Governor plans to re-open Big Isle prison by 2014

This comes from: Hawai’i News Now
Jan. 23rd 2013
Lisa Kubota

HILO (HawaiiNewsNow) – Governor Neil Abercrombie announced in his State of the State speech that he wants to re-open the Kulani Correctional Facility on the Big Island by July 1, 2014. Residents had a chance to offer their opinions on Tuesday night at a public meeting in Hilo.

The Lingle administration closed Kulani in 2009 after officials determined it wasn’t fiscally feasible to keep running the facility. Abercrombie, however, is determined to change that next year. Roughly 30% of Hawaii’s 6,000 inmates are held in mainland prisons. 200 of them could come back if the minimum security facility is re-opened.

“What happened in the past was the prisoners went up there, but now we have a chance to bring them home,” said resident Louie Hao.

They would be prisoners who are two to four years from finishing their sentences. The move would also create more than 90 staff positions.

Read the rest here:

Lawyer claims Hawaii prisoners are harassed at Arizona prison

From: Hawaii News Now, Nov 24th 2012
By: Keoki Kerr

SUGUARO, Arizona (HawaiiNewsNow) —

A Honolulu lawyer who represents about 70 Hawaii inmates at an Arizona prison said officials there routinely harass and retaliate against some of those inmates for bringing complaints about their treatment behind bars.

Hawaii inmates at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona often use the phone to talk to their Hawaii-based attorneys, such as Myles Breiner.  
But he said officials at the prison routinely listen to the prisoners’ side of the conversations and take notes on their contents, a violation of attorney-client privilege.

“Inmates, as a result, are intimidated.  They are reluctant to discuss anything over the phone,” Breiner said. “Our clients are told, ‘Why do you need that lawyer?  You don’t need that lawyer. We can help you without that attorney.'”

Breiner said Saguaro inmates who file complaints about abuse by guards, improper medical attention and other problems with staff are retaliated against with unfair misconduct violations, which can make them ineligible to get parole.

“Inmates who are pursuing litigation have a disproportionate number of misconducts filed against them by the facility,” Breiner said.

A spokesman for Corrections Corporation of America, the private company that owns the prison where Hawaii houses more than 1,600 of its inmates, released a statement responding to some of Breiner’s allegations.
 “CCA takes the safety and dignity of the inmates entrusted to our care very seriously,” said Steven Owen, senior director of public affairs for the prison company. “We have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of retaliation and take any such allegations very seriously.”

Owen said the Saguaro Correctional Center has a “robust grievance process” that inmates can use to voice concerns or complaints, and he said the prison encourages them to do so.

But Breiner has other complaints.

“The warden has a habit of referring to me as ‘That Jew lawyer. That Jew lawyer Myles Breiner.” They hope to have me put in segregation,” Briener said.

In a letter he wrote to Hawaii’s Attorney General David Louie, Breiner said his clients tell him the prison warden and his assistant warden say they want to lock Breiner up if he visits the facility.

Read the rest and view the film here:

Deaths in Custody – Homicide: Nunuha family sues CCA and state.

This poor man’s murder was preventable – and horrendous. Condolences to his loved ones. I hope you make CCA and the State of Hawai’i pay – it’s the only thing that seems to make these people change how they abuse and neglect other human beings. If you need the support of other prisoners’ families surviving similar traumas, please let me know (Peggy Plews 480-580-6807 I am in Phoenix, AZ.
Arizona State Legislature, Phoenix.
February 15, 2011
—————-from the ACLU of Hawai’i————–

Family of Hawaii Prisoner Murdered in Mainland Prison Files Lawsuit Against State of Hawaii, Corrections Corporation of America

Today the family of Bronson Nunuha, a 26-year-old Hawaii prisoner who was brutally murdered at a Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) (NYSE:CXW) private prison in Arizona in 2010, filed a lawsuit in state court against CCA and the State of Hawaii.  The suit exposes CCA’s business model of grossly short-staffing prisons and cutting corners in every way possible to make its private prisons profitable.  These systemic practices violated fundamental safety requirements and subjected Hawaii prisoners to rampant gang violence in under-staffed prison units.  Bronson Nunuha was just months away from release on a burglary conviction when CCA forced him to share housing with extremely violent, gang-affiliated prisoners in the same unit.  A copy of the complaint is here

“Bronson’s death was senseless and preventable.  CCA and the State of Hawaii needlessly put him in danger,” said attorney Kenneth M. Walczak, who, along with the Human Rights Defense Center and the ACLU of Hawaii, represents the Nunuha family. 

“Private prisons are known to have higher levels of violence due to understaffing and high staff turnover that result from their goal of generating ever-greater profits,” added HRDC director Paul Wright. “But prison companies are not allowed to make profit more important than human life.  Unfortunately, CCA’s desire to turn a corporate profit needlessly cost Bronson Nunuha his life.”

Bronson was transferred to CCA’s Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona as part of a controversial practice in which Hawaii prisoners are sent to for-profit mainland facilities. He was serving a 5-year sentence for burglary and property damage when he was killed by other prisoners. Bronson, who was only months away from completing his sentence and returning to his family on Oahu, left behind a grieving mother, sisters, and his seven-year-old son. 

Under Hawaii law, the State was required to return Bronson to Hawaii when he had only a year left on his sentence so that he could complete necessary programs to help him re-enter the community.  The State ignored this law.

Bronson was murdered in CCA’s “Special Housing Incentive Program,” or SHIP. The SHIP program places rival gang members and prisoners who do not belong to any gang together in one unit, where they share recreation time and sometimes the same cell.  Predictably, this practice results in violent incidents like Bronson’s murder. Only one CCA employee was present to oversee approximately 50 prisoners in the SHIP unit where Bronson was housed.

While at the CCA prison, Bronson had asked to be removed from the SHIP unit but CCA staff denied his requests.  On February 18, 2010, two gang members attacked Bronson in his cell; the cell door had been opened by a CCA employee, who then left. Bronson was beaten and stabbed over 100 times. His assailants carved the name of their gang into his chest and even had time to leave his cell, shower and change clothes before CCA staff knew that Bronson had been killed. 

