Lawsuit Over GEO Group “Voluntary” $1 a Day Work Program Survives Motion to Dismiss

By Christopher Zoukis 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…

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BOP Orders Staff Cuts of Nearly 14 Percent

By Christopher Zoukis 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…

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DOJ Inspector General Outlines Challenges for Federal Prisons

By Christopher Zoukis 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…

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Pressure from Advocacy Group Leads University of California to Partially Divest from Wells Fargo

By Christopher Zoukis 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…

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BOP Is Now Looking for More Space in Private Prisons

By Christopher Zoukis 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…

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Bonds Used to Finance Private Prisons, Jails Turn into Junk

By Christopher Zoukis 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…

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Report: How Private Prison Companies Exercise Influence Over Public Officials

By Christopher Zoukis An October 2016 report released by In the Public Interest (ITPI), a research and policy group that opposes the privatization of government services, details the millions of dollars spent by for-profit prison companies to influence public officials. The report tracks political expenditures by private prison firms, including…

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AG Sessions Says Private Prisons Are Back in Business with BOP

By Christopher Zoukis Well, that didn’t last long. You’ll remember the fanfare with which the Obama administration last Aug. 18 announced its plan to phase out all use of private-run prisons by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The campaign was kicked off a week earlier with the unveiling of…

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