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Another week and more problems with incarceration in the U.S.  Of the many articles to make the news this week, this one touches most of the bases and issues I report on.

We have all read about prison privatization and how it saves the taxpayers money by private companies operating the facilities in a more "efficient" manner.  As I've written in the past, that is all bullshit and the reports, articles and claims made by companies acting as prison profiteers, their supporters and of course government agencies and departments that have authorized such privatization.

We've also read recently about the Republicans emergency session held to vote on defunding NPR.  Well, below you're going to find out why it is so important to the likes of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Koch Industries (sitting on their board) and the thousands of Conservative Republican state lawmakers.

Well here's a case that combines ALEC's conservative agenda, Geo Group's profiteering, the wasteful expenditure of tax dollars for privatizing in one neat package and gives us a true understanding why an "emergency session" was necessary for the House of Representatives on the matter of stopping federal funding of the National Public Radio (NPR).

This article released by NPR this morning shines a bright light on why the Conservatives, Tea Partiers and other Republicans are in such a hurry to cut funding to NPR.

Down south in Mississippi the state has a juvenile detention facility that is operated by Geo Group - formerly Wackenhut - the number two private prison corporation in the U.S.  This facility is known as Walnut Grove and houses 1,200 "Boys" (here that term is used very loosely, indeed) between the ages of 13 and 22.  Previous to the acquisition of this facility by Geo, youths between the ages of 13 and 18 were sent to Walnut Grove - or The Grove as most inmates call it.

The Good Ol' Boys run this facility down there; promoting fights on pay day so they can bet amongst themselves on the outcomes, physically abusing and beating the prisoners, frequent introduction of contraband into the facility, some guards at the facility are members of gangs housed there and sex between female staffers and prisoners is another frequent occurrence.  What a spectacularly wonderful way to reform those youths that have made mistakes and need punishment and discipline to straighten them out.  I'm betting Mississippi will come up with reports that will inform that the recidivism rate for youths housed at The Grove are lower than for juveniles housed elsewhere, to demonstrate what a wonderful thing privatization is.

In addition to the problems with out and out abuses, there have been deaths of prisoners there.  The Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU National Prison Project have filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 13 inmates against GEO Group, the prison administration and state officials.

" A state audit in 2005 and another one last year noted that staffing at Walnut Grove decreased even as the prisoner population increased.

According to the audit, in 2009 there were three inmate injuries a day. In the first six months of 2010 there was more than one fight a day, an assault on staff at least every other day and nine attempted suicides. The Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, whose members represent youth facilities in all 50 states, reports that a guard-to-inmate ratio of 1 officer to 10 or 12 juvenile prisoners is common. The state audit of Walnut Grove found the guard-to-inmate ratio to be 1 to 60. Salaries are the largest expense of a correctional budget, and reducing staffing is typically a way to keep costs down. Pablo Paez, vice president for corporate relations for GEO Group, based in Boca Raton, Fla., declined repeated requests by NPR to give the company’s side of the story. He cited the pending lawsuit. GEO, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is the nation’s second largest prison corporation and had more than $1 billion in revenue last year."

A ratio of 1 to 60!  Incredible - and many of those staffers representing gangs of those offenders locked up there.

Only after Cornell Corrections (acquired by Geo last year through merger) began operating the facility did they increase the age of the offenders housed there.  There were simply not enough 13 to 18 year olds to make it profitable for the private prison company, so the maximum age was increased from 18 to 22.  Geo now has a full compound of these young men, inadequate staffing and on top of that...they found a way to provide the warden and assistant wardens with between $2,500.00 and $5,000.00 supplemental checks out of education grant funding.  These administrators don't have anything to do with providing education and now the U.S. Department of Education has become involved, providing its own investigation:

"NPR examined thousands of pages of public records associated with federal grants paid to the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility. Records show that Warden Brick Tripp and his deputy wardens — already paid by GEO — have been receiving checks for $2,500 to $5,000 as “supplemental salaries” for administering federal Title 1 education funds. “The warden and deputy warden had no dealings whatsoever with educating students,” Cole stated emphatically in a phone interview."

"NPR forwarded the paycheck supplements to the U.S. Department of Education and asked if this was normal. Chief of Communications Justin Hamilton said the agency is concerned and has referred the matter to its Office of Inspector General for investigation."

And as they say, just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.  A staunch supporter of Geo Group's running of the facility is the Mayor of Walnut Grove:

"Grady Sims, mayor of Walnut Grove, says he visits the prison frequently and knows the staff well. “I wouldn’t interfere with the way they’re operating it,” he said. “They’ve done an excellent job.”
 Of course when NPR dug a little deeper they found a reason why the Mayor's opinion was the opposite of many lawmakers and parents of the youths...
"The mayor’s own vending company has 18 snack machines inside the prison.

“It’s been a sweet deal for Walnut Grove,” Sims said. Indeed, every month, the prison pays the town $15,000 in lieu of taxes — which comprises nearly 15 percent of its annual budget.

“For a small town, that’s a lot of money,” the mayor said, “and it helps us maintain a full-time police department that we wouldn’t be able to afford without that income.”

 So all of that money allows the town of Walnut Grove - population 600, no stop lights and the population outnumbered 2 to 1 by the juveniles housed at the facility - to operate a "full-time police department."  Must be a high crime rate among those 600 Mississippi folks, huh?

Everyone in the town is supportive of the facility - cause they're all making money off of it in one way or another, it appears.  Of course, Geo nor the Mississippi DOC would offer any comments and though invited to attend a recent hearing, neither attended or sent a representative.

The Souther Poverty Law Center filed the litigation against Geo and Mississippi authorities in November of last year.  The SPLC is no stranger to representing juveniles that have been abused by staff at various state and/or privatized youth facilities. They filed suit against Youth Services International, Inc., the company which operates a Pembroke Pines, Florida facility known as the Thompson Academy: Thompson staff

"violated the constitutional rights of children at the prison by preventing them access to attorneys to report these abuses. The children were not allowed to have confidential phone calls with their attorneys and were questioned about their meetings with attorneys by the academy’s director and other staff. They also were coerced into signing statements ending or declining legal representation by the SPLC.

