Trump’s commitment to private prisons looks like a reward to campaign donors

❝ In the barrage of news surrounding President Donald Trump, one of the things his administration quietly did over the past few months was reopen the federal prison system to private prison companies.

Some members of Congress, however, have noticed — and they want the Trump administration to explain itself.

❝ Today, Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Cory Booker (D-NJ)…sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking that the Justice Department explain why it reversed the Obama administration’s decision to stop contracting with some private prison operators…

❝ In 2016, the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General concluded, “in most key areas, contract prisons incurred more safety and security incidents per capita than comparable Bureau Of Prisons institutions.” In another example, a 2012 Justice Department investigation found that in the City of Walnut Grove, Mississippi, a private prison that held youth offenders, did not provide “constitutionally adequate care” and that staff routinely engaged in “systematic, egregious, and dangerous practices.” In fact the investigation concluded that the Walnut Grove private prison was “among the worst […] in any facility anywhere in the nation.”

❝ They also argued that the Trump administration’s decision “lends the appearance of rewarding campaign donors.”

“Corporations that manage private prisons — Civic Corp, GEO Group, and Management and Training Corporation — reportedly donated over $750,000 to super PACs that supported the President,” the senators wrote. “One private prison corporation donated $100,000 to pro-Trump PACS the day after former Attorney General Yates announced that the Bureau of Prisons would no longer renew their contracts with private prisons.”

Read the whole article. Useful details, even more convincing evidence that Trump cares nothing about the civil rights of prisoners and – more important – regardless of the crime, doing time is governed by the profit structure of his campaign bankroll.

14 thoughts on “Trump’s commitment to private prisons looks like a reward to campaign donors

  1. Nikohl Vandel says:

    I guess someone beyond the #StupiderPeople had to support him. The violent minded folks are really into the gross kind of imprisonment too, not like they want to improve them so folks leave rehabbed and empowered … sheesh! #EndMassIncarceration <3nikiV

  2. Moloch says:

    Texas Senate Passes “Baby Jail” Bill Written by Private Prison Corporation The Texas Senate on Tuesday passed a new bill written by the GEO group, the second largest private prison company in the U.S., that legitimizes the existence of immigrant family detention centers as child care facilities. Senate Bill 1018 was advanced with a wide margin of 20-11 votes along party lines, with all the Senate Republicans voting in favor. Three out of four people who approved the bill were GEO members, according to America’s Voice, a grassroots nonprofit organization. The bill will also give the Department of Family and Protective Services authority to waive any minimum standards necessary in order to license the facilities.

  3. Ka-Ching! says:

    “Unity Was Emerging on Sentencing. Then Came Jeff Sessions.” “…Backers of the sentencing overhaul say that Mr. Sessions, who as a senator from Alabama supported legislation that would have made a second marijuana trafficking conviction a capital crime, is living in the past and is badly misguided. “Locking up people who don’t pose a threat to public safety is a waste of taxpayer money, a waste of resources and doesn’t deter crime,” said Steve Hawkins, the president of the Coalition for Public Safety, a sentencing reform advocacy group whose partners are as diverse as the liberal Center for American Progress and the conservative FreedomWorks.

  4. Law & Order says:

    In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election the private prison company GEO Group illegally donated more than $225,000 to Rebuild America NOW, a pro-Trump super PAC. Then, as soon as the Trump Administration took over the White House, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions — whose three former aides now work for GEO Group — immediately reversed the ban on federal private prisons. Soon afterward, GEO Group became the first private prison company to receive contracts from the DOJ again. This was closely followed by Sessions releasing a memo calling on 94 U.S. Attorneys to seek the harshest sentencing for drug offenses – completely undoing years of transformative progress on sentencing reform – as the value of GEO Group’s stock skyrocketed. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is responsible for overseeing campaign finance laws and ensuring electoral and democratic integrity. Federal contractors are banned from making political contributions to avoid so-called “pay to play” arrangements, in which elected officials dole out lucrative deals to companies that supported their campaigns. On November 1, 2016 the Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Commission alleging that GEO Corrections Holdings, Inc. had violated 52 U.S. Code § 30119 that regulates political contributions by Government Contractors however the FEC has failed to respond.

