Overcrowded Jail Blues
 By Elizabeth Albanese
 The Bond Buyer

 DALLAS -- With local jails in the Southwest bursting at the seams or being deemed sub-standard
 by officials, many sheriffs are turning to economic development bonds to get new lock-ups built in
 their counties and cities.

 In the last month, about 10 jail bond referendums in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas have been
 defeated at the polls. As a result, jail administrators -- many of whom are under court order to
 improve jail standards and reduce overcrowding -- are using funding other than taxes to get facilities

 A number of counties have used revenue from per diem fees for housing federal or state prisoners, or
 in some cases, prisoners from other counties, to back economic development bonds to finance jail
 construction. In order to justify the use of economic development bonds, the jail projects must be
 considered not simply criminal justice facilities but institutions that can bring jobs and increased
 revenue to the community.

 "We know that nearly every state in the country is looking for beds, and the federal government is
 always looking for additional jail beds," said Don Keysser, a consultant who works with LGA
 Capital Resource Planning. "The additional per diem from those entities helps pay debt service.
 Although they aren't intended to work out as economic development projects per se, in many
 communities they are so successful that they are turning out to be economic development projects."

 Officials in Grady County, Okla., Rice County, Kan., and Tillman County, Okla. have dodged the
 threat of jail closings by successfully selling economic development bonds to finance construction,
 and in some cases, operation, of new lock-ups.

 John Satterfield, a banker with American Municipal Securities Inc., said he believes jail bonds are a
 growing force in the market.

 "When you consider the fact that most jails built in the United States were built to house much
 smaller inmate populations, it's clear there's a need for the newer, larger facilities," he said. The firm
 has underwritten several jail bond issues and is an active trader of debt issued for medium-sized jails.

 "We do like that sector. In some cases, there's a higher yield, but one thing is pretty certain -- jail
 bonds only very rarely have default problems."

 Satterfield said although there have been some private jail defaults over the last 20 years, he could
 not think of any public jail debt that fell into a default situation.

 Saline County, Ark., Judge Larry Fite said the voters' refusal to approve a temporary half-cent tax to
 pay for a new jail there is forcing him to explore options other than traditional financing. Voters last
 month defeated a referendum that would have authorized $13 million of bonds to build a new
 lock-up, despite the fact that the county's jail is facing several federal lawsuits because of

 A permanent half-cent tax to operate the proposed jail was also axed by voters.

 The proposed 240-bed jail would have replaced the current facility, which opened in 1983 with
 space for 32 inmates. During the week, the jail often holds as many as 70 prisoners, with the number
 jumping to over 100 on weekends.

 "We are forming a committee to study the way other counties have gotten their jails paid for," Fite
 said. "The way we look at it, a lawsuit could cost us a lot more than a new jail."

 Beckham County, Okla., Sheriff Scott Jay said last week's failed M z/-of-a-cent tax referendum
 leaves him wondering how he'll manage to get financing for a jail. He's under the gun because a state
 jail inspector has threatened to close the current county lock-up because of overcrowding and
 substandard conditions.

 The jail was opened in 1911. Even with a 1964 expansion, the facility only has beds for 28 inmates.
 The proposed new jail would have had room for 98 inmates, including a wing for 16 women.

 A lack of voter enthusiasm for new jail funding has also put the lock-ups in Johnston County, Okla.,
 Izard County, Ark, and Scott County, Ark., on the line. Mid-sized areas like Denton County, Tex.,
 and Lubbock, Tex., are also searching for financing to ease jail overcrowding problems. Even larger
 cities such as Denver and Little Rock are running into overcrowding situations. A November
 referendum, if successful, would allow Denver officials to build a $300 million jail to ease
 overcrowding in its city and county jails.

 "You have to realize that most jails in the United States were built before the 1950s," Keysser said.
 "Some of them are just medieval. As a result, you see a lot of suicides, sexual assaults, assaults, and
 escapes -- which in turn result in a lot of prison lawsuits."

 Keysser said he is currently working with three local sheriffs in Arkansas to put together a women's
 facility that could be used by three counties. Although financing details are not yet set in stone,
 Keysser said net revenues from per diem fees could be used to fund the deal.

