Part I: private prison contracts
On Feb. 23 Reuters reported The U.S. Justice Department has reversed an order by the Obama administration to phase out the use of private contractors to run federal prisons.
“In a memo made public on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Obama policy impaired the government’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal prison system.
The Obama administration said in August 2016 it planned a gradual phase-out of private prisons by letting contracts expire or by scaling them back to a level consistent with recent declines in the U.S. prison population.
It said privately operated prisons were less safe and a poor substitute for government-run facilities.
“The (Obama administration) memorandum changed long-standing policy and practice, and impaired the bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system. Therefore, I direct the bureau to return to its previous approach,” Sessions said in a letter dated Tuesday to Thomas Kane, acting director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.”
US incarceration on Wikipedia: barbaric numbers, including 54,148 juveniles in juvenile detention in 2013. But we’re No. 1 in prison rates! And why is the T administration imagining a need for more prison beds? One shivers: more dissidents and political prisoners? More alleged domestic terr’ists? More blacks in the cradle-to-grave industrial incarceration complex? Herr T loves him some broken windows and racial profiling policing, yes? And he’d put Black Lives Matter on some sort of warning or other. From the prisonpolicy.org link above:
“This “whole pie” methodology also exposes some disturbing facts about the youth entrapped in our juvenile justice system: Too many are there for a “most serious offense” that is not even a crime. For example, there are almost 7,000 youth behind bars for “technical violations” of the requirements of their probation, rather than for a new offense. Further, 600 youth are behind bars for “status” offenses, which are “behaviors that are not law violations for adults, such as running away, truancy, and incorrigibility.”
Turning finally to the people who are locked up criminally and civilly for immigration-related issues, we find that 19,000 people are in federal prison for criminal convictions of violating federal immigration laws. A separate 33,000 are civilly detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) separate from any criminal proceedings and are physically confined in special immigration detention facilities or in local jails under contract with ICE. (Notably, these categories do not include immigrants represented in other pie slices because of non-immigration related criminal convictions.)
Could Obama have directed that state contract prisons be ‘phased out’ as well? He sure waited until the 11th hour for even this much (Sally Yates’ press release). At the time the AP announced that Obama/Yates’ phase out: “… the policy change does not cover private prisons used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which hold up to 34,000 immigrants awaiting deportation.”
This is from the Federal BOP’s page on private contract facilities:
“Contract prisons are secure institutions operated by private corporations. The majority of BOP inmates in private prisons are sentenced criminal aliens who may be deported upon completion of their sentence.”
The ‘held to a high standard’ rubbish would be laughable if they weren’t so dangerously unaccountable and conditions so wretched. There’s a list and google map of twelve of them.
CoreCivic [laugh track, please], formerly the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)…by 2016 along with Geo Group were running “more than 170 prisons and detention centres”. CCA’s revenues in 2015 were $1.79bn’. More than 65 of those are state and federal ‘correctional facilities’. In 2016, the Obama administration provided the CCA a $1 billion no-bid contract to detain asylum seekers from Central America.
Ah yes: the ‘Controversies’ section at their Wiki is long and gruesome…
From ‘Shocking Photos From Inside Private Prison’, George Lavender, inthesetimes.com
“A privately-run prison in Mississippi holding “seriously mentally ill” prisoners stands accused of being dirty, dangerous and corrupt. East Mississippi Correctional Facility, operated by Management and Training Corporation (MTC), is the subject of a lawsuit brought on behalf of several prisoners at the facility.
After widespread criticism of conditions inside the same prison the previous operator, the GEO group, discontinued its contract with the state in 2012. At the time, the GEO group said that the prison was “”financially underperforming.”
A lawsuit first filed a year ago by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center alleged that “grossly inhumane conditions have cost many prisoners their health, and their limbs, their eyesight and even their lives.”
Photos taken as part of a tour of the prison, showed “charred door frames, broken light fixtures and toilets, exposed electrical wires, and what advocates said were infected wounds on prisoners’ arms and legs,” according to the New York Times.” [snip]
“East Mississippi Correctional Facility is one of five private prisons in Mississippi’s state system. MTC is a Utah based company which according to its website operates “24 correctional facilities in Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, New Mexico, Ohio, Mississippi, and Texas.”
From his March 2016 ‘How Do Companies Make Money From Incarceration?’, Lavender wrote:
“These recently released graphics, produced by the research and policy center In The Public Interest, map some of the many ways private companies are involved in each stage of the criminal justice and immigration systems.
The Prison Complex spoke with Donald Cohen, the Executive Director and founder of In The Public Interest.
What sparked this interest in private companies in the criminal justice and immigrant detention systems?
