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May 2012

LCS guard faces up to 15 years in prison for bribery in cell phone smuggling case

A 21 year-old former LCS Corrections guard at that company's East Hidalgo Detention Center faces up to 15 years in prison on charges that he accepted bribes in return for smuggling a cell phone into the facility, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney's office ("Former La Villa Corrections Officer Indicted for Smuggling Cell Phone to Federal Inmate," May 17):

"Jorge Luis Sandoval, 21, of Pharr, Texas, has been arrested on a bribery charge for smuggling a cellular phone into the East Hildago Detention Center located in La Villa, Texas, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

...  Sandoval is charged with one count of accepting a bribe while acting under the authority of the U.S Marshals Service as a correctional officer.

Sandoval worked as a corrections officer at the East Hildago Detention Center in La Villa, Texas. According to the indictment, Sandoval used his official position to enrich himself by accepting a cash payment from an individual acting on a federal inmate  in exchange for smuggling a cellular telephone into the prison.

Bribery carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant United States Attorney Casey N. MacDonald is  prosecuting the case."

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Texas Prison Bid'ness Celebrates Five Years

Dear Friends –

This year our humble blog turns five. The bloggers of TPB appreciate your support and interest in following developments related to Texas private prisons!  Over the years we have worked to post information about the growing prison-for-profit industry in Texas.  The lone star state continues to embrace private prisons.  We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy writing it.

We continue to be proud of many of the elements of our blog, including:

So far this year has been great and we will continue to provide you with information on Texas private prisons.  Y’all stay tuned!

GEO Group earning call highlights contract bids in Texas

GEO Group's quarterly conference call was held on Monday.  The calls are a great way to see how the private prison industry thinks about the prison system and where expansion opportunities may lie.  

On this call, GEO executives talked to investors about recent company developments and where it sees its future business opportunities, including several in Texas.  Here are some of the highlights, as it relates to Texas' private prison industry:

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Death at CCA's Dawson State Jail raises broad concerns in CBS expose

The death of Pam Weatherby at Corrections Corporation of America's Dawson State Jail in 2010 may be symptomatic of much bigger problems at the facility.  An expose by CBS 11 ("Mysterious Jail Death Raises Questions," April 26th) in Dallas shows that the facility has experienced seven deaths since 2004.   

Weatherby was serving a one year sentence for drug possession when her health conditions - she was a brittle diabetic requiring constant care - rapidly deteriorated.  According to the story:

“She was to the point where you couldn’t hold a conversation with her,” said Anne Roderick. Roderick lived in the same dorm cell as Weatherby.  “She was sick, very, very sick. We would go to the guards. They would give us gloves. We were washing her sheets in a bucket in the shower.”

Roderick says she and other inmates took care of Weatherby’s medical needs because no one else would.  “She was defecating and vomiting. “ She says taking care of Weatherby became a full-time job.

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