 "We're not bringing this idea to a referendum," he said. "This would be financed purely on a per diem

 Because of the special needs of women prisoners, many sheriffs won't house them, which leaves
 some of them on the street, Keysser said.

 "Women have to be out of the hearing and visual range of male prisoners," he said. "That means in
 order to house them, some sheriffs have to cut off a whole wing or floor of their jails, because most
 jails were not built with the idea of housing women. By law, there have to be women guards rather
 than male guards. That all adds up to a whole lot of money."

 A multi-county women's facility would relieve jailers of the worries of separating women from men,
 and could be used to bring in revenue from other areas that are experiencing the same type of
 difficulty, he said.

 "This is the type of prototype facility idea that could eventually be converted to juveniles who have
 been adjudicated as adults, or the elderly," he said. "A lot of these special-needs prisoners who are
 difficult to mix in with the rest of the population could be handled with special jails."

 Larry Goldberg, who owns LGA Group, which includes LGA Construction Management, and LGA
 International Projects, said jails could be financed by housing prisoners from other jurisdictions if the
 math were done right. Goldberg's firm has designed jails throughout the country for the last 15 years.

 "You have to figure that to make economic development financing work, you have to build a facility
 that is 2.2-times your own needs. If you average 50 prisoners, you need between 120 and 160
 beds," he said. "You look at what they pay -- you need between $40 and $50 per day. Oklahoma
 DOC pays $31 to $38 per day, INS and U.S. Marshals pay $55 and juveniles adjudicated as adults
 get $60 to $70 per day. You just have to do the math and get it done. One thing about this business
 is sure -- jails are a fairly recession-proof industry."


