison administration and are guilty of general incompetence. Please send any information to Andy Renken, 2121 Douglas ...

Prisoner Raped by Custodians

A federal woman prisoner being transported from the Danbury prison in Connecticut to one in Texas was sexually assaulted by the owner of Fugitive One Transport, Arnold Faulhaber, and a company guard, Joseph Jackson. Both suspects were arrested on October 8, 1994, and charged by Monmouth County, New Jersey , prosecutors with sexually assaulting someone in their custody and over whom they had supervisory power. Both were released on $50,000 bond.

The victim states that she was picked up in Danbury and driven to Faulhaber's office. Faulhahcr asked her to go to Atlantic City with him and party rather than spend the night in the Ocean County Jail. She refused and was taken to the jail by Jackson. En route to the jail, Jackson allegedly drove to a remote area and raped her. Jackson threatened to charge her with attempted escape if she reported the rape to law enforcement officials.

On September 24, 1994, Faulhaber took the victim to his Ocean 1 ownership home and raped her. Jackson raped her yet again before she was finally flown to Texas to face charges. Upon being incarcerated in Dallas she told her family about the rapes and they in turn reported the ...

Breach of Contract Claim OK Against Medical Contractor

On December 22, 1992, Eddie Cherry began serving a 30 day sentence in the Polk county jail, Florida, for drunk driving. At the time of his incarceration he told jail staff that he drank approximately a case of beer a day. Over the next two days he repeatedly sought medical attention for symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal. On December 25, Cherry's wife contacted jail staff and told them that her husband had a history of delirium tremens (DTs) during alcohol withdrawal and that he was in immediate need of a physician's attention. Cherry's cellmate and other prisoners repeatedly told jail staff that Cherry required medical attention because he was hallucinating and shaking violently. Cherry was taken to the jail infirmary where he was shackled to his bed. On December 26, still hallucinating and suffering from DT's, Cherry jumped or fell off the end of his bed. Due to the shackles Cherry struck his head on the concrete floor and died five days later as a result of his injuries.

Loretta Cherry, Cherry's wife, filed suit against jail officials and Prison Health Services (PHS), a Delaware corporation which was contracted to provide medical care and services to jail prisoners, claiming that ...

Medical Claims Standards Discussed

Ronald Brewer is an Iowa state prisoner. He suffers from coronary artery disease. Employees of Correctional Medical Services (CMS), a contractor with the Iowa DOC, prescribed medicine for Brewer's illness but the treating doctor made an error in the dosage. Brewer filed suit claiming that he was denied the correct dosage of medication in an effort by CMS to minimize it's costs. The district court dismissed the suit, holding that Brewer had failed to state a claim.

The district court gave an extensive overview of the history of the eighth amendment, the legal standards applying it to prison conditions in general and deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious medical needs in particular. It explains the subjective and objective components that a prisoner must prove in order to prevail on an eighth amendment claim. The court cited numerous cases from all circuits discussing all these aspects. This case should be read by anyone litigating an eighth amendment claim as it provides useful reference and a good starting point for further research.

In this case Brewer failed to state a claim because the error in prescription dosage was due to a misunderstanding by the treating physician rather than deliberate indifference to his medical ...

Detainees Have Right to be Vermin Free

Two federal pretrial detainees housed under contract in the Allegheny County Jail (ACJ) in Pennsylvania sued jail officials for a wide variety of ailments affecting jail prisoners. Among the issues they filed suit on were: inadequate ventilation, extreme temperatures, excessive noise, use of chemicals and machines in the jail that gave off toxic fumes, unsanitary food preparation and inadequate medical care, among others. The district court dismissed the complaint on the defendants' combined motion for summary judgement and dismissal for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

The court of appeals for the third circuit affirmed in part, reversed part and remanded the case back to the district court. The appeals court covered numerous procedural issues before addressing the substantive issues of the detainees complaint. Readers should note that while the plaintiffs were federal detainees' they filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 rather than as a Bivens action because the defendants were state and county officials.

The appeals court held that some of the issues raised were time barred, ruling that the statute of limitations for § 1983 actions that arise in Pennsylvania is two years under 42 PA.Con.Stat.Ann. § 5524.

One of the defendants ...

Damages Awarded to Paraplegic Prisoner

Robert Hicks was a pretrial detainee in the Jefferson County jail in Kentucky. He attempted to escape by climbing out of a window, his rope broke and he was severely injured in the resulting fall. After a stay in the local hospital he was returned to the jail, bedridden and ...

Prison Privatization in England

The British government's "privatization program" for prisons and prison service is proceeding fast. After the contracting out of the Wolds prison in Humberside to Group 4 security, Blakehurst, a new prison in Worcestshire, has been tendered out to UK Detention Services. Meanwhile bids have just closed for the contract to run the rebuilt Strangeways prison. A new prison in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, will be contracted out later this year. In February parliament voted to extend the original plan which allowed only for new prisons to be "privatized," to mean that the running of existing prisons could be contracted out.

As usual, the private companies competing for the market in private prisons are linked very close to the Conservative Party and to ex-civil servants, ex top cops and ex army chiefs. For instance, Norman Fowler, an original member of the government team that recommended the privatization program after the 1986 inspection tour of US private prisons, is a non-executive director of Group 4 Remand Services. Ex metro police commissioner Peter Imbert is a non executive director of Securicor, who are to bid for the new Doncaster prison. UK Detention Services is partly owned by McAlpine and Son: Lord McAlpine is a ...

US Marshals Liable for Beating

Fred Sandoval is a federal prisoner. While being transported to a court hearing the Marshals Service placed him in a private jail run by the Wackenhut corporation, contracted to the US government. A Wackenhut guard antagonized another prisoner who, thinking Sandoval was the culprit, attacked Sandoval breaking his nose, teeth and cheekbone. Sandoval filed suit against the Marshals Service under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) seeking damages for the violation of his right to personal safety.

The district court dismissed Sandoval's suit as being "frivolous" under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (d), the In Forma Pauperis (IFP) statute. The district court held that the federal government is not liable for actions by its contractors (the Wackenhut employee). Because the assault was not committed by government employees, it was excluded from FTCA coverage.

The court of appeals for the fifth circuit vacated and remanded. The appeals court held that the FTCA's bar to assault claims (28 U.S.C. § 2680 (h)) does not apply in this case because the intentional tort that injured Sandoval was not perpetrated by a government employee thus S 2680 (h) does not apply.

The appeals court held that Sandoval had adequately alleged a cause of action against ...

Minn. Prison Signs Contract for Puerto Rican Inmates

Minn. Prison signs Contract for Puerto Rican Inmates

St. Paul, Minn. - about 500 prisoners from Puerto Rico will come to Minnesota as early as this month under a deal that finally will fill a privately operated prison in Appleton built to create jobs.

Appleton officials said they had signed a multi-year contract to board prisoners from the commonwealth of Puerto Rico at the new Prairie Correctional Facility, the $28.5 million medium-security penitentiary that has been standing empty for four months.

Ninety-three Puerto Rican prisoners were flown to a prison in Florida, where they will be held while supervisors of the Appleton prison make final preparations, which include offering Spanish lessons to prison guards and arranging for a local cable-television company to bring Spanish-language television programming to the prisoners' cells. Officials will also hire 70 more workers for a payroll that already includes 85 people.