One of Bronson’s assailants, Miti Maugaotega, Jr., had previously been involved in several attacks on other prisoners at a different CCA prison. Maugaotega, a gang member, was serving multiple life sentences for attempted murder, rape, and armed robbery. CCA and the State knew that Maugaotega was dangerous and capable of extreme violence but still housed him in the same unit as Bronson, a non-violent offender close to finishing a 5-year sentence.

CCA prisons that house Hawaii prisoners have been plagued with problems. In addition to Bronson’s murder, another Hawaii prisoner, Clifford Medina, was killed at the Saguaro facility in June 2010. In 2009, Hawaii removed all of its female prisoners from CCA’s Otter Creek Correctional Center in Kentucky following a scandal that resulted in at least six CCA employees being charged with rape or sexual misconduct. Other Hawaii prisoners have sued CCA, charging that the company has tolerated beatings and sexual assaults in its mainland prisons, and for refusing to allow them to participate in native Hawaiian religious practices.

“Why the State of Hawaii continues to contract with this company is mystifying, frankly,” said Wright. “After two murders, disturbances, allegations of rampant sexual abuse and a lack of accountability by CCA employees, it’s fairly obvious that CCA is unable or unwilling to safely house Hawaii prisoners, and the State is unable or unwilling to adequately monitor conditions at mainland prisons. Hawaii taxpayers are certainly not getting what they’re paying for.”

ACLU of Hawaii Senior Staff Attorney Dan Gluck added, “the ACLU has long warned the State about the damaging effects of its short-sighted policy of shipping prisoners to the mainland. This tragedy is bound to be repeated unless Hawaii adopts more effective prison policies.” 

Bronson’s family is represented by the San Francisco law firm of Rosen, Bien & Galvan, LLP, by HRDC chief counsel Lance Weber, and by the ACLU of Hawaii’s Dan Gluck.  The attorneys ask anyone with information about Bronson’s death – or information about violations of other safety rules at the CCA Saguaro Correctional Facility – to contact them.              

The Human Rights Defense Center, founded in 1990 and based in Brattleboro, Vermont, is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting human rights in U.S. detention facilities. HRDC publishes Prison Legal News, a monthly magazine that includes reports, reviews and analysis of court rulings and news related to prisoners’ rights and criminal justice issues. PLN has almost 7,000 subscribers nationwide and operates a website ( that includes a comprehensive database of prison and jail-related articles, news reports, court rulings, verdicts, settlements and related documents. 

 Rosen Bien & Galvan, LLP has a unique practice blending public interest and private sector litigation.  The firm represents individuals and companies in complex trial and appellate litigation in state & federal courts.

Hawaii AG report blasts "humonetarianism" and dependence on private prisons

This document could go a long way towards changing the Hawai’i prison system; I’m impressed that it was released by the state Attorney General. That, in turn, could have ripples elsewhere – certainly in Eloy, AZ, where Corrections Corporation of America incarcerates nearly 2000 Hawai’ians.  Eloy has real problems – as does CCA.18 Hawai’ian prisoners are suing employees at Saguaro prison there for torture, and one is suing for sexual assault (the guard who perpetrated it was actually prosecuted).  

All either Eloy or CCA seem to be concerned with is the money they can make in Arizona, of course, not reducing crime or victimization in Hawai’i or human rights abuses in their own community. If Hawai’ian legislators don’t get on the ball with sentencing and prison reform, they should be called out as either incompetent or corrupt – no one can afford for any of them to be indifferent to the prison crisis anymore.

Read the report this links to, then find your state legislators here.

Call or write to them here:

Senate Clerk’s Office

State Capitol, Room 10
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808)586-6720 phone
(808)586-6719 fax

House Clerk’s Office
State Capitol, Room 27
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808)586-6400 phone
(808)586-6401 fax

The key term is “evidence-based practice”. Good luck. I hope you manage to wage a successful boycott of Eloy and CCA by the time this battle is over. Israel outlawed private prisons because the profit motive is in direct opposition to human rights concerns – maybe Hawai’i will abandon them as well, for all the right reasons.


Here’s the Executive Summary:

This study examined the records of the 660 persons who were released on parole in the State of Hawaii between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006 (Fiscal Year 2006). It addresses two main questions: What are the demographic and criminal history profiles of parolees who have been incarcerated in Hawaii and in private prisons out of state? And, how do the recidivism rates of these two groups compare? Using records obtained from the Hawaii Paroling Authority, the Department of Public Safety, and the Department of the Attorney General, parolees were tracked for three to four years after their release from prison.

The study found that:

– 54 percent of Hawaii’s prisoners are incarcerated in private prisons on the mainland — the highest percentage among all U.S. states.

– As of the end of 2009, it cost approximately $118 per day to incarcerate an inmate in Hawaii, and at least $62 per day to incarcerate him or her in a private prison on the mainland. Note, however, that unlike the in-state per day cost, the private prison cost estimate is not all-inclusive.

– 75 percent of Fiscal Year 2006 parolees never served time in a private prison on the mainland, while 25 percent did serve time there.

– Of the one-quarter of parolees who have been imprisoned on the mainland, 70 percent served half or more of their time there.

– The average time served on the mainland was 3.5 years.

The analysis of the parolees’ demographic and criminal history profiles found that:

– Parolees averaged 56 total prior arrests and 24 convictions per parolee, including an average of 20 prior felony arrests and 8 felony convictions.

– Parolees in the mainland cohort had somewhat more felony arrests and felony convictions per person than did parolees in the Hawaii cohort.

– Parolees in the mainland cohort had been convicted of fewer property and drug crimes, and more violent and “other” offenses, than had the parolees in the Hawaii cohort.

– The average maximum sentence for parolees who had been incarcerated on the mainland was longer: 10.9 years, versus 8.5 years for the Hawaii cohort.

– The average time served by the mainland cohort was longer: 6.2 years, versus 3.2 years for the Hawaii cohort.

– The mainland cohort included substantially more males than did the Hawaii cohort: 20 male parolees for every female parolee in the mainland group, versus 4 male parolees for every female parolee in the Hawaii group.

– As compared to their male counterparts, female parolees in both cohorts were more likely to be property and drug crime offenders.

– There were no statistically significant differences in ethnicity between the two parole cohorts. Most notably, Native Hawaiians comprised 40 percent of each cohort.