Florida: New conflict of interest uncovered.
Conflicts cited in DCF dealings
                   Anthony Colarossi | Sentinel Staff Writer
                   Posted June 21, 2001
                   TAVARES -- A year after the Lake County Boys Ranch
                   ceased operations under a cloud of criminal
                   indictments, the state Commission on Ethics says two
                   former state employees who went to work for the ranch
                   probably violated the state ethics code.
                   Pamela Brown, a former assistant district administrator
                   for the Department of Children & Families, negotiated a
                   major foster care contract on behalf of DCF with the
                   Boys Ranch. The so-called "Bridges" contract was
                   awarded in early 1997.
                   A little more than a year after the Ranch-DCF
                   negotiations, Brown took a job with the Altoona-based
                   charity and worked directly under the very "privatization
                   contract" she helped negotiate while with the state
                   agency, according to a commission report released
                   last week.
                   Specifically, the ethics commission said Brown worked
                   for the Ranch "in connection with a contract [she]
                   participated in personally and substantially while
                   employed by [DCF]." Also, Brown "negotiated
                   contractual issues" while with the Boys Ranch for
                   compensation within two years after leaving DCF.
                   But the commission could not prove three other
                   allegations lodged against Brown. For instance, the
                   commission could not find evidence showing Brown got
                   her job at the Boys Ranch in exchange for giving the
                   Boys Ranch a favorable contract.
                   The contract Brown negotiated allowed the ranch to bill
                   DCF for 730 days of service at the rate of $20.91 a day
                   for each foster child in its care, even if services were
                   not actually provided.
                   The ethics commission also found no probable cause to believe that Brown used
                   her DCF position or used DCF information to which she was privy to benefit the
                   Brown's potential conflicts were not the only ones the commission mentioned
                   with regard to the Boys Ranch and its dealings with the local DCF district office.
                   Rhoda Williams, a child protection investigation supervisor for DCF, worked for
                   the Boys Ranch at the same time she worked for DCF during January and
                   February 1997, according to the commission findings. Williams also was involved
                   in the foster-care contract negotiations while with DCF and worked with that
                   contract after she became a Ranch employee.
                   Williams, who advised Brown on foster-care issues during contract negotiations,
                   started the Ranch job five days after DCF awarded the Ranch the "Bridges"
                   Her actions represent four potential ethics violations.
                   Brown worked from DCF's District 13 headquarters in Wildwood, and Williams
                   worked primarily from DCF's Tavares office before taking jobs with the Ranch.
                   Neither woman now works for DCF.
                   As with Brown, the commission also found no proof that Williams gave the Boys
                   Ranch special advantages while she was at DCF in exchange for a job. The
                   commission also found she did not do ranch work while on DCF time or while
                   using DCF resources. Apparently, Williams conducted DCF work on weekends
                   during the nearly two months she worked for both organizations.
                   Despite the findings, Brown and Williams will not face sanctions. In a closed
                   session this month, the ethics commission decided not to pursue further action
                   against either woman.
                   In Brown's case, the commission determined that she had "obtained incorrect
                   legal advice about the propriety of her employment with the Lake County Boys
                   Further action dropped
                   "Because her actions were not done with an intent to enrich herself and, in fact,
                   did not benefit her personally, the commission will take no further action on the
                   alleged violations," the commission report said.
                   In Williams' case, the commission found that a DCF supervisor "requested that
                   she stay on with the department to close out her cases after she had begun
                   employment with the Boys Ranch."
                   Renea Smith, a DCF spokeswoman, said if similar situations arise in the future
                   where DCF employees working on private contracts consider jobs with those
                   outside agencies, the department would consult with the ethics commission and
                   seek out an opinion.
                   "We have made substantial improvements in both contract procurement and the
                   negotiation process," Smith said.
                   As DCF moves more and more toward privatization and workers engage in
                   contract negotiations regularly, clarification of the state's ethics rules may be
                   The commission did not mention in its findings that the Ranch no longer exists.
                   The nine-member panel was aware of the entity's demise, however, according to
                   a commission spokeswoman.
                   Long considered one of Lake's most respected charities, the Boys Ranch
                   crumbled under a pair of criminal indictments for Medicaid fraud and grand theft in
                   April 2000. The complaint alleged the Ranch stole $3 million in taxpayer money
                   through "outright fraud." Once the charges were announced, DCF severed its
                   contracts with the Ranch, and the 32-year-old charity soon folded.
                   Prosecutors later dropped the charges when they realized prosecution of a
                   defunct organization would prove fruitless. The State Attorney General's Office
                   continues to pursue a lawsuit against the Ranch's assets.
                   Grand jury sparked inquiries
                   The grand jury presentment that led to the criminal indictments was apparently
                   the source of the inquiries into the ethics violations alleged against Brown and
                   Ralph McMurphy, legal counsel for DCF, filed the complaints with the
                   commission against both women, but based "most of his complaint on the grand
                   jury presentment," according to commission documents.
                   Helen K. Jones, commission spokeswoman, said the complaint had to be
                   followed up on, despite the fact that neither woman works for DCF or the Ranch.
                   "You have to, by law, deal with a complaint that's filed," she said.
                   She could not say whether the Ranch's closing had anything to do with the
                   commission's decisions not to pursue actions against Williams and Brown.
                   "It was part of the record that the Ranch was no longer operating," she said. "The
                   possibility of a violation was there, but we're not going to go any further."
                   The ethics commission can recommend civil penalties, including removal from
                   office or employment, and fines up to $10,000. Commission recommendations
                   must be approved by the governor.
                   Anthony Colarossi can be reached at acolarossi@orlandosentinel.com or


Alaskan Negotiations

Web posted Thursday, June 21, 2001

Assembly action short-circuits initiative drive; sponsors vow battle
Prison question to be put to vote

Peninsula Clarion

Pulling an unexpected card from the deck, the entire nine-member Kenai
Peninsula Borough Assembly co-sponsored an ordinance that, if passed,
let borough voters in October either open or shut the door on a private
prison for the peninsula. It also may kill a local initiative petition
seeks to kick private for-profit prison operators out of the borough

"In putting this ordinance together with (Assembly President Tim)
we looked at what the assembly would do and, lo and behold, our
was correct. We got nine members signed on," said assembly member Bill

Popp and Navarre, both of Kenai, were the original sponsors of the
introduced during Tuesday evening's assembly meeting.

