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Corrections Corporation of America Message Board

  • MyOpinion_99 MyOpinion_99 Jan 8, 1999 2:05 PM Flag

    We dont need this kind of crap...

    ....this conduct does not help the
    industry...

    Detention center apologizes for delaying

    juveniles' release

    By TYLER BRIDGES
    Herald
    Capital Bureau

    TALLAHASSEE -- An executive with
    a private company that runs a
    juvenile
    detention center apologized Thursday to state legislators
    for
    detaining juveniles past their release date so
    the company could earn extra
    money.

    ``It
    will never happen again,'' said Michael Garretson,
    executive vice
    president of Correctional Services
    Corp., a Sarasota-based company that
    operates the
    juvenile center in Pahokee, in Palm Beach County.


    A report done in October for the state Department
    of Juvenile Justice
    uncovered a memo written by
    a Correctional Services official ordering that

    10 juveniles be kept an additional five days beyond
    their release date.

    ``It was a totally
    inappropriate activity on her part,'' said Garretson.


    Rex Uberman, a top Juvenile Justice official, said he
    believed the company
    delayed the release of the 10
    juveniles at the Pahokee Youth Development
    Center to
    make more money.

    The state pays Correctional
    Services $68 a day to house and educate the
    juveniles,
    so keeping the 10 juveniles the extra five days cost
    taxpayers
    about $3,400.

    Rep. Alex Villalobos,
    R-West Dade, who chairs the committee that
    Garretson
    appeared before, said he believes this is not the first
    instance that
    a private company has kept juveniles
    beyond their release date.

    Villalobos noted that
    the Correctional Services official wanted the 10

    juveniles to stay the additional time because that was when
    the state would
    make its twice-yearly head count
    to determine how much the company
    would be
    paid.

    Villalobos recommended that the state no longer
    advise the company when
    it will do the head count or
    make the reimbursement calculation based on the

    daily average head count of juveniles.

    Marie
    Osborne, who heads the juvenile section of the Miami-Dade
    County's
    public defender office, said Miami-Dade youths
    used to be sent to the
    Pahokee facility until her
    office filed suit arguing that the facility was built
    to
    house youths
    who commit murders. The youths
    sent there have committed less serious
    crimes and
    need less supervision, she said.

    Pahokee has
    been at the center of a two-year court fight
    between
    Miami-Dade juvenile judges and state officials.
    Judges removed several
    Miami boys from the reform
    school after the boys testified to prison-like

    conditions including shackling,
    extended solitary
    confinement, abusive language from staff members and

    little mental health treatment.

    The center was
    originally built as a maximum security prison for adults
    --
    complete with razor wire and bare-bones cells --
    but has been used by the
    juvenile justice

    department to house boys who are considered a moderate risk
    to society.

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