Children held at the facility were brutalized, choked and slammed by staff. At least one youth was sexually assaulted by a staff member. Even after the child reported the sexual abuse, Thompson administrators allowed the staff member to have contact with the child, resulting in a second sexual assault."

For those readers wanting more information on the cases filed by SPLC visit this link where their docket provides the case title and a brief synopsis of the suit.

Now I'm sure some are not familiar with ALEC, Geo Group, CCA or their efforts involving furtherance of their conservative agenda, and want to know how these situations in Mississippi and Florida tie in to ALEC and the haste by Republicants to pull NPR's funding?

The connection is relatively simple: Geo Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) are both prominent members of ALEC.  Their representatives sit at ALEC's Task Force tables alongside Mike Morgan, representing Koch Industries.  Across from these corporate members of ALEC's Private Enterprise Board sit any number of Conservative state lawmakers from all over the country.  The Public Safety Task Force deals with issues involving crime, imprisonment and legislation involving all forms of criminal justice.  This is the group that brought us laws such as the 3 strike, minimum mandatory drug and gun laws, Truth in Sentencing (TIS - mandatory serving of 85% of a sentence by prisoners) and a myriad assortment of other harsh criminal laws that served to increase the prison population in the U.S. by as much as 300% between 1980 and today.

ALEC's Conservative agenda brought us SB 1070 in Arizona (with the same legislation spread across the U.S. now by their members to more than 20 additional states).  The law was written by ALEC, tweaked by ALEC and ALEC's member, Senator Russell Pearce (R-AZ.) was given the proposed legislation to take back to Arizona and present it to the general assembly.  Only after it became law were the ties between ALEC, Pearce and Governor Jan Brewer's two lobbyist advisors made known.  CCA, Geo Group and ALEC all expect this legislation in Arizona to provide a huge number of illegal alien immigrant arrests.  Each of those arrests there in Arizona - and in other states if the same legislation is enacted in them - will result in a bed owned by Geo or CCA to be filled with a detainee.  The U.S. government has issued contracts to both to house federal immigrant detainees, at an average annual cost of $62,000.00 in taxpayer dollars per detainee.

There is no argument left that the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) is not a profit making - and growing industry in the U.S.  These companies are making money hand over fist off of taxpayers for housing hundreds of thousands of prisoners.  They are making more money off of the labor performed by those prisoners in their care.  They work inmates as slave laborers and reap the profits from their labor and the products they make for the private corporations partnered with the prison operators.

ALEC and the Koch brothers, Charles and David are now known to be heavily involved in pursuing - and funding - the union busting, collective bargaining and fair wage attacks that have become prevalent since the first of the year.  Main stream media outlets have been forced to report on these attacks against American Jobs and wages - though in many articles and news broadcasts, the involvement of Charles and David Koch and ALEC have either not been reported, or the reporting has been veiled and full involvement by ALEC and the Kochs has not been highlighted.

This brings us to NPR and the need by Republicants to pull their funding.  Conservatives have not been able to buy NPR and change their reporting or formatting.  They have no influence over their reporting and can't control the stories they publish or documentaries that are shown to the public.  Realistically, they are a boil on John Boehner's ass - and a rather large and painful one that is constantly festering.  Many are unaware, but this is possibly one reason why the Speaker of the House is so easily brought to tears - the pain caused by NPR upon his bronzed ass.

NPR published articles during the 2008 election exposing much of the dirty tactics used by all politicians - democrat as well as republican - and they reported on the union backing President Obama was receiving during his campaign.  Later, NPR exposed the CCA/Geo/ALEC ties to SB 1070 and idnetified Governor Brewer's ties to CCA through her Aide (Paul Sensemann) and Advisor (Chuck Coughlin) who lobbied for CCA from the Governor's office.  Following the breaking of this story, the Conservatives cried foul and threatened to introduce legislation to pull federal funding from NPR.  NPR has accurately reported on the GOP success in blocking legislation that would allow taxing firms that outsource jobs, and of GOP efforts to repeal Health care reform legislation.

They did in fact move to defund NPR in November 2010, but their efforts were thwarted by the lame duck Democrat majority.

The problem Republicants, Koch brothers, ALEC and Conservatives have with NPR is that they report the truth to the American people.  They report the facts of a story and let the accusations of government corruption, political misbehavior, election fraud and other egregious activities fall at the feet of those committing the acts - regardless of political affiliation, stature or size of their bank accounts.

Truthful facts have all but disappeared from our lives in the U.S. over the past twenty or so years as Murdock and a handful of others have bought, merged with or acquired more and more media companies and outlets through forced takeovers.  Once they acquire these media companies, the truth often times gets left out of the reporting and articles published and disseminated to the public.  In this way a handful of individuals owning a multitude of media corporations can control and "censor" the reporting presented to the public.  In this way they can "scrub" otherwise unpalatable information provided to the public.

Koch may not own a handful of Radio, TV or print publications, but they do the same thing without actually having to buy up media corporations.  For instance take a look at this link that introduces us to a firm that when hired works hard on the client's behalf to repair damage to their reputation or find more palatable terminology...and in the case of Koch Industries, to clean up their image on places such as Facebook, Wikipedia and Twitter accounts.  They make their clients look squeaky clean and upstanding to the public...regardless of current or past behavior.

New Media Services has Koch Industries as a client.  For this client they went to work erasing, editing, changing and adding information to the Wikipedia page on Koch Industries.  They also handle this client's Facebook account and help to "scrub" their image and reputation and by that make them appear to be less of a threat or menace to society.  Disinformation and propaganda is still what it is and corporations like Koch Industries and their owners need all the help they can get making their conservative agenda pass inspection by the general public.  Maybe when NMS is done, all traces of the creation, funding and support of the Tea Party Movement in the U.S. by the Kochs will be erased...their contributions and connections to Governor Walker in Wisconsin, probably Snyder in Michigan and Kasich in Ohio to break up unions, eliminate collective bargaining and reduce fair wages will also disappear into the vast spaces of the internet.

I have called this collection of members of ALEC a "cabal" in past diaries.  Instead I should have called them "Road Dogs."  In prison slang, Road Dogs are individuals that hang together through thick and thin and stand against all opposition.  They have the same attitude, behavior and when the going get's tough, they have each other's backs in tight situations.  They are not gang members, per se, they are simply prisoners that form a tight, cohesive coalition against other prisoners and prison groups.