"I can't see where anybody either for or against this project can
about giving voters the final say whether to go forward or not on this
project," Popp said.

The ordinance caught Pete Sprague, of Soldotna, and Milli Martin, of
off guard. They were poised to introduce a resolution Tuesday night that

would have given voters an advisory vote. Sprague said he first became
of the ordinance during committee meetings Tuesday afternoon. He and
agreed to pull their resolution from the agenda in favor of Popp and
Navarre's ordinance.

"I found the introduction very interesting in that I had perhaps
believed that the initial sponsors had some reservations about even an
advisory vote," Sprague said. "The ordinance makes (the public vote)
and I find that even preferable to what I was asking."

Popp expressed belief that the proposed prison -- an 800- to 1,000-bed
medium-security prison -- warranted a binding vote by the public.

"If the borough assembly gives up responsibility in a representative
form of
government, then it should give it up completely and put the decision in
hands of the voters," Popp said.

Sprague had concerns with the ordinance's shortened hearing request.
However, Popp said he didn't feel hearings in addition to the single
scheduled for July 10 were beneficial.

"The whole point is that nothing new is going to come out on this," he

In the memo accompanying the ordinance, Popp offered an additional
explanation for the shortened hearing.

"Alaska Statute 29.26.170 provides that if the assembly adopts
the same measure as is contained in an initiative petition, then the
petition is void and the matter initiated may not be placed before the
voters," Popp wrote. "It is my intent that this ordinance replace the
pending initiative petition and still provide the voters with an
to vote on the question."

Toward that end, Popp wrote that the shortened hearing allowed for the
petitioners to be notified of the binding question on the ballot,
saving the effort of duplicate processes."

According to James Price, who heads up the initiative petition effort,
petition's 20 co-sponsors are finding it easy to get signatures within a

timetable that would allow for inclusion on the Oct. 2 ballot.

Price offered a different interpretation of Popp's motives, calling the
ordinance an effort to sidetrack the initiative and to put Navarre's and

Popp's "pet project to a vote of the people." He characterized the
as "damage control," and said it was "too little, too late."

"This action should have been carried out initially, before wasting our
funds for a project that primarily benefits special interests and would
negatively affect the Kenai Peninsula forever," Price said.

Mako Haggerty, a petition co-sponsor from Homer, suggested the
actions might indicate second thoughts about pursuing construction and
operation of the prison.

"I don't completely understand the ramifications of this thing,"
said, "But maybe this is a sign that the assembly is reconsidering their

interest in going ahead with the prison."

In order for the ordinance to stop the petition's sponsors in their
state statute requires that it be "substantially the same measure" as
contained in the initiative petition.

"We think it is substantially the same in that we are referencing
for-profit directly," said Popp of discussions he reported having with
borough attorney Colette Thompson. "The good thing about this for the
petition folks is that we are guaranteeing that they will be on the

However, both Price and Popp admitted a distinction between the
and the initiative petition. The ordinance focuses on the proposed
prison as
described in legislation recently signed into law that authorizes the
Department of Corrections to negotiate with the borough for additional
prison space.

"The circulating initiative petition would prohibit all for-profit
prison operators in the borough," Popp's memo stated.

Price said, "Our ballot initiative prohibits any and all private
prison operation within the Kenai Peninsula Borough. No wasted taxpayer
expenditures for the benefit of private prison profiteers. No more
against our own borough, which spends our money against us, for (its)
speculative ventures."

Popp closed the door on a cooperative effort between the assembly and

"I had no interest in working with Mr. Price once I saw the initiative
petition that he was putting forward," he said. "I think his petition is

unconstitutional because it's so wide open and because of the way that
identifies one particular type of business."

Popp also said he believes it raises antitrust issues and opens the door
potential lawsuits.

"I think eventually it would have resulted in litigation if it had
gotten on
the ballot and passed," Popp said. "I'm not claiming who would sue over
but I just have a sneaking suspicion that an action would have been
against it."