We did it for a few reasons. We focus a lot on private prisons and we realized that it went much further, that there was a lot of private involvement in all the steps that someone walks through when they’re walking through the corrections or immigrant detention system.” one such graphic:
“We wanted to give a picture of the entire industry. Private incentives and private interests in public goods in corrections are not aligned with public goals. They make more money by having more people in beds and providing more of these services. We don’t want that. We want less people in these services, we want money spent on education and the things we value. The final reason we wanted to do it, and this is the beginning of a larger project, we wanted to show how much profit is being extracted from the system of corrections which could be used for far better things. Better pay for corrections officers would actually help because there’s high turnover. But also mental health services, and job services and education.”
On to the transcript of Herr Trump’s speech at CPAC, a few directly relevant bits:
We’ve taken swift and strong action to secure the southern border of the United States and to begin the construction of great, great border wall. (Applause.) And with the help of our great border police, with the help of ICE, with the help of General Kelly and all of the people that are so passionate about this — our Border Patrol, I’ll tell you what they do. They came and endorsed me, ICE came and endorsed me. They never endorsed a presidential candidate before. They might not even be allowed to. (Laughter.) But they were disgusted with what they saw.
And we’ll stop it. We’ll stop the drugs from pouring into our nation and poisoning our youth. (Applause.) Pouring in, pouring in. We get the drugs, they get the money. We get the problems, they get the cash. No good, no good. Going to stop.”
(Is he channeling Alzheimer-HWB in his speech patterns already? ‘Don’t cry for me, Argentina!’)
More on “drugs”, including my favorite botanical remedy, in part II of all this, but for now, it seems that a whopping percentage of opioids end up in amerika (mostly by way of poppies now grown in Afghanistan, and protected by…GIs). And amerika sends firearms of all sorts to Mexico, especially, for “drugs”. Does Herr Trump even consider why so many here are addicted to drugs? The helplessness, the everyday angst about joblessness, lack of health care, food, housing, water too hideous to even contemplate drinking or bathing in, if indeed their water hasn’t been turned off? Part III may be his private/public infrastructure scheme.
Additionally, ICE border patrol agents are known as some of the most vicious po-po in the land.
More prisons might be a ‘moar jobs’ promise-keeping, as will his announcement of an additional $54 billion budgeted for the Pentagon. USA! USA!
And just fer fun, from mah favorite Commie hip-hop/punk rapper:
your criminality=gov’t revenue. true from the cameras at all the red lights and parking enforcement on up to gun & opium running.
as in the slave days, even running away from the pigs is a capital offense.
ha ha ha (where’s comrade x when ya need his ha’s? oh, i deleted him finally), dogberry. yer a peach. gotta serve the moussaka dinner, i might have to come back and chortle sum moar. ;-)
pa-kow: yer dead; we are jus-ti-fied!
well…it’s all downhill from this pinnacle of combined power, dogberry (h/t j. st. clair):
boner & mike pence. i’d scoop up bono’s tweet(s) about this statesman and the gravitas of this meeting except one scoop of BS from these two is enough.
;-) bono is the bill gates of the music industry, isn’t he? even banks all his dirty, sexy, money offshore.
oh, and as i should have noted in my other comment: we’ll be seeing soon how private prisons and “drug crimes” play into it all.
arrrgh. wsws has more stats on this rubbish today, and again points out that O led the way for much of it: ‘Private prison companies to profit from mass immigrant detention’, wsws.org i can’t even imagine what portions to feature, save for this adorable bit, even though to to core civic and geo the amounts would be…chicken feed.
“According to a February 23 USA Today report, several of the private prison companies profiting from immigrant detention donated heavily to Trump’s inauguration festivities. The report shows that GEO Group and CoreCivic each gave $250,000 to fund Trump’s inauguration.”
but now that trump’s doing it, I can get outraged, right? Obama was so hard to be outraged about. he spoke so well. nice & clean and all that. to believe in him was not to believe in him at all but to have faith in America, God, and yourself.
Now for this shocking, hitherto unheard of newz out of the bottomless Trumpster dumpster!!! Trump proposes to increase military spending! and cut other programs! I am so outraged. can’t we rebuild our military w/o cutting Barney the Big Red Dog and that Northrup grunman children’s hour?
sure, herr T is just the more naked face of increased fascism and inverted totalitarian, and it’s easy to hate him. he says on twitter what O and his team did ever-so-silently to little hue and cry from the Ds and other libruls. but it still bothers me that T an sessions are anticipating more need for more prisons with quotas to fill (easy thing to do) and spending those additional 56 billions w/ the pentagon. (i won’t dignify it by calling it the ‘defense’ budget.)
guess we’ll see which ‘dollar for dollar’ of cuts turns out to mean. his team says they won’t touch ‘entitlements’…for now. same thing for devos and privatizing public education: duncan and rahm and O opened the door; she and her ilk will just accelerate until the rabble chirren won’t even have ‘affordable’ schools. same w/ contract mercenary forces, no? block grants for snap to the state? end of breakfast programs? well, it might just create panther-like solidarity in communities that…grow.
but sure, when a glib, cleanly smilin’ prez stabs the rabble in the back, his barely even notices it, do they? ‘course, that’s why the red queen lost the election™.