Koch, CCA, Geo Group, AT&T, 3M and dozens or more other U.S. corporations all belonging to ALEC are in fact, just that: Road Dogs, in every sense of the word.  This group of smelly canines also include more than 2,000 conservative state lawmakers in the U.S.  All of them belong to ALEC - which I will in the future refer to as the Road Dog's Kennel.  This is where they go to lick wounds, gather strength and to plan their next attacks against under-defended and unaware opponents - our society.  From this safe haven - secure from any view by outsiders - they formulate schemes, plans and legislation that will enable them to grow and prosper from the profits wrung from tax dollars and sales of their products manufactured by prisoners nationwide.

Of course I could have called them all snakes in the grass and ALEC their Viper's nest - but somehow the mental image of a group of them hiking their legs and pissing all over us somehow makes me angrier and more determined to continue to expose them.  It also adequately describes exactly what is happening in America, the corporate elite are in fact taking turns pissing into our face daring us to do something about it - anything, if we can.  Their Road Dogs have a majority in many state assemblies, state offices of Governor and our House of Representatives and they truly believe we are without an ability to resist their efforts of exploitation.  After all they have created a 2.3 million human workforce to work our jobs from behind prison walls where they turn out the Road Dog's products for us to buy while they continue to attack our workers to drive down wages and keep us under control.  We pay them hard earned money in tax dollars to house and work these men and women..and with what little money we have left to our names, we still fucking buy their damn products!

What is wrong with us?!

Originally posted to Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 12:56 PM PDT.

Also republished by Earthship Koch and Community Spotlight.


Should Juvenile detention be taken out of the hands of private prison companies?

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  •  Tip Jar (122+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Polly Syllabic, nervousnellie, Christian Dem in NC, erratic, bnasley, hopi13, Nebraskablue, kevinpdx, Naniboujou, HylasBrook, Calfacon, vcmvo2, 4CasandChlo, tonyahky, blue jersey mom, Margd, Oh Mary Oh, Hector Solon, RLF, Involuntary Exile, RustyBrown, zukesgirl64, lyvwyr101, Flying Goat, arizonablue, hopeful human, rlteiken, BlackSheep1, wiseacre, BachFan, Catte Nappe, Hill Jill, eru, tommymet, TN yellow dog, supercereal, Larsstephens, monkeybrainpolitics, 3goldens, wader, allie123, Karl Rover, wonmug, DEMonrat ankle biter, Strange New World, Otteray Scribe, mrkvica, panicbean, zerone, msmacgyver, Tonedevil, kerflooey, wilderness voice, teabaggerssuckbalz, ms badger, NoMoreLies, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, on the cusp, rosabw, CA Nana, zerelda, downrodeo, RockyLabor, sceptical observer, juca, OHdog, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, jimreyn, maisey, eeff, gnostradamus, VA Breeze, fhcec, CA TreeHugger, Aaa T Tudeattack, stagemom, Eric Nelson, terabytes, NoisyGong, antirove, bronte17, boilerman10, ballerina X, fixxit, walkshills, Blu Gal in DE, Hiranyagarbha, pelagicray, dirtfarmer, enemy of the people, elwior, tresgatos, imabluemerkin, abarefootboy, Oldowan, Neon Vincent, Josiah Bartlett, Lujane, yet another liberal, tardis10, cosette, BarackStarObama, skywriter, Jean Sloan, Byron from Denver, geraldlaslo, Matt Z, Pinto Pony, Floande, bkamr, sable, cama2008, worldlotus, DvCM, xanthippe2, abe57, tikkun, RhodaA, molecularlevel, Horace Boothroyd III, opinionated, ej25

    "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

    by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 12:56:17 PM PDT

      •  Welcome and investigative journalism is what (45+ / 0-)

        I've been turned into by the actors involved in changing our country.  Stay tuned...

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

        by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 01:35:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Superb work on your part! (25+ / 0-)

          Ever since I heard the piece by Laura Sullivan on NPR during my morning drive to work, I've been looking to see if anyone is pursuing this in earnest.  I was delighted to see your post today!  Thankfully you are on it!

          I find the entire privatized prison system concept abominable, and I was frankly unaware of the breadth of this until the NPR piece.  How can public and taxpayer interest be protected when you have shareholders and highly paid executives like the CEO and management team at CCA in the mix.  And these clowns contribute corporate dollars (actually our taxpayer dollars) to politicians (primarily Republicans).

          The NPR programs inspired me to follow up by reading CCA's Annual Reports, which have some sections that read like they came directly from the Onion - describing confinement in a penal institutions in business terms like hotel occupancy rates.  

          It has me wondering whether privatization of Wisconsin's prison system might also be on Scott Walker's agenda.  As the 2008 CCA Annual Report states on page 17:

          The movement toward privatization of correctional and detention facilities has also encountered resistance from certain groups, such as labor unions and others that believe that correctional and detention facilities should only be operated by governmental agencies.

          Of course, CCA doesn't have much problem with unions, as pointed out on page 16

          We have not experienced a strike or work stoppage at any of our facilities. Approximately 775 employees at three of our facilities are represented by labor unions. In the opinion of management, overall employee relations are good.

          They had 17,400 employees at the time.

          Keep up the good work Mr Sloan!

          •  I thought I just read something about Walker (17+ / 0-)

            wanjting to privatize some jails in Wisconsin.  I could be wrong and will have to do further research and see if I can find it.

            CCA is now poised to take over prisons in Maine under the new Republican majority there.  The Governor says he want to "look into privatizing Maine's prisons":

            "Last month, LePage nominated Joseph Ponte, who recently worked for Corrections Corp. of America as a warden in Nevada, for corrections commissioner. LePage said that Ponte’s nomination was not an indication that he would privatize Maine’s prison system, but he did say that he may allow a private prison company to build a facility in Maine to house inmates from other states."
             Can anyone recognize the similarity here between what is happening in Ohio and Maine?  Both appointed a former CCA warden to the position of heading up their state's prison system - and both are now talking about privatization.