The analysis of recidivism found that:

– Parolees in the mainland cohort received significantly lower scores on the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R). Hence, mainlanders had fewer needs for service and a lower average risk of recidivism than did parolees in the Hawaii cohort.

– In the aggregate, the LSI-R scores predicted recidivism fairly well.

– A little more than half of parolees in both cohorts failed on parole within three years.

– The average time to recidivism in both cohorts was about 15 months.

– The recidivism rate for the mainland cohort (53 percent) was slightly lower than the recidivism rate for the Hawaii cohort (56 percent), but this difference is not statistically significant.

– There was more recidivism among the mainland cohort for parolees in the higher-risk LSI-R categories.

– There was more recidivism among the mainland cohort for violating conditions of parole.

– Nearly half of all rearrests were for violating the conditions of parole.

– In both cohorts, older people recidivated less than did younger people. Age is a powerful ally of efforts to stop criminal offending.

– There were few significant differences between the two cohorts in acts of misconduct committed while in prison.

– Parolees in the mainland cohort were more likely to violate parole conditions than were parolees in the Hawaii group.

– Furlough programs were related to significantly lower rates of recidivism among mainland parolees, but not among parolees who were imprisoned only in Hawaii.

Recommendations from this study:

– Since there is no empirical justification for the policy argument that private prisons reduce recidivism better than public prisons, the State of Hawaii should decide whether to continue, discontinue, expand, or contract its reliance on private prisons based on other criteria. While cost is one criterion, it is not the only one that is important to consider.

– It is ill-advised to rely on a framework for thinking about corrections (herein termed humonetarianism) that stresses short-term financial savings at the expense of programs aimed at improving the prospects for offenders’ rehabilitation and the satisfaction of their basic needs and rights. Long-term savings are often found in forward-thinking policies and programs.

– The State of Hawaii needs to calculate more inclusive and accurate estimates of the cost of incarceration in-state and in private prisons on the mainland.

– Much more research needs to be done in order to adequately describe the contours and consequences of Hawaii’s correctional policy. One high priority is a study that explores who gets sent to prison (and where). The present study examined only persons who were released on parole.

– The State of Hawaii should conduct more research about its correctional policies and outcomes, especially given a policy world that is increasingly evidence-based.

– The Department of Public Safety and the Hawaii Paroling Authority need an integrated records management system. At present, inmates’ records are often incomplete, scattered, and difficult to locate.

Exile to the Desert: 3 more years of CCA’s abuse.

Shame on the state of Hawaii for continuing this contract after all the abuses (including torture and the sexual assault of a prisoner by a guard) that have occurred in Saguaro Correctional Center in the prison town of Eloy under CCA’s watch. The people of the Islands should oppose this vociferously…your prisoners are just in for more abuse at the hands of Arizonans – especially your Indigenous. In fact, following this news article is a link to a decent piece by a friend of mine, Frank Smith from Private Corrections Institute, who’s an expert on the private prison industry. He did some extensive research into the experience of Native Americans in private prisons – it’s worth reading.


State Signs New Three-Year Arizona Prison Deal

Hawaii Reporter

June 23, 2011

BY JIM DOOLEY – The state has signed a new, three-year contract with Corrections Corporation of America to house up to 1,900 prison inmates at private prisons in Arizona.

The price carries a one per cent increase over the curent contract with CCA, which expires at the end of the month. The Department of Public Safety will pay CCA $63.85 per inmate per day. The old rate was $63.22.

CCA is believed to have submitted the sole bid for the contract.

The new deal, which carries two possible one-year contract extensions, was signed as Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration is making plans to end the longstanding policy of imprisoning Hawaii inmates in out-of-state facilities.

Public Safety officials are drawing up a plan for the return of out-of-state prisoners, but its completion is sometime in the future and will depend on construction of new correctional facilities here and development of new community-based programs for men and women now locked behind bars.

The Hawaii State Auditor said in a report issued late last year the total cost of the private prison program more than tripled since 2001, from just under $20 million to more than $60 million.

The per-day charges under the new contract would total some $44.3 million, although there are millions the state must pay in associated costs which the contract with CCA doesn’t cover.

The actual number of Hawaii inmates now held at CCA’s Saguaro Correctional Facility in Eloy, Arizona is now believed to have dropped under 1,800 as the state has stepped up efforts to bring certain categories of prisoners home.

Some 60 Hawaii inmates are also being held at CCA’s Red Rock Correctional Facility, next door to the Saguaro complex.

————————–Native Americans in Private Prisons——————

Native Americans in Private Prisons.

Arizona Prison Watch
Friday, December 3, 2010

The following is the intro to a piece written by my friend Frank Smith, an expert on private prisons with the Private Corrections Working Group (where I dig up all those rap sheets on prison profiteers). Here’s the testimony he gave to the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons several years back – which makes some good points still relevant to the violence and abuse of prisoners at CCA’s Idaho Correctional Center, among other places.

Follow the link for the full text of the article, which I found posted to a great website on Lenape (Delaware Indian) culture and issues. The article was originally published as a chapter in the book “Capitalist Punishment: Prison Privatization and Human Rights” (Elizabeth Alexander, et al), a worthwhile text for any library on crime and punishment.


Incarceration of Native Americans and Private Prisons
By Frank Smith


There are currently slightly over two million inmates in local, state and federal jails and prisons. Of these, some 1.6 percent are Native Americans and Hawaiian Natives; in Federal institutions, Native Americans constitute 2 percent of the population, since the U.S. government is involved in criminal justice enforcement on reservations. Because approximately 6 percent of all U.S. inmates are held in private prisons, the total number of Native Americans in these for-profit prisons is comparatively rather small. For that reason, this article presents a picture of the conditions in which Native Americans are held given that limited experience.

Historical Perspective

In order to achieve an informed understanding of the current situation with regard to Native Americans in prison, it is necessary to place it within a larger historical and sociological context. While most residents of the US have the notion their country was founded on the principles of justice and freedom, closer examination reveals that perception is not accurate, particularly in the case of Native Americans.1

The more progressive of our founding fathers whom we remember so fondly as protectors of these ideals include Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. Paine consistently referred to Indians as “savages”, and used them as a negative comparative stereotype. Jefferson considered his contemporary Indians to be hindrances to colonial progress. The US only granted Natives citizenship in 1924, five years after women and 59 years after Black males were allowed to vote.

