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July 2010

Is Operation Streamline a billion dollar give-away to the private prison industry?

A new "green paper" released Monday entitled Operation Streamline: Drowning Justice and Draining Dollars along the Rio Grande takes a look at the impact of Operation Streamline on the private prison industry.  I co-authored the report for Grassroots Leadership, a sponsor of this blog. 

Operation Streamline, initiated in 2005 in Del Rio and expanded to much of the Texas and Arizona border, mandates that immigrants apprehended at the border are detained, prosecuted, and incarcerated in the criminal system in addition to the civil immigration system.  This is a departure from previous policy in which most immigrants were only dealt with in the civil immigration system.

The result has been a mess.  In Texas alone, 135,000 immigrants now have criminal records and many have done real prison time under the Streamline before being deported (far from streamlining the process, the policy adds another layer of incarceration on top of the existing civil detention system). 

GEO execs amongst highest paid in South Florida

While GEO Group (NYSE: GEO) m

ay have recently lost contracts in Texas, the company's highest executives continue to earn handsome figures.  According to the Palm Beach Post ("102 best paid execs in PBC, TCoast for 2009," July 10), three of the highest paid corporate executives in Palm Beach County are GEO executives.  Top 2009 earners include:

George Zoley, GEO Group's CEO was the third highest earning executive in the Palm Beach area, taking in $7,059,003 in total compensation.

Wayne Calabrese, GEO Group's Chief Operating Officer, was 6th on the list earning $3,602,321 in total compensation last year.

John O'Rourke, GEO Group's outgoing CFO earned $2,274,951 in total compensation last year and was 9th on the list.

Reactions to proposed changes to CCA's detention centers

Andrew reported last month on the proposed changes to nine of Corrections Corporation of America's Immigration and Customs Enforcement-contracted detention centers.  The changes are occurring in response to the alleged sexual abuse of detained women at CCA's T. Don Hutto detention center.  The changes include plans for "movie nights, bingo, arts and crafts, dance and cooking classes, tutoring and computer training," according to the Houston Chronicle (Susan Carroll, "ICE to make detention centers more humane," Houston Chronicle, 8 June, 2010).

However, advocates aren't so impressed.  Texas Prison Bid'ness's own Judy Greene weighed in a story in the Tennessean (Getahn Ward, "CCA may make some immigration prisons less jail-like," June 25),

Details emerge in McCullough suit

Texas Prison Bid'ness has obtained the filing documents in the case of Daniel McCullough who last month filed suit against the GEO Group for $595 million (the total worth of company) following the 2008 death of his father Randall McCullough, who allegedly committed suicide while in GEO's custody at the Bill Clayton Detention Center

The complaint names as defendents the GEO Group as a company, BCDC wardens Arthur Anderson and Randy Tate, and top corporate executives including CEO George Zoley and COO Wayne Calbrese.  The complaint, which is attached to this post as a PDF, alleges that:

On August 18, 2008, Randall McCullough was found dead while supposedly being monitored by GEO and its personnel. His death was caused by specific breaches of duty by Defendants GEO, Anderson and Tate, and as a result of the corporate direction given by Zoley, Calabrese, O'Rourke, and Bulfm which include grossly inhumane treatment, abuse, neglect, illegal and malicious conditions of confmement, and subsequent cover up of wrongdoing.