            Even as we expose their insidious agenda to exploit prisoners and profit from tax dollars for doing it, they go right along - state by state, furthering that agenda.

            Bastages I say...BASTAGES! :)

            "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

            by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 04:29:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  At the very beginning of the protests in WI, (9+ / 0-)

              one of Walker's first moves was to ready the National Guard and the question was, why?

              I remember seeing a prison guard on MSNBC (Last Word, I think) who speculated that Walker was preparing to lay off the guards and replace with National Guard as an interim measure leading to privatization.

              This Diary is a real eye opener for me as didn't know the cast of characters...and they are scary.

              Thanks so much!

              May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

              by msmacgyver on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:30:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for coming by for a chat on the issues (8+ / 0-)

                that are of much importance in today's society.

                One important prison topic that hasn't received much attention or discussion is that of Abu Ghraib and the torture and atrocities that occurred there.  What came out of that investigation and the articles reporting upon that embarrassment, was the fact that many of the National Guard members who participated in those acts, were prison guards in their home states.  At the time there were problems with prison staffers here in the states, but not nearly to the extent of today.

                I think if we would have caught it then, and taken the appropriate action instead of trying to sweep it under the rug, or justify the acts as some Militarists did, we and the prisoners we have put away would both be safer.

                That administration tried hard to first hide the acts taken in the name of our Nation and when that became impossible, they diligently attempted to try and justify and thus condone much of the torture that occurred.  I think this latter was interpreted by many as actually a lessening of our standards of treatment of those we consider criminals - or POWs.  This interpretation allow today's prison staffers to somehow believe such behavior is in some form acceptable to a large segment of our society and believing that, they commit this kind of criminal acts assuming there will be no uprising due to their actions.  Just a thought as to why it is so prevalent today.

                "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

                by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:22:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you're not familiar with this (6+ / 0-)

                  experiment, you might find this info helpful:


                  A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment Conducted at Stanford University

                  Welcome to the Stanford Prison Experiment web site, which features an extensive slide show and information about this classic psychology experiment, including parallels with the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University.

                  How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended prematurely after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please join me on a slide tour describing this experiment and uncovering what it tells us about the nature of human nature.

                  May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

                  by msmacgyver on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:46:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The wife and I have discussed this experiment on (6+ / 0-)

                    several occasions over the past few years.  We seem to agree that the giving of power of one over another, transforms that one with the power.  Subtly at first and gradually his/her behavior becomes more oppressive, dominant and even worse when they realize there is no one the other can complain to or provide help for them.

                    I stand by the old adage that "absolute power - corrupts absolutely."  As Conservatives and their corporate benefactors and funders assume more and more power and influence, it will only get worse.

                    If we compare where Libya, India, Bahrain and many other nations and their societies are today, one can easily see a perfect example of the absolute power concept; the people under rule by those dictatorial authoritarian governments have no where to turn and no one to complain to or come to their aid or assistance.  If the U.S. continues on the path of late we are headed in that direction and when we arrive we'll find corporate owners sitting upon the throne.  We will be in that same boat if this happens.

                    Keep in mind as we move to make efforts of assisting those in India and elsewhere, the Republicants objected to our interference, stalled and wanted to prevent our actions by holding hearings, votes, etc...anything to stall our providing assistance.  I think their hesitancy is due to an unspoken belief that there is nothing wrong with totally controlling an entire society - if you're the one in control.

                    "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

                    by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:07:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think there are many components (7+ / 0-)

                      to the psyche which contribute to becoming either a sadistic 'guard' or a benevolent 'caretaker'.

                      I'm horrified by the impact that hate talk radio and Fox has had on the American collective consciousness. Both have been around for many, many years and more than enough time to infect an entire generation of listeners/viewers from young kids to their grandparents.

                      It's fair to assume that this segment of the population would very quickly become sadistic guards.  I'd like to think that those who reject this culture of dehumanization would act as benevolent caretakers.

                      The republican party took a wicked turn which I believe corresponds first with the co-opting of the religious right wing. Today's republican party has moved into even more dangerous territory with the inclusion of the Baggers and the pseudo-conservatives.

                      The protests in WI awakened so many of us who needed to be reminded that we aren't helpless and do have recourse if we only unite, stand together and protest peacefully.  We saw protesters thanking the cops and international donations for pizza.

                      Walker and his 'guards' became thugs and are incapable of recovering their lost advantage.

                      May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

                      by msmacgyver on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:52:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I agree and admit that I have written about the (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        msmacgyver, Matt Z, Floande, DvCM

                        "Conversion" of many conservatives to far right wing evangelical concepts and the impact this has had upon the Republican party as well as our society.  The merger of the two ideologies has led to opening the door to political participation and politicking for the religious right.

                        Today religious groups, foundations and organizations are involved in everything government and political.  Most non-conservative candidates are asked over and over again what their religious beliefs and practices are  - rather than what their political stance is on issues.  Religious preferences have become more important in election cycles than social issues.

                        That party opened the door to both the Tea Baggers and the evangelicals and now have to live among them and more or less adopt some or most of the agenda favored by both.  I say this because by accepting these fringe factions into the R party, they have driven many more moderate R's out of the party altogether.  They have to now cater to those that replaced the moderates to retain a semblance of an actual political party.  If they don't adapt, the party will cease to exist as a political power and they'll lose their influence and position to Independents and Democrats.

                        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

                        by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 09:27:09 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Privatization is the last refuge of (0+ / 0-)

              public officials who don't want to be responsible for the obligations of their official positions.  


              by hannah on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 10:08:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The MIC was such a success, especially now that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            we seem to be in a state of unending war, that they are simply transferring the business model.

            It's easy to imagine the powerpoint presentation:

            "Gentlemen, here is the total tax dollar pie.  The biggest sectors are ... we already have majority control of defence, and we are making great strides in the incarceration sector."

            GEO, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is the nation’s second largest prison corporation and had more than $1 billion in revenue last year.

            "Our next targeted opportunity sector is edcuation.  We are currently taking in increasing amounts of tax-payer dollars/revenue from both the "non-profit" and profit groups testing groups."  

            For example, the Big 3 "non-profits," are operating at 2x time the profit of other non-profits, and with NCLB, the testing market has increased from $263 million in 1997 to to $400 million to $700 million.

