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Afsc Mtc Rap Sheet 2007
Management and Training Corporation Rap Sheet MTC Facilities Are No Bargain for Host Communities • Arizona has already been burned in its dealings with MTC and its associated partners. Mohave County supervisors ended a contract with Mohave Corrections Services LLC (MCS) over breach of contract, charging that the company was not paying administration costs or housing overflow county inmates, as was stipulated in its contract. The County may be owed $200,000. The company apparently transferred the contract to MTC without notifying the county, and was subsequently dissolved (“County ends pact with Kingman prison,” Mohave Daily News, 4/2/07; “County will ask MCS to pay up,” Kingman Daily Miner, 4/5/07). • MTC left a Texas county high and dry when they pulled out of the contract to run a juvenile facility because they were not making enough money. The county lost $837,000 in just a few months after taking over the facility. In addition, the county took a hit on its credit rating. County Commissioner Charles Baskett complained, “had we terminated our lease and not attempted to operate, both Standard and Poor and Moody threatened to lower our bond rating to BBB…They (County Commissioners Board) said they were worried about losing our bond rating, and that’s why we should continue to operate the facility. We lost it (bond rating) anyway.” (“Defunct juvenile jail draws debate,” Hood County News, 2/1/06). • Officials in Willacy County, TX will have to pay $600,000 to bail out a new $7.5 million MTC- operated jail or face foreclosure. The county financed construction of the jail through revenue bonds, but when the US Marshals stopped sending females prisoners to the jail after a sex scandal, the jail was not collecting enough per-diems to pay back its investors (“Jail investors owed $600,000, Valley Morning Star, 8/23/06; “Jailbait: Prison companies profit as Raymondville’s public debt grows,” Texas Observer, 10/20/06). • Santa Fe County took over operation of its jail after MTC ended its contract early, claiming that operating the jail was not profitable. Officials projected losses of $5-$6 million per year during the management transition period, making it “the single most significant drain on the county’s budget,” according to the County Manager (“Deficits to rise at county jail,” Albuquerque Journal, 9/26/05). The Director of the County Corrections Department summed up the problem: “Because the contractor is focused on the bottom line…’sometimes their operations reflect that’” (“Santa Fe to manage its own jail, Associated Press, 5/20/05). • MTC lost yet another jail contract in 2006, this one in Penetanguishene, Canada. Officials there concluded that, “after five years, there has been no appreciable benefit from the private operation of the...Correctional Centre” (“Private jail operation contract not renewed,” Government of Ontario Newsroom, 4/27/06). Outrageous Scandals • MTC and Santa Fe County paid an $8.5 million settlement to thousands of people who were subjected to mandatory strip searches while being booked into the jail over a three year period. An investigation into the scandal found that “there was a peep hole in the door to the room where the searches were conducted, and guards would sometimes line up for a look” (“Santa Fe County Jail: Strip-search payout: $8.5 million,” The New Mexican, 7/7/06). • The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against a detention officer in another MTC-operated jail in New Mexico, alleging he repeatedly sexually assaulted two female prisoners and photographed them in the nude. The suit also charges that MTC, along with the jail’s warden and County Commissioners, was negligent in not properly training and supervising the accused guard (“ACLU sues for Wyo. inmates,” Casper Star Tribune, 1/24/06). • Three Webb County (TX) Commissioners were found guilty in a $39,000 bribery scandal involving contracts for an MTC-operated detention facility. One of the Commissioners was sentenced to three months in prison for funneling bribes to two other Commissioners in exchange for favorable votes in the • • • selection of contracts for the facility (“Another ex-official sentenced in scandal,” San Antonio Express-News, 11/22/06). MTC was forced to pay nearly $486,000 in back wages to 260 employees in Texas after a Labor Department investigation found that employees had not been paid overtime over a two year period (“Utah Company Pays Back Wages to Security Employees,” KSL Television & Radio, Salt Lake City UT, 1/31/07). This follows a similar case in 2005, in which the company was made to pay 393 employees $169,105 in back wages in five locations in Utah, Indiana, Ohio, and New Mexico (“MTC pays 393 employees $169,105 in back wages,” Deseret Morning News, 12/17/05). A wrongful death suit filed by the family of an inmate who died of a heroin overdose at the Santa Fe County Jail is alleging that the prisoner got the drugs from a former guard who is now himself an inmate at the facility (“Jail guard accused of scoring heroin,” Albuquerque Journal, 5/19/05). That guard was caught in a sting operation after he twice took money from undercover officers in exchange for bringing drugs into the facility (“Jail guard charged in cocaine delivery sting,” Albuquerque Journal, 4/20/05). In another wrongful death suit filed against the Santa Fe facility, a former health services administrator showed up drunk to testify as to whether a female inmate had been denied emergency medical treatment for a life-threatening illness. The former employee first lied to the judge about whether she had been drinking, but then blew a 0.09 blood alcohol level on one of two breathalyzer tests administered to her at the court. (“Witness in inmate’s case drunk in court,” Albuquerque Journal, 4/6/05). MTC Facilities are Unsafe • A guard who was severely beaten by inmates in an MTC jail in Canada blamed chronic understaffing for the incident. The guard, who sustained repeated blows to the head and torso, said there should have been more officers on the unit. “There shouldn’t have been just the two of us. There should have been probably four or five and this is the shortcomings of private prisons.” (“Beaten guard says more staff needed at super jail,” The Mirror, 8/3/05). • MTC settled two lawsuits in 2007 over abuses in the Santa Fe County Jail. The first involved the death of an inmate after a severe beating by other prisoners. The suit alleged that “inadequate staffing, lack of supervision of inmates, and lack of video monitoring contributed to [the prisoner’s] death.” In the other suit, a female prisoner was raped by other inmates at the jail and then strip-searched when she was brought back to the jail after a hospital exam. (“Two S.F. County jail lawsuits settled,” Associated Press, 5/7/07). • That same Santa Fe jail was also rocked by two successful suicides within 3 months during the summer of 2005. A civil lawsuit filed against the jail asserted that a guard took away the inmate’s shoes, but not his shoelaces, which he used to hang himself. That same suit also claims that jail officials ignored calls from the victim’s mother to tell them he was suicidal. The incidents came a year after the US Department of Justice issued a report stating that the jail’s suicide prevention policies were “seriously deficient.” (“Inmate’s family files civil lawsuit over suicide,” Albuquerque Journal, 6/23/05; “County inmate found dead,” Albuquerque Journal, 8/25/05). • Yet another wrongful death suit against MTC and its Santa Fe County Jail charges that the jail ignored a dying prisoner’s pleas for help and failed to properly diagnose his condition. The suit alleges that the warden asked nurses, “why do you give a (expletive) about that piece of (expletive)?” when they asked why more wasn’t being done to treat the inmate (“Inmate’s family sues jail,” Albuquerque Journal, 7/1/05). American Friends Service Committee, 103 N. Park Ave., Suite 109, Tucson, AZ 85719. Phone: (520)6239141, fax: (520)623-5901, email: firstname.lastname@example.org