“What happens if you privatize prisons is that you have a large industry with a vested interest in building ever-more prisons.” -- Molly Ivins, 2003

Idaho Cancels Contract with GEO's Bill Clayton Prison

The Associated Press is reporting ("Idaho Ends Contract with GEO-run Texas Prison," Houston Chronicle, November 13), that the Idaho Department of Corrections has canceled its contract with the GEO-run Bill Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield, Texas.  According to the article,

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Correction has terminated its contract with private prison company The GEO Group and will move the roughly 305 Idaho inmates currently housed at a GEO-run facility in Texas to a private prison in Oklahoma.

Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke notified GEO officials Thursday in a letter.

Reinke said the company's chronic understaffing at the Bill Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield, Texas, put Idaho offenders' safety at risk.

An Idaho Department of Correction audit at the facility found that guards routinely falsified reports to show they were checking on offenders regularly — even though they were sometimes away from their posts for hours at a time.

The Bill Clayton facility was also the facility where Idaho prisoner Randall McCullough committed suicide after being held in solitary confinement for more than a year on an administrative penalty after being involved in a fight. 

Mineral Wells Profile, Pt. 2

This is the second portion of a three-piece report from Texas Prison Bid'ness based on research Corrections Corporation of America's Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility conducted by Grassroots Leadership. The Mineral Wells facility is a contract-facility under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. For more information, please contact Nick Hudson using our contact form.

GEO Keeps Quiet on Murder Indictment

The GEO Group appears to be saying very little about last week's unprecedented indictment of the company for murder in the case of Gregorio de la Rosa at the company's former Willacy facility. According to an article in the Valley Morning Star ("Three count indictment accuses prison in murder," October 27),

Inmates killed de la Rosa, who was serving a six-month sentence for drug possession, on the prison grounds just four days before his scheduled release in April 2001. In 2006, a jury ordered the company pay de la Rosa's family $47.5 million in a civil judgment described as the largest jury award in Willacy County history.

A jury handed down the verdict against Wackenhut Corrections Corp., accused of negligence in de la Rosa's death. Ron Rodriguez, the attorney who represents de la Rosa's family, argued that inadequate inmate searches and short staffing led to the April 26, 2001 beating.

The GEO Group was formerly known as Wackenhut Corrections Corp. The GEO Group did not respond to a message requesting comment Monday afternoon.

Similar non-statements were made by GEO officials in last week's AP story and as we've reported, the indictment is one of a growing string of scandals happening in GEO Group's Texas prisons over the course of the last several years. Some of those incidents include:

Mineral Wells Profile, Pt. 1

This is the first of a three-part report to Texas Prison Bid'ness based on research on the Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility conducted by Grassroots Leadership. The Mineral Wells facility is a contract-facility under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. For more information, please contact Nick Hudson using our contact form.

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