            "Leveraging data from our testing efforts combined with our long term anti-union/Free Market Marketing, lobbying activies, and uber-conservative/Tea Party Movement campaigns, we are within striking distance of converting the public education system into a privitized charter school system.  BTW, Obama's choice of Duncan was an unexpected windfall, so we have moved up our expectations for majority take over in this sector by 2014."

            "Which brings us to considering which sector we should target next?  Public employee pension funds represent a significant untapped capital source and public envy is nearing the point making it ripe for privitization ... perhaps with a portion of Social Security ... please turn to page 16 in your handouts ... "

            Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

            by bkamr on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 07:32:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Understatement... (14+ / 0-)

          ... you have been at this awhile.  Like the fact that you don't treat your postings as just long tweets. Old school, like it.

          Can seriously appreciate the level of effort (and energy) required to stay on top of topics and connect the dots. Outrage helps, but worried people get "numbed" by the noise machine (that NPR and a few others give us respite from).

          Keep it up, but pace yourself, it's going to a be a long year(s) with these "Road Dogs" running a-muck.

          Like the term "law laundering" or something like that.

    •  Bob, thank you (6+ / 0-)

      thank you... this has been an issue for me my whole life... i have fought against the piggish prison industrial complex my whole life... but this diary will serve as a crossroads for me, to focus my rage once again. thank you.

      Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

      by gnostradamus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:02:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A study conducted by Pew Research (35+ / 0-)

    and presented in On the Media today indicates that NPR is indeed not biased "as far as the metrics can tell" and that if anything they fall more towards the mainstream but with more analysis.

    Well, we all know that the truth can often be perceived as liberal so no wonder the republicans hate NPR.  (I personally think it errs to far to the right to appease them).

    I think we should rename today's republicans as the "know nothings", as they seem to want their constituents to know nothing!

    Corporations are driven by the bottom line, not by concerns for health, safety or the environment. This is why we need government regulations.

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 02:10:23 PM PDT

  •  NPR is the only source of in-depth national news (18+ / 1-)

    in Mississippi--no wonder the cockroaches don't want the light shone on them.

  •  It is (17+ / 0-)

    a very sorry commentary on the US in general, that we put our children in prisons to be maltreated by their jailers. That we choose prisons rather than trying to help them is even worse.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 02:53:03 PM PDT

    •  Isn't it? (11+ / 0-)

      Although this informations doesn't surprise me in the least.

      The political right in this country has no actual shame of any kind.

      Leave it to them to profit  from a system that is already broken and  loaded with abuses.

      The fact that those being taken horrific advantage of are juveniles is no surpise either.

      They have a history for taking advantage of those who are defenseless-have no representation: no voice-so to speak.

      With political conservatives it actually is all about power-abuse-money and influence.

      "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." ~Leonard Bernstein

      by lyvwyr101 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:12:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. Conservatives have pushed for (11+ / 0-)

      incarcerating Juvenile offenders rather than diversion programs to change their behavior.  That is because it is so profitable to the corporations to do the latter and it creates the next wave of adult prisoners to continue to feed their coffers for a lifetime.

      Profit is their agenda, not rehabilitation or reducing crime.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:16:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, there's more to it than that. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, OHdog, walkshills, RockyMtnLib, Matt Z
        "Conservatives have pushed for incarcerating Juvenile offenders...because it is so profitable to the corporations..."

        I don't think so. Conservatives always wanted more jails, even before for-profit prisons existed. The notion that punishment is better than rehabilitation is a long-standing Conservative idea.

        What we have here is a set of profit-minded individuals who are exploiting the Conservatives' mindset, using it to generate profit for themselves.

        •  Yes, I agree to a large part with this analysis. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson, walkshills

          Koch, AT&T and numerous other corporate interests have found a useful "tool" in conservatives on the issue of incarceration and other such ideals.

          The fact that they (conservatives) are willing to toss education funding at the prisons and decrease the ability of our children to learn at an acceptable pace, suits the goals of the corporations as well.  It's a win win for them with the end result being cheap labor performed by under educated individuals, and the Conservatives wind up with more campaign funding from the corporations.

          This cut to education funding nationwide is going to come back and bite the country in our collective asses.  We are no longer able to keep abreast of technologies and product development in the US because of this single issue.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

          by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:04:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The more Republican/Conservative (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jim0121, walkshills, Jean Sloan, Matt Z

      my government becomes, the more unrecognizable it becomes, and the more I loathe it.

      And it is the assholes who are converting it into a fascist state who like to tar their opposition with the brush of "blame America first." First? No. But when it deserves it, you betcha.

      "It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin

      by psnyder on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:05:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A favorite rhetoric of theirs is to accuse those (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hopeful human, psnyder, walkshills

        who oppose them as being unpatriotic.  Most of the think tanks, PACs and other "foundations" run by these people contain titles that include "American...Patriots...Justice and have wonderfully drawn American Eagles in their logos.  I guess this makes them feel more American than the rest of us - or superior, anyway.

        They rebuke President Obama for apologizing to other nations for our transgression...after years of research I believe such an apology is necessary - not for our behavior as Americans, rather for the behavior of a certain segment of our society that believes it is patriotic to exploit others and do it in the name of the USA.

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

        by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:21:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Private prisons are a disgrace. (19+ / 0-)

    Lack of oversight, little or no rehabilitation, and the economic incentives to not grant parole (an empty prison is not a profitable prison) is yet another sign our American legal system has failed.

    That troubled children are fodder for dollars should be a sign of societal collapse. Yet to many it's just another example of "how well the free market works".

    "All we are saying is give peace a chance" - John Lennon -7.50, -8.51

    by Rogneid on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:16:57 PM PDT

    •  Again an exact and horrific description of (11+ / 0-)

      the agenda we are up against.  Diverting school and education funding with funding of prisons and immigration and juvenile detention facilities is a great indicator of their motives and push for control over the masses.