US not rich enough to…!!!!!! how about we, the US, are not rich enough to….! I forgot my point. something about not enduring lying, thieving, “brilliant” entrepeneurs hellbent on the future…anyway, happy shrove sunday or whatever!!! happy mortality. any day is a beautiful day. to be hanged.
shall I sing a song of love? or of good life?
a song of love!
aye! aye! I care not for good life…
lol. just before i clicked into this juke joint, i was stirring some lemon sauce and had run a scene in my head (dammit) where someone was doing the glass two thirds full thang on me as i was struggling w/ some issue w/ our son joining the fooking nat’l guard. so i did the ‘oh, yes, i’ll just whistle a happy tune…’ was that from south pacific, mebbe? so yes: sing a song of joy for the un-good life then whistle a happy tune….
swear to gawd though, another of his tweeties showed a photo of a young, not yet so ugly, bill gates w/ warren buffet in a macDogfood somewhere er other, loving on each other in the present for buffet’s mega-bucks to aid all gates’ Good Works. now he didn’t mention gen-modified food in the list, but tada! ‘education!’ one of the earliest & most influential privatizers, he was.
on edit: the ‘adorable’ part of that story was that buffet pulled out some mcDogfood coupons, ha ha ha. bet neither of em tip their help.
not even close: ‘the king and i’. ;-)
you whistle a tune? me? I read a course in miracles. happy self-talk. and there’s always Mary Poppins.
the wsws called it today, didn’t they? note how presidential trump has suddenly become! from won widdle ol’ speech. once or twice a week i’ll briefly click on Mornin’ Joe when i’m having some joe myself in the a.m. Two fightin’ dem senators were chirping together like two little lovebirds about how ready they are to work w/DT. of course they have concerns. naturally. everyone has concerns. but finally a tone of some civility has been restored.
and since civility & comity and all that are prerequisite masks for barbarity, expect something truly awful reel kwik. like the Oscar winning white helmets will be on hand to assist in some atrocity and voila, assad must go. more civility, comity, and bonhomie all around. jolly good fellows all.
and all these countries cheating on trade. tsk tsk. has there ever been a whinier gov’t in human history? ok, maybe the Cappadocians. fine.
‘j, son of j’: thanx; i laughed out loud. ;-) now i’d read the military and police one already, but not the one labeled ‘speech’, maybe it hadn’t been up earlier. but i will. but i did read RT and da guardians (of the realm) on ‘the speech’, plus the ‘fact-checking’ one, lol. they indicated a less civil response by da Demwits, but fooksake, how did the aca turn into some can of magic health insurance beans, anyway? more like: repealing it’s fightin’ words?
funny, but when i’d wanted to discuss vanessa beeley’s exposés of the white helmets here a month or so ago…no one engaged. beats me. but does the rand corporation have any deep state juice w/ the trumpsters? which wars will the Ts continue? on to libya to fight IS (the order for the pentagon to simplify the many designations to that cracked me up).
civility covering barbarism, yes, but does herr T come off as civil in that speech?
on edit: gads, i allus wanted to shoot mary P…
I might have had a little burn out on white helmets from MoA’s site.
S Sudan is getting a lot of anxious, fretting, attention from the do-gooder cruise missile libs. plus that guy in Sudan has the advantage of being named Bashar (right?) to aid us merkins who really know a lot about geography, politics, gov’t “leaders”, etc. Sudan is next to Syria, right? one Bashar is as good as the next.
i hadn’t meant you, really, cuz you may
have been busy in RL at the time, but none of others, and believe it or not, there *were* others at the time. wonder where any of them are, by the by?
i ♥ ‘cruise missile libs’. yes, clooney and cheadle have been on the case for years, angelina as well, iirc. guess that nation’s split hasn’t gone too well; or do we hear one side of it for r2P of oil?
ah: here’s a CFR plan: ‘Council Special Report Ending South Sudan’s Civil War’, nov 2016
“The only remaining path to protect [South Sudan’s] sovereignty and territorial integrity, restore its legitimacy, and politically empower its citizens is through an international transitional administration, established by the United Nations and the African Union (AU), to run the country for a finite period,” argues Katherine Almquist Knopf, the author of the report.”
Sorry, should have put my moan on here I guess. Never mind.
Given that my recent participation here at Café Babylon, perhaps, this will put into Wendy’s Good Graces.
