The Prison Policy Initiative, a non-profit advocacy group, recently released a study examining how state prison commissaries operate. One observation made in the report: commissaries often exploit incarcerated persons, by shifting the costs of incarceration from the state to inmates and their families. The central problem, according to the report, isn’t the prices commissaries charge,…

Read More

A federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging private prison company GEO Group’s “Voluntary Work Program,” which pays detained immigrants $1 per day for cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and otherwise running the facility in which they are held. The December 6, 2017 order rejected GEO’s arguments that federal law preempts any attempt to force…

Read More

In twin developments as the Trump administration developed its new budget proposal, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) told federal prison officials to prepare for across-the-board reductions in authorized staffing levels of nearly 12 percent, and ordered them to identify inmates now in federally-run facilities who could be transferred to privately-run prisons. Staffing Levels On…

Read More

As has been done annually since 1998, in October, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general released a list of what he sees as the leading management and performance challenges confronting the agency in the year ahead. One of the eight areas identified by Inspector General Michael Horowitz was summarized as “Managing an Overcrowded Federal…

Read More

Following demands from the Afrikan Black Coalition (ABC), the University of California has agreed to terminate $475 million worth of contracts with Wells Fargo Bank. According to a press release from ABC, the terminated contracts include a $25 million commercial paper contract, a $150 million interest rate contract and a $300 million line of credit.…

Read More

By Christopher Zoukis A fact sheet compiled by In the Public Interest (ITPI), a public policy research organization, indicates that Corrections Corporation of America – CCA, now known as CoreCivic – and the GEO Group, the two largest private prison firms in the nation, have spent a combined $2.2 billion since 2005 acquiring other, smaller…

Read More

  Only a little less than a year ago, the second-ranking official in the Department of Justice was declaring that the federal government planned to reduce and eventually eliminate the housing of federal inmates in privately owned prisons. Last August, the DOJ unveiled an Inspector General’s report purporting to show privately run prison facilities are…

Read More

By Christopher Zoukis In 2016, questions were raised in at least three states about the amount of taxpayer money flowing into the coffers of private, for-profit prison companies. Take Colorado, for example. When lawmakers were considering an almost $26 billion state budget last year, they noticed it included a curious last-minute addition: $3 million for…

Read More

  The promise of safe, humane and less costly prisons has been used for decades by the private prison industry to sell its products. As prison populations skyrocketed, local, state and federal governments became convinced that financing and building more and more correctional facilities was the way to go. So did investors, who picked up…

Read More