      It has worked for  them for 30 years now, but their attacks against the workers have awakened many and it hopefully will not be so easy in the future.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:20:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Private Prisons Do Not Have Any Authority... (0+ / 0-)

      to grant paroles, only the State can grant paroles.  Now, it may be that the State agrees to a poorly written contract and has to pay a penalty if they cannot supply enough ofenders to fill the private prison.  The alternative would be to bring in offenders from State run units to avoid the penalties.  Which is what it sounds like they did when they increased the age to 22.

      •  Without the state paying them, (0+ / 0-)

        there would be no private prisons. It's a corrupt, immoral and mutually beneficial relationship between a state and a corporation.

        "All we are saying is give peace a chance" - John Lennon -7.50, -8.51

        by Rogneid on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:09:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is and the fact that (0+ / 0-)

          in the U.S. 90% of all privatized prison facilities are operated by two companies - CCA and Geo Group - and both are members of ALEC we can see their influence.

          Recently the states of Maine, Ohio and one other have all gained republican Governors and a majority in their assemblies and immediately appointed former CCA or Geo wardens to head their Dept's of Corrections - and now are saying they want to privatize all or part of their prison systems, it becomes obvious what the underlying agenda is.  That agenda is driven by ALEC and the conservatives - all tied in together.  Prison has become their cash cow and prisoners a commodity.

          It is immoral and corrupt.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

          by Bob Sloan on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:29:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Brick Tripp? You can't make up names like that. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, Matt Z

    If you did, you'd be accused of juvenile amateurishness.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:43:34 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary- (8+ / 0-)

    I wondered what was going on behind the recent push to defund NPR.  I  figured there was more going on than I knew.

    "Real History is not for Sissies" Barry McCain

    by Hill Jill on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:54:54 PM PDT

  •  What do you think... (8+ / 0-)

    ... about this article? (Seeing as you are an SME on all this)

    "Michigan In Chains As Rick Snyder Replaces Education With Punk Prisons"
    - PoliticusUSA March 12, 2011

    Not an expert in corrections, but remember Engler nearly doubling the prison population under his reign, and wondering if we should be worried about this coming back under Snyder (not that he has even the slightest clue about corrections), but Wackenhut is here too? and others?

    Any thoughts or links you can think of to build this out?  

    Maybe this is an interesting article for a potential diary?

    What ALEC bill/model language are we looking for?

    Thought it might be of interest to you.

  •  CCA/Geo is bad news (11+ / 0-)

    These are not benevolent folks. They are a very sleazy bunch of folks, and looking to extract maximum dollars while providing pretty questionable levels of service.  Oh, and then there is the corruption...everywhere they go, their slime trail coats everything.

    The tie between them and ALEC should tell you a lot about who's interests are served by ALEC.

    •  Yepper I've been tracking the campaign (11+ / 0-)

      contributions of both corporations for several years now and their money buys corruption from sea to shining sea here in the good ol' US of A.  They have made so much money in fact that ALEC, Geo and CCA have gone international in the past decade.

      Did you read what just happened in Canada with the Conservatives getting a no confidence vote?  It is because of their lack of transparency, etc.  Part of the reason is that the conservatives up there have tried to mirror our criminal justice laws and privatization efforts.  Canada realizes that this is bankrupting our country and want no part of that.

      ALEC's server is down, or I would provide you with a link to their efforts in Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and of late, China!  Their Task Force on International relations (Task Force seats cost $10,000.00 ea. to the corporate members) has been busy spreading the 3 strikes, minimum mandatory and Truth in Sentencing laws in those countries and CCA and Geo both have private prison operations in each.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 04:44:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  11 years as a Juvenile Public Defender (10+ / 0-)

    and I'm sure that we don not want for-profit private industry (or "non-profits" either for that matter) involved in juvenile supervision.  We had a horrible mess out here in Cal. with all the abuses listed above and have had some pretty good investigations that have caused a vast reduction in the number of kids going to juvenile prisons.  Still too many and the conditions still suck though.

    I've had a judge refuse placements based on an investigation that our office did, and once drove to an out-of-state placement and asked them to "bring in all my counties boys and shut the door.  Charges were filed at that institution against two supervisors-I was not involved in that investigation, but it confirmed what our kids were saying.

    There are known methods for alleviating youthful recidivism and violence-none of these methods involve the type of institution that you describe above.

    thanks for writing on this issue.

    I Know a place where a Royal Flush never beat a Pair" T. Waits

    by NearlyNormal on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:29:31 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for participating in this important (8+ / 0-)

      discussion, NearlyNormal.  I have read reports from CA. on the abuse of juveniles in detention there - as well as many other states.  It has been my dismay that it happens at all - and that where it most frequently happens is in private run facilities.

      What a lot of us have failed to realize is that once a person - adult or child - is taken into custody and placed into the care of another, nearly all contact with the family, friends and other on the outside are severed.  It creates an environment where one individual has been judged to be a criminal or threat to society and the other is there to protect society while it works to "adjust" the problematic behavior of that person - now called an inmate/prisoner.

      When the one holding the key to release profits from the continued keeping of the offender, there is absolutely no incentive to reform or release him/her.  On the contrary, job security and corporate profit is dependent upon keeping that bed full and bringing in taxpayer dollars.  There is no room in that equation or environment for quickly reforming and releasing an individual in their possession.

      On the other hand, when the state is the jailer there is great incentive to rehabilitate an individual and get him/her out of the institution as quickly as possible.  There is no profit made from retaining prisoners in state run facilities, only greater costs.  This creates incentive to correct behavior and lessen the financial burden to the taxpayer.

      This is the great difference between the two.  Both are capable of inflicting harm upon those in their custody but where the state actors are usually held culpable for such harm, private run facilities continue to get away with it - due to the political influence they have and the ability to hide such incidents from public view.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:48:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wackenhut running a juvy prison? (11+ / 0-)

    That's REALLY wrong! They have become infamous in Afghanistan for making promotion dependent on preforming bizarre and demeaning sexual rituals, sometimes with a Satanist theme. Here in Wisconsin, Walker had them guard a courthouse, which they also failed to do without scandal. We really can't trust CCA, Wackenhut, or any other uppity rent-a-cops with children.

