Wed, 05/23/2007 - 7:59am — Kathleen
Tue, 05/22/2007 - 1:33pm — Kathleen
Alaska lobbyist Bill Bobrick has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, bribery and money laundering in the service of a "private corrections company" unnamed in the court documents. But an Anchorage Daily News article speculates that the unnamed private prison company is Cornell Companies Inc, based in Houston and already running six halfway houses in Alaska. According to the article, Cornell has faced a slew of rejections for expanding their business in Alaska:
Cornell, along with partners Veco and Allvest founder Bill Weimer, failed in recent years to win public support for private prison proposals in Anchorage, Delta Junction, Kenai and Whittier. It also failed to win state approval for a juvenile psychiatric treatment center in downtown Anchorage.
A lobbyist for the prison company -- who was working as a government informant and who has not been identified in court papers -- paid a total of $24,000 to Bobrick's Pacific Publishing, according to court documents. Bobrick turned over $10,828 to Anderson and kept the rest, the documents say. Anderson later complained he wasn't getting enough and was paid another $2,000 by the government informant, according to the indictment against him. The informant matches the description of Frank Prewitt, a former state corrections commissioner who went to work for Cornell.
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 11:32am — Kathleen
Last week the Laredo Morning Times reported on an apparent largesse by the GEO Group's CEO George Zoley. Zoley promised a cool quarter million dollars each to the City of Laredo and to Webb County at a press conference. It may sound like a lot of money, but for Zoley and the GEO Group, it's a small investment in local goodwill with a huge cash payoff.
GEO has sealed a deal on a new federal jail in Laredo, a smaller version of the project that was being referred to as the "superjail" and has been met with considerable opposition. GEO anticipates this new 1,500-bed prison will pull in $31.5 million per year once it's operational in 2008. It will take the prison less than a week to earn GEO half a million dollars in revenue once it's full of prisoners. GEO was hoping to sweeten the deal for themselves by getting the county to foot the bill for construction, but the county nixed that idea, opting only to pay for the utilities necessary for the prison.. at a cost of approximately $500,000. For those of you doing the math, the county is getting $250,000 and paying $500,000 to help GEO get their prison.
Fri, 05/18/2007 - 3:29am — Nicole
The San Antonio Express News reported this past week that a private prison guard was arrested for smuggling drugs into a private correctional facility.
The private prison guard , 31-year old Hector Almanza, reported smuggling items in to the GEO run facility before, like a cell phone. An WOAI.com article mentions that another guard was arrested for smuggling May 11th.
Almanza is in the Bexar County Jail and will be transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.