  5. Payday says:

    “Law and Order under Donald Trump : The Golden Age of Private Prisons” (Spiegel 9/5/17) “…Deutsche Bank has discovered at least two crisis-proof investments. In a recent analyst report, the bank said it was bullish about the prospects for a pair of U.S. companies for which it recently issued “buy” recommendations. These companies are CoreCivic (CXW) and GEO Group, the two largest operators of private prisons in the United States. Trump’s tough law-and-order policies, which so far have resulted in increasing arrests of suspected illegal aliens, “reinforces our optimism,” Deutsche Bank analyst Kevin McVeigh wrote in the report. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are both calculating that an additional 12,000 prison beds will be required in the 2018 budget, a development that is likely to benefit private facilities.”

  6. Moloch says:

    ‘Treated as animals’: US prisoners gear up for nationwide strike : Inmates in 17 states are due to strike until September 9 to protest living conditions and ‘the end to modern slavery’.
    “Violent prison riot kept secret: shocking surveillance video” The Northeast New Mexico Prison complex, which houses 625 medium-security state inmates, is operated for the state by a Florida based private company, The GEO Group.
    “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, “The House of the Dead” (1862)

  7. FYI says:

    “Since 2012, the five private prisons in New Mexico have paid the state a total of $5,674,848 for failure to maintain required staffing levels.” (5/17/18) A five-month KRQE News 13 investigation finds New Mexico’s prison system in the danger zone. The issue relates to under staffing. Department of Correction’s records show state officials have failed to hire enough Correctional Officers to control inmates or keep our prisons and the public safe. Over the last two years, taxpayers have shelled out tens of millions of dollars to compensate for inadequate staffing at all New Mexico prison facilities across the state.
    “State tries to keep $2.5 million Corrections Dept. settlement under wrap” (9/5/18) “the attempted secrecy in this case is not unique.” (CNMCF is operated by the New Mexico Corrections Department).
    New Mexico State Penitentiary riot (1980)

    • Business as usual says:

      ‘A virus knows no bars’ (Searchlight New Mexico, September 10, 2020) “…For months, CoreCivic, the largest private prison corporation in the nation, had assured New Mexico and federal authorities it had everything under control. On July 26, it reported just five positive cases among the federal inmates at its Cibola facility, a 1,129-bed prison set in the little village of Milan, just outside of Grants. The following day, the number jumped to 175 — an increase that represented New Mexico’s largest single-day jump of COVID-19 cases.
      As of Sept. 8, the number of COVID-19 cases at Cibola officially reached 324 — a figure that includes people who have recovered from the disease and accounts for more than 80 percent of cases in the entire county. The cases are concentrated among inmates detained by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), which has 492 beds at the prison.
      CoreCivic reported more than $1.9 billion in revenue in 2019, about half of it derived from federal contracts with ICE, the USMS and the Bureau of Prisons. But despite its ample resources, advocates and prisoners alike say the company has neglected to take basic precautions to prevent COVID-19.”

      “Private prison industry backs Trump, prepares if Biden wins” (Washington Post 8/13/20)
      Executives at the nation’s two largest private prison companies have been donating large sums to President Donald Trump and Republican candidates with an eye toward the November elections that one of the corporations believes will lead to a rebound in its stock price.
      …CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger has donated $26,300 during this election to Republicans. People and groups linked to CoreCivic have given $228,000 so far, primarily to the GOP.
      “Any questions or inferences about whether or not CoreCivic prefers the Republican Party, because it is better for our business, are misleading and portrays our company in a false light,” said Ryan Gustin, a spokesman for the company.”

  8. Todesengel says:

    “A Silent Pandemic”: Nurse at ICE Facility Blows the Whistle on Coronavirus Dangers
    Irwin Detention Center, run by LaSalle Corrections, has refused to test detainees and under-reported Covid-19 cases, the nurse says.
    ‘Like an Experimental Concentration Camp’: Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Mass Hysterectomies at ICE Detention Center
    At an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Georgia, coronavirus safety precautions are routinely ignored, while detainees are denied medicine and checkups, a nurse at the facility claims in a federal complaint filed Monday.
    Dawn Wooten, who worked full-time at the Irwin County Detention Center until July, outlined her allegations in a complaint filed to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General by a coalition of advocacy groups.

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