Today’s Historical Focus and Yet the Focus on to Tomorrow, Is MIA
One of the many joys that comes writing a Commentary Column is that a writer, like myself. can easily fall-off the wagon and begin waging a propaganda war and which reinforces today’s political toxicity and reinforces the partisanship between the Democrats and Republicans, notwithstanding the Independents and who cannot be counted-on to vote within their large numbers and alas, our national history determines this watershed moment of today, with the wholehearted accusations that have no foundation and where our overarching Common Sense is premised on the concretized or the Unassailable Facts.
To wit, today’s partisanship that is our national anathema when the “alternative facts” gains political traction in our public discourse, now has a presumptive salience for the many loud mouths that continue to spout and therefore, their assorted imaginings as their augustness for these wide array of the la vida pesada memes, should be recognized as irrelevant when it comes to speaking to our friends and neighbors.
And as to this lack of thoughtfulness,,, “There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed.” Of course, the late Robert F. Kennedy was quite prescient, even by today’s standards.
Despite our opposition to today’s fulsome quiver of Hate and this overflowing behavior with its ugliness in its usage, we, and who are progressive in our Thought and Action, will continue to resist both the use of RICO in our salient verbal or actualized protest neighborhood demonstrations, will continue unabated and adds much to our self-identified “street cred.”
And which brings me to today’s disgust and for a lack of a “better” Democracy, and which follows as:
Drummed-Out of the Marines for Conduct Unbecoming
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is conducting an investigation in which members of Marines took photos of their fellow members (women) and then, shared these photos on the internet and at various electronic outlets including Facebook and Google, among others.
And at the conclusion of this investigation and the proof of “probable cause” is both viable and visible, the only justice to be acceptable means that the members of Marines (women) and who intentionally posted the photos on the internet can no longer serve with “distinction” and for Honor. As such, the protagonists, must be discharged on the premise of Conduct Unbecoming. And for those members and who willingly participated in this photo-taking, must be demoted to the rank of E-1 should each person be willing to or have the desire to continue serving in the Marines.
Further, this numb-nuts behavior is unacceptable to us, the military vets, and especially for those of us who reside in our wonderful Sonoran Desert.
er…were you out of my good graces, amigo? and it’s been good to hear that the AZ RICO seizures for ‘convicted protestors’ or whatever fascist term was used… bill failed.
re: this administration, a few opinions have noted that herr Hair wants to flip the calendar back to the ’50s; back to the Gilded Age may be more appropriate, if what i’ve seen of the current trajectory turns out to be so. Ptui, some populist, unless he’d meant ‘for white people’ or some such.
as joss would have it, while i was waiting for the house to wake up, i’d bipped into RT and found some coverage of that nasty marine assault on their supposed comrades-in-arms.
““These negative behaviors are absolutely contrary to what we represent,” Sergeant Major Ronald L. Green, the top enlisted man in the Marine Corps, said in response to the CIR report, as quoted by AP.”
liars; it’s exactly who they are. RT noted that:
“According to an annual report released by the Pentagon in May of 2016, the US military received a total of 6,083 reports of sexual assault in 2015, while noting that such crimes are underreported.
“Our efforts are having an impact, but there are still many hurdles to overcome,” Army Major General Camille Nichols, director of the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said. “Reporting the crime is essential for our ability to bring care and advocacy to survivors, and hold offenders appropriately accountable,” she stressed.”
i’m sure you are aware of what it’s like for those who DO report sexual crimes in the military, maj. gen. nichols. and how’re y’all doing addressing the legions of GI-raped women who live near military bases all over the world?
“A Marine proven to have posted an explicit photo of another person could potentially be charged with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, while a Marine who directly participates in, encourages, or condones such actions could be subjected to criminal proceedings or punitive administrative actions, the internal document said.”
dunno what that amounts to, but it likely depends on who those good marines are, doesn’t it?
p.s. on edit: “….the only justice to be acceptable means that the members of Marines (women) and who intentionally posted the photos on the internet can no longer serve with “distinction” and for Honor.” there’s evidence that women marines posted naked photos of women?
‘As Many as 60,000 Detained Immigrants May Have Engaged in Forced Labor for Private Prison Companies’, alternet.org
“As many as 60,000 immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could play a role in a class-action lawsuit accusing a private prison company of violating federal anti-slavery laws. The lawsuit alleges that detained immigrants awaiting court dates were forced to work for $1 per day or for free, on threat of solitary confinement.
The lawsuit was initially filed against the Florida-based corporation GEO Group, which oversees a number of detention facilities that house immigrants who are awaiting court dates. In particular, GEO Group owns Denver Contract Detention Facility, which was the focus of the initial lawsuit.”
the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee had called for prisoners to stop work en masse on sept. 9, 2016. many did, but the page doesn’t seem to differentiate between private and public prisons, nor ICE v not.