    •  I agree fully. An even greater threat to our (5+ / 0-)

      society now is that both CCA and Geo have diversified and are now operating "treatment" facilities as well as prison operations.  My God, they now provide mental health treatments to those of us we deem in need of such help!  One can only imagine what terrible situations those poor mentally challenged folks are going through as they try to get out and Geo tries to keep them in for profits.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:02:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  While listening to the piece on the radio (6+ / 0-)

    - when it was mentioned that the ratio of staff to inmates was 1-60 and that some guards were gang-bangers - all I could think was "Good God, It must be **ing Lord of the Flies in there.

    The melding of government duties with for-profit corporations when it comes to prisons is beyond bizarre.

    Staging gladiator contests?

    No ifs ands or buts - Should be punished with an automatic prison term.

    An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:55:20 PM PDT

    •  I agree and said as much above! Prison for these (4+ / 0-)

      individuals is well earned and should be meted out.  That is what happened to the two judges up in Pennsylvania that were caught sending juveniles to a private facility and taking kickbacks from the facility operator.  They haven't been sentenced yet, but have been convicted.  And these were judges - not the jailers who actually perform such perversion upon young offenders.  All have earned the right to experience what it's like on the other side of the fists and abuses...

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:07:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Entertaining movie about private Juvy prison or (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, Matt Z, Floande

    reform camp is Holes. Sigorney Weaver, Shia LeBeouf, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson. Exploitation for private profit, and magical realism too,  but the unrealistic part is the prompt response of state authorities when notified.

    I don't dislike all conservatives... mainly just the ones that vote Republican.

    by OHdog on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:57:10 PM PDT

    •  I saw that movie a few years back and (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OHdog, walkshills, Matt Z, Floande

      you're right the unbelievable part was that an attorney discovered what was going on and actually brought the authorities on the scene as the cavalry.  Unfortunately I think those staffers at Walnut Grove watched it also and came away with a different take than you and I. :(

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:10:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is a BFD (5+ / 0-)

    dam I started reading & said to myself I don't know if I want to read this. by the 3rd paragraph I was hooked.

    this is a really well writen essay. My head is spinning from the ammount of info you tied together.

    Keep up the work you are doing Bob. I guess I notice you about 6 weeks ago. now I will be following you

    Thanks again for posting this

    •  Thanks for joining the discussion and decision (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eeff, hopeful human, Matt Z

      to follow.  I have tried hard to bring the issues to the attention of those here at DK so they can understand how so much of what is happening in our "world" is intertwined with other equally important issues such as our choice of representation and how that choice impacts upon other issues important to society.

      Trying to shine a bright light into the hidden corners where these creatures run to hide when truth is spoken and they're exposed.  If we leave them nowhere to hide, they'll have to change their ways - or as they're now trying to do, take us over completely.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:14:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  will someone front page this for the love of god?! (6+ / 0-)

    does it get any better than this?  i don't care what political motive might be behind this... this issue is at the core of the problem with conservatives and why they must be defeated:  the are vile despotic fascists.

    Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

    by gnostradamus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:04:50 PM PDT

  •  aside, but in your general realm of interest (0+ / 0-)

    Another punishment for those convicted.

    •  One of my pet peeves, to be sure. Prison (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abarefootboy, martini

      industry training programs always use the excuse that they are "training" prisoners to allow them an opportunity at employment when released - and by doing so excuse their slave labor wages during the "training".  All bs.  They're making money hand over fist using out of date equipment and technologies and know perfectly well  that anyone they train stands little chance of employment from such training.

      If there's no work for 14 million of unemployed Americans without a criminal record - what chance does a convicted offender have in breaching a local job market?  None.  Again, this keeps the revolving door policy associated with prison turning at high speed and dumping tax dollars into the pockets of private prison corporations and others capitalizing off of incarceration.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:45:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Private prisons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    Private prisons are an abomination. Incarceration is clearly a responsibility of government. There is no evidence that privatization saves money in prison operation--or of course in any other area of endeavor. But in prisons, in particular there is a "captive audience" vulnerable to abuse because they are unpopular, have limited ability to communicate, and are distrusted when they do complain. Publicly operated prisons are bad enough.

    No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. H. L. Mencken

    by jim0121 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:35:36 PM PDT

    •  You're right on point, jim0121. (0+ / 0-)

      If the incentive for profits is removed from the equation, we would all be better off.  Prison would operate as a public run operation and responsibility with the goal of reducing recidivism and criminal behavior.  Only by doing so would the cost of incarceration begin to drop.  As it is the profit keeps these corporations pushing for more and harsher legislation to increase the number incarcerated and thus  the profit to them by such imprisonment.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:49:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Simple, very simple. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When the cockroaches gain power they do all in their power to turn off those damned lights!

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:55:19 PM PDT

  •  Not to quibble, but all dollars are the same-- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    legal tender issued on the basis of the good faith and credit of the American people.  It's our money, regardless of what it's used for or who uses for legitimate or illegitimate purposes.  However, when used for the latter, we the people have a right to take the money back.  "Taxpayer dollars" is a phrase invented by people intent on finding some basis, any basis, for defining artificial social strata, in which some people are better than all the rest.  The word "taxpayer" ought to be avoided by progressives.  Though, it might be worth pointing out that providing material support (paying taxes) is an obligation of citizenship.  
    So, if we wanted alien residents (long or short term) to pay taxes, we should insist they apply for and become citizens.  We might also do well to castigate citizens who evade taxation as freeloaders.

    On the substantive issue of NPR defunding, I'd suggest that one motivation lies in the fact that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting provides an example that the denizens of private corporations, most of which are chartered by incompetent states, would just as soon forget.  That's because, like the Federal Reserve, the CPB is a Congressionally chartered corporation and subject to direct legislative supervision.  Not to mention that three members of the Board are up for appointment, upon nomination by the President, this year and conservatives are likely using defunding as a lever to keep Obama from stacking the Board with progressives.

    On the issue of the prison industrial complex, let me suggest that what we have here is another example of human husbandry -- the exploitation of humans to their detriment, which is not very different from traditional animal husbandry before the animal rights people started having a say.  Indeed, much of the antagonism towards the animal rights campaign is likely prompted by the perception that if the dumb animals have rights, can children and other humans be far behind.