African Americans have undoubtedly been pervasively discriminated against in US history–their dehumanization was even embodied in the Constitution. Schoolchildren learn of the more egregious Supreme Court-approved violations of the rights of Blacks such as the Dred Scott decision or Plessy v. Feurgeson,2 and that the Civil War was fought in part over slavery.

They may have read the Emancipation Proclamation and even the Thirteenth to Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. The sordid history in America of slave owning, in the north and south, of lynching, of Jim Crow, is discussed in most schools. The role of such historic figures as Frederick Douglas or Sojourner Truth is widely recognized. Martin Luther King Jr., is certainly better known than many mediocre presidents. Selma, Alabama, and Little Rock, Arkansas are familiar mileposts, as is Brown v. Board of Education. Students may even understand the meaning of racial profiling, of the immensedisparity between sentencing for crack cocaine, more prevalent in inner-city neighborhoods, and powdered cocaine, more favored by wealthier uburbanites.

They may possibly be aware that a Black adolescent has perhaps a 50 times greater chance of being placed in an adult penal institution than a white youth who has been charged with exactly the same crime,3 and that perhaps one of three young Black men has been subjected to some criminal sanction, such as probation, parole, jail or prison.

Yet how many Americans, young or old, fully understand that this same disenfranchisement; this same disproportionate treatment by the criminal justice system, has affected Native Americans since the Articles of Confederation were signed? How many realize that broken treaties have been the order of the day for over two hundred years? Do they know that the early settlement of this nation involved pushing indigenous peoples into ever smaller, less habitable reservations?

How many school children are taught the cruel facts behind the genocidal removal of the inhabitants of the post-Revolutionary Southeast? There is hardly a Native American tribe that does not have a history of broken treaties and persecution. What this long, troubled relationship between European Americans and Natives constitutes is deliberate disregard for and discrimination against Native culture. Theft of lands, exiles, dispossessions, and a prevailing condemnatory and paternalistic attitude provide the background for the problems of Native Americans in prisons, both public and private, today. It particularly pervades the conditions of confinement of Indians in private prisons…

Public Service Pays: FBOP director hired by CCA.

Fri Jun. 3, 2011

Less than a month after retiring from his post as Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Harley G. Lappin has been hired to a top positon at the nation’s largest private, for-profit prison contractor, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). In a move that has gone virtually unnoticed by the press except on the business pages, Lappin, who had run the BOP since 2003, has been named CCA’s Executive VP and Chief Corrections Officer. According to a company press release, his responsibilities will include “the oversight of facility operations, health services, inmate rehabilitation programs, [and] purchasing.”

Lappin announced his retirement in March, a few days before making public his arrest, the previous month, on DUI charges in Maryland. In a memo apologizing to BOP employees, Lappin admitted to a “lapse in my judgment…giving rise to potential embarrassment to the agency,” but he refused to acknowledge a direct link between his arrest and his retirement. The announcement of his appointment to a leadership position at CCA came just over three weeks after his effective retirement date of May 7.

Taking advantage of two concurrent 30-year trends–toward mass incarceration and toward privatization of government services–CCA has grown to a $1.6 billion company that operates 66 facilities in 20 states, with approximately 90,000 beds. It has become notorious for its poor treatment of prisoners, and for numerous preventable injuries and deaths in its prisons and immigrant detention centers. About 40 percent of CCA’s business comes from the federal government, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as the Bureau of Prisons. As BOP director, Lappin would have overseen government contracts with CCA worth tens of millions of dollars. CCA spends approximately $1 million annually on lobbying on the federal level alone.

A press release from the invaluable Private Corrections Working Group notes that Lappin’s quick trip through the government-to-industry revolving door is hardly unique in the Bureau of Prisons’ history: “Lappin joins another former BOP director already employed with CCA, J. Michael Quinlan, who was hired by the company in 1993. He retired as director of the BOP in 1992, several months after settling a lawsuit that accused him of sexually harassing a male BOP employee. While settling the suit, Quinlan denied allegations that he made sexual advances to the employee in a hotel room.”

In addition, there’s the case of the recently appointed head of the U.S. Marshals Service, Stacia Hylton, who until 2010 was the Federal Detention Trustee. In between serving in these two high-ranking government positions, Hylton worked as a consultant for the GEO Group, the nation’s second largest private prison contractor. During Hylton’s tenure, the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee gave several contracts to GEO; and the U.S. Marshals Service, like ICE and the BOP, houses federal detainees in privately owned prisons, including some run by GEO.

“Federal ethics rules do not prohibit former high-ranking employees such as Lappin and Hylton from working for private companies, even when those companies contract with the same federal agencies where those former officials were employed,” the Private Corrections Working Group points out. “An Executive Order issued by President Obama restricts appointees from taking official actions that directly and substantially affect immediate former clients and employers; however, that ethics rule was not applied to Hylton and it has been waived for over two dozen other federal officials, according to a report by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.”

James Ridgeway is a senior correspondent at Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here. Get James Ridgeway’s RSS feed.

The Powers That Be at CCA

From Arizona Prison Watch:

Here are the profiles for the members of the Board of Directors of Corrections Corporation of America – serious power-hitters. No wonder they managed to convince Hawai’i to kill my buddy Thad’s parole after he wrote that letter to the CEO. He was good to go, then got a disciplinary ticket after I posted that letter – and the warden personally contacted the parole board to have him hit for another year before he gets reconsidered now. I bet Hawaii’s parole board members have no idea they were just played for political retaliation against a prisoner. That probably happens all the time, though.

Send Thad some love for his courage, folks. Let CCA know we care about what they do to him. I just subscribed him to Prison Legal News to keep him company for the next year there, in case they mess with him again.

Thad Thompson

Saguaro Correctional Center
1252 E. Arica Rd.
Eloy, AZ 85131

Anyway, if I was on the board of CCA this past year, I’d be putting a lot of distance between myself and them this year. Arizona CCA prisons alone were host to two murders, a riot, widespread torture and abuse, and rape. I believe all that happened in Eloy, in fact – the City of God. They’re hoping to add more prisoners to their census soon, too – though Hawai’i is wanting to pull out as soon as they possibly can, after all the violence that’s befallen their people in our fine state.