Speaking for the petition's sponsors, Price said, "Our group has and
fight the borough to eliminate the possibility of any private for-profit

prison located anywhere on the Kenai Peninsula anytime in the future,"
said, adding that the ordinance introduced Tuesday night is a
that attempts to hide the ugly truth of business as usual involving
interest politics."

Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey put a positive spin on the ordinance.

"The main thing is to get information out to the people so they can make
decision. That's the major emphasis that now needs to be stressed," he

Carey and the Soldotna City Council have gone on record as opposing the
construction and operation of a private prison within the borough.



Texas: Wrongful death suit filed against CSC

                    Boot camp inmate's father files wrongful death lawsuit

                    By Anthony Spangler
                    Star-Telegram Staff Writer

                    FORT WORTH -- The parents of a Mansfield boot camp inmate, who
                    died of pneumonia days after complaining of being ill, filed a $755
                    million wrongful death lawsuit Friday against the company that runs
                    the camp and others.

                    Bryan Alexander, 18, of Arlington, died Jan. 9, two days after being
                    transferred from the camp to Fort Worth's John Peter Smith

                    The lawsuit contends the camp and its employees ignored signs of
                    Alexander's "failing health" and were grossly negligent in providing
                    medical treatment.

                    "We want to make sure some other young man or young woman
                    isn't murdered at the hands of some corrections facility simply
                    because they don't provide adequate medical care," said Bill Lane of
                    Fort Worth, one of two lawyers representing the Alexander family.

                    Defendants in the lawsuit are Correctional Services Corp., a private,
                    Florida-based company that runs the camp; CSC attorney Tony
                    Schaffer; the Tarrant County Community Supervision and
                    Corrections Department; CSC nurse Knyvett Reyes; and Dr. Samuel
                    Lee, who was employed by the company.

                    The suit seeks a minimum of $300 million each from Reyes and CSC;
                    a minimum of $150 million from Lee; and at least $5 million from
                    Schaffer. The suit asks the court to set monetary damages against
                    the probation department. The lawsuit wants the jury to determine
                    exemplary damages.

                    Alexander's father, Rickey Alexander of Arlington, had hoped the
                    boot camp program would help his son. His ex-wife, Judy
                    Schumpert, could not be reached to comment. The suit was filed on
                    behalf of Rickey Alexander, Schumpert, and their son's estate.

                    "I thought the program would remove him from the people he was
                    hanging around with," Rickey Alexander said Friday. "Instead, they
                    took my only son from me. He was all I had."

                    The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Bryan
                    Alexander, who was serving a sentence for a drunken driving
                    conviction, died of pneumonia caused by an antibiotic-resistant

                    The lawsuit asserts the probation department, CSC and the camp's
                    medical personnel failed to properly diagnose and treat Alexander.

                    Reyes was indicted Thursday on a charge of manslaughter and
                    negligent homicide in Alexander's death. Her attorney, Jack
                    Strickland, said Thursday she acted properly and would have acted
                    quicker if Alexander had produced evidence of blood he said he was
                    coughing up.

                    An Austin administrative law judge, who suspended Reyes' nursing
                    license in March, wrote that Alexander "would most likely have
                    been" cured if his illness was diagnosed earlier and treated with
                    other antibiotics.

                    "I would question whether she was negligent either criminally or
                    civilly," Strickland said Friday.

                    "There seems to be this sort of conspiracy of interests here. You
                    see some of the same allegations in the civil lawsuit that appear in
                    the criminal allegations and by the Board of Nurses Examiners
                    charges," he said.

                    Reyes, placed on administrative leave by CSC in January, is
                    scheduled to appear May 29 before the state nursing board
                    regarding her suspended license.

                    Lee, who could not be reached to comment, worked at the camp six
                    hours a week and was on 24-hour call until he resigned in January.

                    Schaffer said he could not comment on the lawsuit and was
                    surprised he was named a defendant.

                    Schaffer is being sued because of comments he made about
                    Alexander's death that were published in the Arlington Morning
                    News, the lawsuit says.

                    Schaffer said he probably would not be able to represent CSC
                    because he is a co-defendant. "That better not be the reason they
                    sued me -- to get me out of defending the suit," he said.