    You do realize that American children have no human rights, right?  That's why the U.S. has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    American children are owned by their parents, property which, if not properly provided for, can be judicially removed in a sort of eminent domain proceeding and claimed by the state for use or abuse.
    Captive Africans, you see, were never the only natural persons owned as property.

    by hannah on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:56:34 AM PDT

    •  Many times the issues are so convoluted that (0+ / 0-)

      one feels overwhelmed and has the feeling that there may be more than one right position on each issue.  Such is the case with the ongoing battles today.

      Of course the upcoming appointments to the CPB may have a part in the choice of the Republicans to immediately try and cut the funding to NPR, but they have been working on doing just that for more than two years now.  Obviously it is in their best interests to have Boards and Commissions that are top heavy with Conservatives when they are in the minority.  This also applies to the Federal Prison Industry Commission.  While in office President Bush II appointed two or three to this important Board from; labor, AG's Office and DOD.  Obviously this has had an unseen impact upon the current labor, Justice and DOD issues that plague us today - with labor under attack, Justice involved in running all prison industry in the U.S. and prisoners in FPI manufacturing parts and components for the Patriot Missile system, F-15s and F-16s.  DOD just gave the FPI a contract to manufacture all body armor for the U.S. Army.

      So even when the issues seem of little importance,  the end result can be devastating.  Obviously, if PBS and NPR went the way of ACORN, R's would be overjoyed and factual - truthful - reporting on issues would quietly disappear, replaced with "news" being provided by our mainstream media outlets - privately owned and controlled by corporate interests.  This would be a bad thing, and regardless of the reasoning behind their effort to cut funding, the goal on their part is the same.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:12:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another home run, Bob (0+ / 0-)

    From a longtime fan.  I remember when your diaries would get 7 recs and 3 comments.

    Thanks again and please keep it up!!

  •  All detention should be taken from private cos. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    It is fundamentally illegitimate to delegate the use of force against the citizenry from the government to a private, profit-driven agency.

    "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

    by libdevil on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 07:32:11 AM PDT

  •  I Agree That This Should Not Happen... (0+ / 0-)
    promoting fights on pay day so they can bet amongst themselves on the outcomes, physically abusing and beating the prisoners, frequent introduction of contraband into the facility, some guards at the facility are members of gangs housed there and sex between female staffers and prisoners is another frequent occurrence.

    But this is a problem in all prison units, not just private prisons.  The primary reason that there is so much contraband in the prisons is because the employees facilitate the problem.  Last year all the units in the Texas Prison system were locked down for a week or so while they searched for cell phones and SIMM cards after a State Rep got a threatening call from a Death Row Inmate.  Since they cannot legally use jamming equipment, the only alternative was to search for the phones and equipment.  The vast majority of the prisons here are run by the State including the unit that houses Death Row.

    •  Texas has their own problems involving (0+ / 0-)

      prison and related issues.  I disagree with your assessment that the vast majority of the prisons are run by the state.

      Please take a moment and visit this link  and try not to gasp as you see the number of privately run facilities in Texas.  It is a state with a huge percentage of privately run facilities and nearly leads the nation in this category.

      Contraband is always a staff issue.   They have claimed for years that all contraband comes in through visitation, but that is simply disinformation to keep the eyes off of staff members that supplement their low wages with bringing in contraband.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 08:55:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wisconsin, ALEC and Cronon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    In WI news:

    Yesterday / Today:
    State GOP health bills mirror model ALEC legislation

    Last Week:

    UW history prof targeted for records request by Republican Party

    The Wisconsin Republican Party, apparently stung by a blog post written by UW-Madison history professor William Cronon, has responded by asking the University of Wisconsin-Madison for copies of all of Cronon's office e-mails that mention prominent Republicans or public employee unions. In his inaugural blog post on March 15, Cronon, one of the UW's academic stars, had sketched the apparent influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a shadow conservative policy group that works with Republican state legislators, on Gov. Scott Walker's legislative agenda.

    Don't cry for me, Mr. Boehner. Cry for yourself and the Republican Party. -- psusennes, DK

    by RhodaA on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 07:52:45 AM PDT

    •  Yes...I read about both of these issues - the one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      about the UW professor yesterday.  It is reprehensible that they continue these attacks unabated - even as protesters gather state by state.  It is almost as if their agenda now is to incense the population - state by state - in the hope that some will resort to violence so these Conservative Governors can call in the National Guard, declare marshal law and order citizens to stay off the streets.  Banning demonstrations would be their first order of the day with emergency enactment of all the laws they want as the second step.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 09:00:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this great Diary (0+ / 0-)

    Don't cry for me, Mr. Boehner. Cry for yourself and the Republican Party. -- psusennes, DK

    by RhodaA on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 07:54:25 AM PDT

  •  When locking people is a business (0+ / 0-)

    you end up with the highest rates of incarceration in the world!

  •  I have been exposed to Walnut Grove for the past 4 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    1/2 years helping an inmate appeal his life sentence given to him at barely 15 years old, an 8th grader. I have devoted the last 5 years of my life to getting him a new trial. I've experienced life at Walnut Grove through him. The NPR report is good but is only the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong with this facility. I have visited him at this gulag every 3 months for the past 2 years driving down from Chicago for a 3 hour visit. I have written about my visits and published them on a blog on his myspace. Brett Jones and Tyler Edmonds were the two youngest kids at Walnut Grove, Tyler being only 13 years old and having to take PC (protective custody) which is 23 hour lockdown for his own safety. He lived like that for 4 years. He was a 6th grader. He has since won his freedom. He had a life sentence. Brett didn't take PC and came to Walnut Grove after 9 months in adult jail as an 8th grader. He has fought tooth and nail to survive in the grove and teaches young inmates how to survive, and helps to protect them, takes them under his wing. He is now the longest serving inmate in there having gone in at 15 years old.  I've been with him most of that time.  He is about to be transferred when he turns 22 this summer.

    This place is an absolute travesty involving everything wrong with juvenile incarceration from no requirement to leave with a GED to constant strip searches of minors to female guards overseeing the showers to lockdowns to no rehabilitation to the main goal being the breaking of the inmates spirit and then release into the public. Thanks for your interest in this story Mr. Sloan. It is good to see someone taking an interest.

    free the West Memphis 3

    by gingerdue on Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 09:17:51 AM PDT

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