You know they select the indigenous prisoners to send to Arizona because it diminishes their resistance to be taken away from their families and homeland, by the way. I suspect Alaska has done the same – it would make a good research project, digging up that data and the consequences to the indigenous – maybe there’s even a class action suit in it. Isn’t it disturbing that we still do that in America?

Here are the real criminals profiting from CCA’s abuse and exploitation… shame on all of them for sitting on that board – they should all resign in disgust. What a sad legacy for Justice Thurgood Marshall, that his son carries his name there; the man must be turning over in his grave. And is it any wonder to see good old Dennis DeConcini there, too?

Listen to them extol the “extraordinary qualities” of their founders…how about pure greed for a driving value? What a corrupt lot of pious people. God I hope Arizona doesn’t give them a new contract for our prisons – Arizonans have been abused enough.


“Our founders were creative, flexible and adaptable, and these extraordinary qualities still guide us today. CCA employees continue to make this company a success through the very same values on which the company was founded more than 25 years ago.”

– John Ferguson, CCA Chairman of the Board

John D. Ferguson, Chairman of Board

John D. Ferguson, Chairman of Board

John Ferguson began serving as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in July 2008 after serving as President and CEO of Corrections Corporation of America since August 2000. He joined the company following a 33-year business career that includes extensive experience in finance, entrepreneurial ventures, corporate turnarounds and government experience. Most recently he served as the Commissioner of Finance and Administration for the state of Tennessee for four years. Just four years after graduating from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, he co-founded Econocom in 1971, a computer sales and leasing company, which he operated for 10 years. In 1973, Mr. Ferguson helped found a bank, assisted in the organization of the board of directors and served as a director of the bank. In 1982, he founded a merger and acquisitions firm and served as CEO until 1993. He continued to serve on the board of the bank, serving as Chairman and CEO from 1990 until 1995.

Donna M. Alvarado, CCA Board of Directors

Donna M. Alvarado

Donna M. Alvarado was elected to the Company’s Board of Directors in December 2003 as an independent director. Ms. Alvarado is the founder and managing director of Aguila International. Aguila is an international business-consulting firm, specializing in human resources and leadership development, that provides a consortium for businesses and non-profit organizations seeking to collaborate in the western hemisphere. Ms. Alvarado has held senior management positions in government, in addition to her established career in the private business sector. She has served as deputy assistant secretary of defense, U.S. Department of Defense; counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration and Refugee Policy; and staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. Ms. Alvarado also was appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as director of ACTION, the federal domestic volunteer agency, where she directed the activities of nearly 500,000 Americans serving as volunteers, leading 500 employees and managing a $170 million budget. Ms. Alvarado currently serves as a Regent on the Ohio Board of Regents, serves as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and the Economy, and Vice Chair of the Governor’s Workforce Policy Board in Ohio. Ms. Alvarado earned her postgraduate certificate in Financial Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, completed doctoral coursework on Latin American Literature from the University of Oklahoma, and earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Spanish from Ohio State University.

William F. Andrews, CCA Board of Directors

William F. Andrews

Bill Andrews assumed the role of Director and Chairman of Executive Committee in July 2008 after serving as CCA’s Chairman of the Board since August 2000. Andrews has earned high marks as chairman, president and CEO of five public companies, including three New York Stock Exchange companies. He has also served as chairman of three private companies and on the boards of many public companies. As a principal at Kohlberg & Company since 1995, Andrews brings significant experience in financial markets and finance to CCA. He was a member of CCA’s board from 1986 until 1998, prior to the company’s merger with Prison Realty Trust. Andrews was former chairman, president and CEO of Scovill Manufacturing. He also served as chairman, president and CEO of Singer Sewing Machine Company; as president CEO of UNR Industries, Inc.; as chairman, president and CEO of Amdura Corporation and chairman of Katy Industries. Most recently, he served as chairman of Northwestern Steel and Wire Company and was a director of Juvenile and Jail Facility Management Services, Inc. He has also served as chairman of several privately held companies: Utica Corporation, Schrader Bridgeport International, Inc., Scovill Fastners, Inc. and Allied Aerospace Corp. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds an MBA degree from Seton Hall University.

John D. Correnti, CCA Board of Directors

John D. Correnti

John Correnti has served as a director and member of CCA’s audit committee since December 2000 and currently serves as chairman of the board of directors and CEO of Steel Development Company, LLC. Previously, Correnti served as Chairman and CEO of Birmingham Steel Corporation from December 1999 until its sale to Nucor Corporation in December 2002. Correnti served as president, CEO and vice chairman of Nucor Corporation, a mini mill manufacturer of steel products, from 1996 to 1999 and as its president and CEO from 1991 to 1996. Correnti also serves as director of Navistar International Corporation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Clarkson University.

Dennis DeConcini, CCA Board of Directors

Dennis DeConcini

Dennis DeConcini, the former U.S. Senator from Arizona, was elected as an independent member of CCA’s Board of Directors in February 2008. Senator DeConcini currently serves as a Director of Ceramic Protection Corporation, a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. He is a partner in the law firm of DeConcini McDonald Yetwin and Lacy in Tucson, Arizona, which he co-founded in 1968. DeConcini also is a Principal in the lobbyist consulting firm Parry, Romani, DeConcini & Lacy P.C. in Washington, D.C. Senator DeConcini served three terms, from January 1977 through January 1995, representing the State of Arizona in the United States Senate. As Senator, he served on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he chaired the Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government. He also served on the Subcommittees of Defense, Foreign Operations, Energy and Water Development, and Interior and Related Agencies. Prior to his service as a U.S. Senator, DeConcini served one elected term as the County Attorney for Pima County, Arizona. He also is a member of the Arizona Board of Regents, a position to which he was appointed in 2006 by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Senator DeConcini received his B.A. from the University of Arizona in 1959 and his L.L.D. from there in 1963. He also is a member of the Arizona Board of Regents, a position to which he was appointed in 2006 by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Senator DeConcini received his B.A. from the University of Arizona in 1959 and his L.L.D. from there in 1963.