                    Jim Sinclair, acting director of the probation department, declined to
                    comment. The state will defend the department.

                    The 120-bed boot camp and three substance abuse programs are
                    housed at the Tarrant County Community Corrections Facility in
                    Mansfield, a 370-bed facility for probationers. The county's 19
                    criminal court judges have oversight of the facility.

                    In February, three former inmates were awarded $2.8 million by a
                    Tarrant County judge for sexual harassment the women suffered at
                    the facility.

                    "While our lawsuit is a medical nature and that lawsuit was a policy
                    nature, there is a consistent pattern of negligent behavior at the
                    facility," said Charlie Smith, the other attorney for the plaintiffs.

                    Last month, the judges stopped sending inmates to the programs
                    because of a lack of funding. In February, they unanimously voted
                    to end the private company's contract to run the facility. The
                    company's contract ends Sept. 1.

                    Rickey Alexander said the boot camp was making a "positive change
                    in" his son.

                    "I miss being able to talk with him," he said. "We would often talk
                    about life or sports at the end of the day. I would have liked to
                    have seen him grow up and make something of himself."

                    Anthony Spangler, (817) 548-5412



CCA Jail warden ignores rehab, ex-staffer says


                   By SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer

                   Debrah Cartwright said she thought it was wonderful when her boss asked her to put together a sales pitch
                   to encourage area judges to start ordering people into the Tulsa Jail's drug addiction treatment program.

                   But Cartwright said that was before Warden Jim Cooke told her they weren't really going to offer what they
                   were proposing, nor was he going to provide any additional counselor training. Corrections Corporation of
                   America, the private company that operates the jail, simply needed the revenue, she said she was told.

                   "I asked him if he was asking me to create a sales pitch for all these facets of the program when he had no
                   intention of following through, and he said treatment was not our focus at that time, filling up beds was,"
                   Cartwright said. "He said that right now we need to generate some income."

                   Cartwright, who was CCA's addictions treatment manager, said she resigned April 24 because she felt it
                   would have been unethical to promote a drug treatment program that the jail had no real intention of

                   CCA spokesman Chris Howard said that Cooke wouldn't comment on Cartwright's charges, but that CCA is
                   "restructuring" its current addictions treatment program.

                   Offering treatment programs is required by CCA's contract to operate the jail, but specifics on what those
                   programs must be are not laid out.

                   Addictions treatment at the jail is currently a voluntary program inmates may opt for when they are serious
                   about overcoming a drug problem, Cartwright said.

                   But during her year and a half at the jail, Cartwright said she saw the program chipped away.

                   "We were a dog and pony show. My role turned into . . . PR. He wanted the program so he could tell
                   everybody we had it," Cartright said.

                   Participants normally underwent 11 hours a day in the program, but currently the women in the dorm-like
                   setting of the drug treatment pod are working nine of those 11 hours in the kitchen, she said.

                   "He's made it mandatory they go to the kitchen to cook," she said. "If they're not willing to work in the
                   kitchen, he puts them in 23-hour lock-down."

                   While they are in the kitchen cooking, Cartright said her former counselors are working in the pods as
                   counselors, handing out clothing and sheets and serving meals.

                   The male pod for addiction treatment is closed, and men in the addiction program attend a class for one
                   hour a day, she said.

                   Howard confirmed that the male pod is currently empty.

                   Cartright said both Cooke and previous warden Tim Baltz would place maximum-security female inmates,
                   who weren't seriously interested in overcoming their addiction, in the dorm-like setting with those who
                   were there voluntarily for treatment.

                   Cartright transferred to the Tulsa Jail from CCA's Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville, where she
                   started in 1997. She said she was coming forward to speak about conditions at the jail because she
                   thought it was important to talk about why she left.

                   "If anyone can make a difference, I just want to be part of it. I do care about the community. I do believe
                   what we teach those people and that it works," she said. "I don't think the people of this state want people
                   coming out worse than when they came in."

                   Cartwright said her reports indicating the male drug treatment pod had been closed never reached CCA's
                   corporate offices in Nashville.

                   A corporate spokesman in Nashville said he was unaware of Cartwright's reports.

