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  • mcprison mcprison Feb 24, 2000 9:39 AM Flag

    Justice Dept Slams WHC

    Justice Dept. Slams Juvenile Prison

    .c The
    Associated Press

    By ALAN CLENDENNING

    NEW
    ORLEANS (AP) - In a stinging report, the Justice
    Department accused guards at a privately run juvenile prison
    of violating inmates' rights by habitually using
    excessive force and allowing brutal fights over such basic
    items as food, clothing and shoes.

    The report
    about the facility in Jena was submitted to a federal
    judge overseeing Louisiana's juvenile
    prisons.

    ``Jena fails to provide reasonable safety, improperly
    uses chemical restraints, and provides inadequate
    mental health, medical and dental care for the
    approximately 276 adolescent boys,'' said the report made
    public Wednesday by U.S. Judge Frank
    Polozola.

    The prison, owned and operated by Wackenhut
    Corrections Corp., opened in December 1998 and is one of two
    privately run juvenile prisons in the state. A Wackenhut
    spokesman said the report exaggerated the prison's problems
    and ignored efforts to resolve them.

    The
    state's other private prison, the Tallulah Correctional
    Center for Youth, was taken over by the state last year
    after Justice Department reports highlighted similar
    conditions.

    Justice Department experts who visited the Jena prison
    said they found evidence that guards use excessive
    force routinely and abuse, mistreat and humiliate the
    young prisoners.

    The report noted ``remarkable
    similarities in the alleged manner in which security officers
    forced compliance by tripping youth, twisting their
    arms, legs, or ankles, slamming them into cell walls or
    doors, or taking them violently to the
    ground.''

    It was difficult for inmates to report their claims,
    the report said. Some telephones for reporting abuse
    to a hot line were broken or had the wrong number
    listed above the phones.

    Dr. Nancy Ray, one of
    the experts, found prisoners who had no clean
    clothing and were ``huddled under a sheet or blanket.''
    She described a shoe shortage at the prison as
    ``pervasive.''

    ``At least in some areas, the problems seemed to be
    linked to the reluctance of Wackenhut Corrections
    Corporation to spend adequate funds for the care of the
    youth,'' Ray wrote.

    Some inmates repeatedly
    mutilated themselves so they will be transferred to the
    prison's medical unit and avoid being pressured for food
    or sex by other prisoners, the report
    said.

    The report blamed the problems on high staff
    turnover, poor guard training and the prison's remote
    location - the same problems Justice Department experts
    found at the Tallulah prison.

    ``The question
    that comes screaming out of this report is, `Where was
    the state?''' said David Utter, director of the
    Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana. ``It's pathetic we
    treat kids like this.''

    Corrections Secretary
    Richard Stalder did not return a telephone message
    seeking comment on the report.

    Wackenhut spokesman
    Patrick Cannan said state officials recently met with
    company officials and agreed that the company is doing a
    good job improving prison conditions.

    ``Many of
    the problems in the report are already being
    addressed, and we strongly disagree with some of the
    accusations in the report,'' Cannan said in a statement.
    ``The offenders housed in the facility are being
    properly clothed, fed and
    educated.''

    AP-NY-02-24-00 0545EST

    SortNewest  |  Oldest  |  Most Replied Expand all replies
    • Well McPrison,...thas probably good news, cuz the
      good news for the last two years all it has done is
      drive the stock lower...(smiles)..
      This is a
      defensive stock much like grocery chains, food stocks,
      utilities, etc. The worst the economy gets the more crime,
      and guess what..the bad guys have to have a place to
      go to, and guess what the local units of governement
      and the feds are not building any more cuz the cost
      of money is going north, and so is the inmate
      population, someone has to do the dirty work, of protecting
      society and guess what the unions are not
      it...(smiles).
      So put that in your thinking cap old buddy.

      • 2 Replies to Manboking1
      • Once again, all I did was post a couple atricles
        which, although negative, may be of some use to some of
        us in deciding what to do. There was no editorial in
        my post.

        All I did was post a news story I
        found. If you don't want the info, fine. Don't read it.
        But as I have said many times, I would much rather
        have the ENTIRE picture (at least as much as I can
        get) of a company than just the "fluff" that comes out
        of Cannan's (sp) mouth.

        I've followed your
        posts. You seem to be pretty sharp. I don't recall you
        ever saying only send me the good news boys!

        If
        the company has problems that could affect the price
        or future contracts, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT. If you
        were to stumble across some info, pertainent info,
        concerning the company, I would hope you would share it with
        us.

        A\while back you were in a debate with someone on this
        board concerning CRN. I spoke up at that time to inform
        that misguided person of Cornell's true roots. I don't
        recall you attacking me then for providing info. Why
        start now?

      • I have yet to read a "fluff" posting by mcprison.
        He seems to be one of few people who post messages
        of substance on this board. No one doubts the
        growing industry strength of WHC, but the "bad news"
        postings are about particular management practices in the
        institutions, not aggregate trends in corrections. The more
        real info affecting WHC that hits this board the
        better. We're not all chasing rainbows here.

 
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