Damon Hininger, CCA Board of Directors

Damon Hininger

Damon Hininger has served as a director since August 2009. Hininger was named President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2009, having previously been appointed as President and Chief Operating Officer in July 2008. Damon served as Senior Vice President of Federal and Local Customer Relations since September 2007 after having served as Vice President of Federal and Local Customer Relations since June 2002. Hininger previously served CCA as Vice President, Business Analysis since December 2000. He has also served the company as Director, Strategic Planning and Director Proposal Development. Hininger joined the company in 1992 as a correctional officer at Leavenworth Detention Center in Leavenworth, Kansas, and was promoted to Training Manager at Central Arizona Detention Center in 1994. That same year, Hininger was also selected as both Central Arizona Detention Center’s and CCA’s company-wide Employee of the Year. He joined the corporate office in 1995, serving as Manager, Facility Start Up for three years. Hininger earned a B.S. from Kansas State University and an M.B.A. from the Jack Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University in Nashville.

John R. Horne, CCA Board of Directors

John R. Horne

John Horne has served as a director since December 2001. Additionally, Mr. Horne served as chairman of Navistar International Corporation, a publicly-traded truck and engine manufacturer from April 1996 to February 2004. From March 1995 to February 2003, Mr. Horne served as Navistar’s president and chief executive officer, after having served as the company’s chief operating officer for more than four years. Mr. Horne also currently serves on the board of directors of Intermet Corporation, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Junior Achievement of Chicago, as well as the board of trustees of Manufacturer’s Alliance/MAPI. Mr. Horne received his M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Bradley University in 1964, a B.S. degree in engineering from Purdue University in 1960, which also awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree in May 1998, and is a graduate of the management program at Harvard Graduate School of Business Adminstration.

C. Michael Jacobi, CCA Board of Directors

C. Michael Jacobi

C. Michael Jacobi has seved as a director since December 2000. Mr. Jacobi served from June 2001 to May 2005 as President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Katy Industries, Inc., a public company headquartered in Middlebury, Connecticut engaged in the design, manufacture and distribution of maintenance and electrical products. Mr. Jacobi served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Timex Corporation from 1993 to 1999 and as a member of the board of directors from 1992 to 2000. Prior to his election as President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jacobi served Timex in senior positions in marketing, sales, finance and manufacturing. Mr. Jacobi is also a member of the board of directors and chairman of the audit committee of Webster Financial Corporation, a publicly held bank (NYSE) with $18 billion of assets headquartered in Waterbury, Connecticut and is a member of the board of directors of Invisible Technologies, Inc., a privately held company headquartered in Garrett, Indiana engaged in the design, manufacture and distribution of electronic training products for sporting dogs and pets. He has also served as Chairman of Timex Watches Limited (India), a publicly held company headquartered in New Delhi, India; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Beepwear Paging Products, a private company jointly owned by Timex and Motorola; Chairman of Callanen International, a private company engaged in the fashion watch industry, a member of the board of directors of Quatro / Cinco Limited, a private holding company headquartered in Oslo, Norway with interest in shipping, hotels, ship building, newspapers, consumer products and the oil services industry and Hometown Auto Retailer, a public company headquartered in Watertown, Connecticut engaged in retail sales of new and used automobiles. Mr. Jacobi holds a B.S. from the University of Connecticut and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Thurgood Marshall, Jr., CCA Board of Directors

Thurgood Marshall, Jr.

Thurgood Marshall has served as a director and member of the Nominating and Governance Committee since December 2002. Marshall is a partner in the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP in Washington D.C., and a principal in Bingham Consulting Group LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bingham McCutchen LLP that assists business clients with communications, political and legal strategies. Marshall, the son of the historic Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, has held appointments in each branch of the federal government, including Cabinet Secretary to President Clinton and Director of Legislative Affairs and Deputy Counsel to Vice President Al Gore. In his role under President Clinton, Marshall was the chief liaison between the President and the agencies of the Executive Branch. He serves on the American Bar Association Election Law Committee and serves as a board member of the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the National Womens Law Center and the Supreme Court Historical Society, and serves on the Ethics Oversight Committee of the United States Olympic Committee. Marshall earned a bachelor’s degree in 1978 and a J.D. in 1981 from the University of Virginia, after which he clerked for United States District Judge Barrington D. Parker.

Charles L. Overby, CCA Board of Directors

Charles L. Overby

Charles Overby has served as a director since December 2001. Overby is chairman and chief executive officer of the Freedom Forum, an independent, non-partisan foundation dedicated to First Amendment and media issues. Overby also is chairman and CEO of an affiliate organization: The Newseum, a state-of-the-art museum of news in Arlington, VA. Overby is a former Pulitzer Prize-winning editor in Jackson, Miss. He worked for 16 years as reporter, editor and corporate executive for Gannett Co., the nation’s largest newspaper company. He was vice president for news and communications for Gannett and served on the management committees of Gannett and USA TODAY. As a reporter, he covered the White House, presidential campaigns, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. He was named president and chief executive officer of the Gannett Foundation in 1989. The foundation was renamed The Freedom Forum in 1991. He became chairman as well as CEO in 1997. Overby has served two stints in government: He was press assistant to Sen. John Stennis, D-Miss., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and special assistant for administration to Gov. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

John R. Prann, Jr., CCA Board of Directors

John R. Prann, Jr.

John Prann, Jr. has served as a director since December 2001. Prann served from 1993 to 2001 as president and CEO of Katy Industries, Inc., a publicly-traded manufacturer and distributor of consumer electric corded products and maintenance cleaning products. From 1991 to 1995, he was president and CEO of CRL, Inc., an equity and real estate development company, which held a 25% interest in Katy. A former partner with the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche, Mr. Prann serves on the boards of several institutions including Dynojet Research, Inc., Student Leadership Institute and Cardinal Cushing School and is an advocate of education and youth issues. A 1974 graduate of the University of California, Riverside, Prann obtained his M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago in 1979.

Joseph V. Russell, CCA Board of Directors

Joseph V. Russell

Joseph Russell has served as a director since 1999. Prior to CCA’s 1999 merger with Prison Realty Trust, Russell served as an independent trustee for old Prison Realty. He is president and CFO of Elan-Polo, Inc., a Nashville-based, privately-held, world-wide producer and distributor of footwear. Russell is also vice president in RCR Building Corporation, a Nashville-based, privately-held builder and developer of commercial and industrial properties. He also serves on the boards of Community Care Corporation and the Footwear Distributors of America Association. Russell graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance.