                   Cartright said Cooke's focus is on discipline and he runs the treatment programs "like a boot camp. He
                   looks at addiction from what I gather as something that willpower will fix and it's not that simple."

                   Susan Hylton, World staff writer, can be reached at 581-8313 or via e-mail at


Oklahoma: $12,000 CCA theft.


CCA ends police probe

By SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer



Apparently one suspect confessed to the warden about the theft of $12,000. Corrections Corporation of America officials declined to continue a police investigation into the theft of about $12,000 from a safe at the Tulsa Jail after an employee confessed to taking the money, police said.

Tulsa Police Capt. Ray Nelson said police were interviewing several jail employees regarding the theft of inmate money from a safe in the jail's administrative area Sunday or early Monday. Investigators were considering the possibility of administering polygraph tests when one of the subjects went into Warden Jim Cooke's office and confessed on Monday, he said.

"Cooke said one of the employees admitted to taking the money and was going to return it," Nelson said.

"It just appears a little unusual that you have a public employee that's accused of taking $12,000 that was turned in by the prisoners and not want to pursue it any further."

Detective Jim McClaughry said most of the money has been returned and that only a "very small por tion" remains outstanding. McClaughry would not say if the person who confessed was a CCA employee or an employee working for another company under contract to provide services at the jail. Nelson didn't know the employee's current working status.

CCA public information officer Chris Howard said that the com pany had no comment and would provide no information regarding the theft. CCA, a private company based in Nashville, has a three-year contract to operate the jail that opened in August 1999.

Susan Hylton, World staff writer, can be reached at 581-8313 or via e-mail at susan.hylton@tulsaworld.com.


CCA/Ohio: Gov asks feds to buy NEOCC. Taft asks federal government to buy Youngstown prison


 Associated Press Newswires

 COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Gov. Bob Taft asked the federal government on Wednesday to buy a Youngstown private prison that is slated to close in August.

Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, announced this week that it was closing the Youngstown facility Aug. 18, affecting 500 jobs. The prison, which opened in May 1997, houses inmates from the District of Columbia.

Nashville-based CCA said it decided to close NOCC after it lost its contract with the District of Columbia. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons is about to take over jurisdiction of the DC prison system and plans to use other prisons.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Taft asked the U.S. Department of Justice and the DC prison system to consider buying NOCC.

"It occurs to me that the acquisition of the NOCC by the Federal Bureau of Prisons would quickly assist in alleviating crowding in the federal prison system and utilize a  trained work force familiar with an existing prison operation," Taft said. "Acquisition of the Youngstown prison by the Bureau of Prisons could be a win-win solution."

Closure of NOCC, the state's only privately run, privately owned prison, would have a "serious economic impact on Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley community," Taft said.

NOCC is one of the largest employers in Youngstown, which is still trying to recover from the loss of thousands of steel jobs more than 20 years ago. The prison has an annual payroll of about $11 million and paid the city $250,000 in income tax last year.

CCA has said it will reopen the prison if it wins a new contract to house inmates. The 2,016-bed facility currently houses 350 inmates.



New Mexico: Inmate family sues Wackenhut.

The Associated Press.

                        June 19, 2000
Inmate's family sues prison firm, state officials


   The family of an Albuquerque man who was killed two years ago inside a
privately run prison in southern New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against state
officials and the company in charge of the lockup.

   Richard Garcia's relatives claim prison officials knowingly created
conditions that led to his death.

   The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court, names Wackenhut Corrections
Corp., a Florida-based company that owns and operates the Lea County
Correctional Facility; Gov. Gary Johnson; Corrections Secretary Rob Perry; and
several prison officials.

   Santa Fe attorneys Mark Donatelli and Robert Rothstein, who are
the Garcia family, are seeking unspecified damages.

   State and Wackenhut officials said Monday they could not comment on the
pending lawsuit.

   Garcia, 47, was in an isolation cell in June 1999 when a guard opened the
door, allegedly allowing two inmates to enter and stab Garcia 50 times.

   Inmates Paul Payne, 27, and John Price, 29, were charged with capital
in Garcia's death.