Henri L. Wedell, CCA Board of Directors

Henri L. Wedell

Henri Wedell has served as a director since December 2000. Wedell is a private investor in Memphis, Tenn. Prior to Wedell’s retirement in 1999, he served as the senior vice president of sales for The Robinson Humphrey Co., a subsidiary of Smith-Barney, Inc., an investment banking company he was employed with for over 24 years. From 1990 to 1996, he served as a member of the board of directors of Community Bancshares, Inc., the parent corporation to The Community Bank of Germantown, Tennessee. Wedell graduated from Tulane University in 1963.

Hunger Pains: Hawaii’s prison diet – one size fits all.

Interesting article. Arizona calls our prison food a “sedentary diet” and a “heart healthy diet”, interchangeably – which is an indicator of how little programming they have for prisoners here, too. The poor nutrition is a real problem for prisoners with cancer, Hepatitis C, and other serious illnesses. Many need to supplement their diet with basic vitamins, but then they have to pay for them – even if they’re indigent and dying.


Inmates lose weight, call prison food inadequate

By Rob Perez

Honolulu Star Advertiser

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 22, 2011

Jonathan Namauu and Paul Keck say they each have lost at least 40 pounds over the past year.

George Rowan told his wife he’s lost 100 pounds, nearly a third of his weight, since October.

While the three Oahu men have not been trying to lose weight, they share the same diet: prison food.

All three are inmates at Halawa Community Correctional Facility. They say the meal portions have become so meager that many inmates are suffering unwanted weight loss, in some cases shedding substantial amounts.

An increasing number of inmates and their family members in recent months have complained to outside groups about the adequacy of Hawaii prison meals.

The state Ombudsman’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Community Alliance on Prisons and other organizations say they have received or are hearing about more food-related complaints than usual. The issue of unwanted weight loss — a red flag to watchdog groups — is being mentioned more frequently, according to the community alliance group and the Ombudsman’s Office.

“Even dogs and cats at the Humane Society eat better than us,” said Namauu, serving time for negligent homicide. Namauu, who is 5 feet 10 inches, said in a phone interview that his weight has dropped to 230 pounds since he was transferred to Halawa from an Arizona prison in June. Other inmates, especially those who returned from Arizona, tell similar stories, blaming inadequate, unhealthy food.


The Department of Public Safety, which runs Hawaii’s prisons, say these are typical meals served to inmates. Some prisoners, however, say they frequently get much less.

Fruit or fruit juice: 4 oz.
Scrambled eggs: 4 oz.
Rice: 8 oz.
Whole wheat bread: 2 slices, margarine
Cold cereal: 1 cup
Skim milk: half pint
Hot beverage (coffee): 8 oz.

Roast beef: 4 oz.
Brown gravy: 2 oz.
Mashed potatoes: 8 oz.
Green beans: 4 oz.
Whole wheat bread: 2 slices with margarine
Fruit: 4 oz.
Beverage (juice): 8 oz.

Grilled fish: 4 oz.
Steamed rice: 8 oz.
Cooked cabbage: 4 oz.
Whole wheat bread: 2 slices with margarine
Tartar sauce: 4 oz.
Fruit: 4 oz.
Beverage: (skim milk or juice): 8 oz.

Source: Department of Public Safety

But the Department of Public Safety, which runs Hawaii prisons and oversees the more than 4,500 inmates incarcerated here, say the prisoners are getting nutritionally balanced meals and sufficient calories.

The meals are designed to provide 2,600 to 2,900 calories daily, according to Larry Hales, acting administrator for the department’s corrections program services.

“The meals are nutritionally balanced as approved by a registered dietitian,” Hales said in written responses to the newspaper. “All statewide correctional facilities follow the same five-week standardized menu cycle.”

Attorney David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project in Washington, D.C., said if prisoners are experiencing weight loss because of insufficient food “that’s a serious red flag. It’s a real danger sign.”

The ACLU successfully sued an Arizona sheriff several years ago for unconstitutional conditions at a jail there. Among the conditions cited by the court was inadequate food.

Vanessa Chong, executive director of the ACLU in Hawaii, said her office started receiving food-related weight-loss complaints this year and is looking into the situation. She encourages more inmates to contact her office.

Given the state’s failure to adopt practical, cost-effective prison policies, she said, more problems are surfacing and she wouldn’t be surprised if the food situation is yet another.

“This could be part of the ongoing cracking of the system,” Chong said.

Hales said in a phone interview that meal portions for the general prison population have not been reduced because of budget cuts.

Hales did note that Halawa recently corrected a practice in which some inmates were getting double portions when they shouldn’t have been. He also said that male and female inmates, regardless of their size, get the same portions unless a doctor orders something different for medical reasons.

If an inmate loses weight, he or she can request to see a doctor, and if the doctor orders an enhanced diet for medical reasons, the meals will be adjusted, Hales said. But the department has few cases of medical diets for increased food, he said.

If an overweight inmate claims weight loss and is seen by a doctor, the inmate will not be placed on a medical diet to increase weight, he added.

Hawaii inmates’ dislike of prison food is nothing new. Groups such as Kat Brady’s Community Alliance on Prisons have heard such grumblings for years.

What’s different this time, though, is the repeated complaints from family members who visit their loved ones and reported being shocked to see how much weight the inmates have lost, according to Brady, coordinator for the alliance.

“When families started calling me and saying, ‘Oh, my God, it looks like they’ve been in Auschwitz,’ that tells me something is wrong,” said Brady, referring to one of the concentration camps operated by the Nazis in World War II.

Criminal defense attorney Earle Partington, who represents inmate Paul Kleck, likewise said he was stunned when he recently visited his client at Halawa for the first time in about a year.

“His face was so gaunt, he’s lost so much weight, it’s incredible,” Partington said.

Keck, 63, who is 6 feet tall, told the Star-Advertiser he weighs 205 pounds, down from about 250 a year ago.

“Everybody has lost weight,” said Keck, who is serving time for sexual assault.

Social worker Gemmi Rowan said her 6-foot, 5-inch husband, George, has lost so much weight since returning from Arizona in late October that flaps of skin hang from his torso. He now weighs about 220 pounds.