   Price pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit
first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Payne's trial is set
for November.

   According to the lawsuit, state and Wackenhut officials knew Payne and
were violent offenders with a history of armed attacks on other prisoners.

   Despite their histories, the lawsuit says the two inmates were appointed as
trustees in the administrative segregation unit where Garcia was housed.

   Garcia, who had been serving a term for aggravated battery, was to have
released this year.


Mississippi: Wackenhut inmate was beaten to death.

The Associated Press State & Local Wire

April 10, 2001

Mississippi private prison inmate dies of head injuries


An autopsy shows a 24-year-old inmate from Shannon died of head injuries apparently inflicted during a confrontation with other prisoners, state officials say.

Daniel Underwood was pronounced dead this past weekend at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Marshall County Coroner Chuck Thomas said Monday. He said an autopsy showed death was caused by head trauma.

Chris Epps, the Corrections Department's deputy commissioner of institutions, said Monday an investigation showed Underwood was attacked by another inmate at the Marshall County Correctional Facility on March 27.

"The investigation is continuing but the inmate that assaulted him (Underwood) obviously will be charged with murder," Epps said.

Epps said a second inmate apparently assisted in the attack by standing in a position that kept security personnel from seeing the incident.The department declined to identify the two inmates, who were ordered held in isolation.Epps said along with possible criminal charges, the two also face disciplinary action. E.L. Sparkman, the prison warden, declined Monday to discuss the death, referring questions to the Corrections Department.

The Marshall County prison is managed by Wackenhut Corrections Corp.

Dale Graham, Underwood's mother, said her son was beaten by other inmates. She said he had been held at the prison "for some time" after committing a nonviolent offense. "They hit his head on a steel metal box that had a fire extinguisher inside it," Graham said. "They mashed his head against it until they beat him unconscious."

"The first few days, he was a little groggy, but he was fine," Graham said. "His memory was a little off. On the third day, he had every memory back. He said he knew what happened."

Underwood related the events of the fight in the presence of his mother, brother and a police officer, said Graham.

A few days later, "he was eating, he was normal, fine," said Graham. "I told him, 'I'll see you tomorrow.' I came back the next day and he was brain dead."

The Marshall County Correctional Facility houses up to 1,000 inmates. It employs 241 workers and has a $10 million budget.


Riot at Wackenhut facility.


Fears for detainee sparked riot
Tuesday 15 May 2001

Friday's riot at the Port Hedland detention centre was triggered by fears for the safety of a handcuffed Iranian asylum-seeker who resisted being taken into isolation.

Claims that the man had been beaten by Australasian Correctional Management guards were denied yesterday by the Federal Government. A spokesman said a misunderstanding by detainees led to the riot.

The incident happened when five men were removed from the Port Hedland centre, a converted mining camp in the Kimberley about 220kilometres from Broome, and taken to police lock-up in Port Hedland.

Asem Judeh, chairman of the Palestinian Refugees and Exile Awareness Association in Melbourne, said he was rung twice from the Port Hedland camp by a source who told him one of the men was beaten. In response the riot had broken out, he said.

Mr Judeh said he was told the person was aged 15 or younger and this contributed to the situation.

He said he was told that a dispute between detainees - which the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs says caused the riot - had been resolved three days earlier.

During the riot asylum-seekers threw stones and damaged buildings. The group was brought under control when ACM staff sprayed tear gas.

Steve Ingram, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock, said yesterday five people had been taken to the Port Hedland lock-up on Friday and one of them had resisted removal.

He said someone had started screaming that officers were beating them and the riot had begun. Mr Ruddock said yesterday there was no need for an inquiry into the riot.

It is believed the five men were still being held yesterday without charges at the Port Hedland police lock-up.

Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday the Federal Government would not be intimidated by rioting illegal immigrants at detention centres.

"There is no way that a government I lead is going to bow to the intimidation involved in those riots," he told Sydney radio station 2UE. Opposition Leader Kim Beazley stood by his calls for an inquiry but labelled the riot disgraceful and urged detainees to realise that rioting did not help their cause.