“He looks terrible to me,” Rowan said, adding that her husband was able to maintain his weight in Arizona.

When Rowan’s daughter spent more than two months this year at Oahu Community Correctional Facility, she also lost weight, shedding about 20 pounds, Rowan said. Her 5-foot, 6-inch daughter weighed 110 when released.

“She looked like a twig,” Rowan said.

Asked why organizations are receiving more food-related complaints, Hales wrote, “The complaints coming from the outside could be due to the public learning of the current economic situation that the state is facing and hearing from inmates who feel they are not fed adequate, nutritious meals.”

But Hales said DPS consistently has spent more than $10 million annually over the past four years to feed Hawaii’s inmate population.

Given conflicting information provided by prisoners and the department, it’s tough for an outsider to get an accurate gauge of what’s happening on the inside. The two sides don’t seem to agree on anything.

Prisoners, for instance, say they’ve complained to prison staff about the meal situation. DPS says no food service unit at any facility statewide has received complaints.

Prisoners say they sometimes get only a slice of cake or a biscuit for breakfast and they hadn’t had fresh fruit in months — until the Star-Advertiser started making inquiries. DPS says that isn’t accurate.

Most of the inmates and family members who spoke to the Star-Advertiser on the record did so reluctantly because they feared retaliation. But they said the situation has become so intolerable that they decided to speak out anyway, hoping the exposure will lead to changes.

Most of the complaints reported to the Star-Advertiser involved Halawa, but a few mentioned Oahu Community Correctional Center, the women’s prison in Kailua and the Maui prison.

“It’s definitely something more recent,” Public Defender Jack Tonaki said of the rise in complaints his office has heard from prisoners.

State Ombudsman Robin Matsunaga estimated that his office has received fewer than 50 food-related complaints from prisoners in recent months. After following up with DPS, Matsunaga’s office did not find an indication of a problem. But he acknowledged that his office has neither the expertise nor the resources to conduct a food audit to independently verify such information as calorie or nutrition levels.

The ACLU’s Fathi said courts have ruled that inmates are entitled to meals that are nutritionally balanced and adequate to sustain health, and instances of significant unwanted weight loss raise questions on whether that standard is being met.

“People should not be losing 40 or 100 pounds because they’re not being fed enough,” he said.

Fathi said he is seeing more cases of states and counties across the country paring prison diets in a short-sighted attempt to cut costs. Those efforts, he said, will lead to greater costs in the long run.

“Hungry prisoners are unhappy prisoners,” Fathi said. “And unhappy prisoners are harder to manage.”

Delay on Mainland Prison-building

All the more reason to develop prison alternatives, folks…by all means, though, get them out of Arizona. We’re just killing them here...


New Prison Contract Overdue
Hawaii Reporter
Friday, May 27th, 2011
Posted by Jim Dooley

BY JIM DOOLEY – Although Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said repeatedly he wants to halt out-of-state incarceration of Hawaii prison inmates, the state is finalizing the award of a new, three-year contract for Mainland imprisonment of up to 2,000 convicts.

The contractor selection was supposed to be made at the beginning of this week, but a public safety official said the issue was still being finalized.

A spokesman for Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the company that owns a private Arizona prison where some 1,900 Hawaii medium security inmates have been held, said he could not comment because contractor selection is still underway.

Abercrombie and other officials say new prison space, owned by the state or a private partner, needs to be developed here.

The new Mainland prison contract award is s being made against the backdrop of recent studies by the Hawaii Auditor and the Arizona Department of Corrections which question the true costs to taxpayers of privately-operated prisons.

CCA’s current agreement to house Hawaii inmates at Saguaro Correctional Center expires June 30.

The new contract is to take effect July 1 and last three years, with two possible annual extensions beyond that, according to the bid request published by the state earlier this year.

The state can cancel the contract with three months’ notice.

At present, the state is paying CCA $63.22 per day for each of the 1,900 or so inmates held at Saguaro, which is located in Eloy, Arizona, about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson.

Saguaro Correctional Facility (Hawaii Auditor Photo)

The present contract has an automatic escalator clause in the per diem rate and the charge has risen between two and three per cent annually since 2007, when it was set at $57, according to a December 2010 report Prison Audit from the office of Hawaii Auditor Marion Higa.

Costs to Hawaii for Mainland incarcerations have more than tripled since 2001, rising from just under $20 million annually to more than $60 million, according to Higa’s audit.

In-state prison expenses were more than $167 million last year.

Higa’s study was harshly critical of the state Public Safety Department’s reports to the Legislature on prison costs, saying the department used different methods to calculate in-state and out-of-state expenses.

“Management chooses to report artificial cost figures derived from a calculation based on a flawed methodology, designed entirely on what is easiest for the department to report,” Higa said.

“Because funding is virtually guaranteed, management is indifferent to the needs of policymakers and the public for accurate and reliable cost information. As a result, true costs are unknown,” said the audit, which was prepared before the Abercrombie administration took office.

One of the audit’s complaints was that didn’t use exact inmate counts for its in-state expense numbers, instead basing its reporting on the total number of prisoners that could be held in state-owned prisons.

And some overhead and administrative costs assigned to in-state operations should have been counted as out-of-state costs, Higa found.

Each bookkeeping method increased the costs of in-state incarcerations and decreased out-of-state costs, Higa said.

A recently-released study by the Arizona Department of Corrections of that state’s contracts with private prisons reached some of the same conclusions.

The study did not include the Saguaro facility. No Arizona prisoners are held there.

Like Higa’s study, the Arizona the report found that per diem rates charged by private prisons did not include “inmate management” expenses which the state also had to pay for privately-incarcerated inmates.

“As a result, the ‘real’ costs for private contract beds are understated in comparison to the reported costs for state beds,” the report said.

And the report pointed out that private prisons are selective about the types of inmates they accept.

Prisoners with severe physical or mental health problems are either not accepted by the private contractors or their treatment expenses are billed separately to the state, the report said.

That’s the situation with Hawaii’s CCA contract, according to Higa’s report and language in the new contract bid.

One factor in deciding whether to ship a Hawaii prisoner to Arizona is that there are “no medical or

Halawa Correctional Facility (Hawaii Auditor Photo)

mental health conditions that may affect an inmate’s ability to function within a normal range,” Higa reported.

The pending contract requires the vendor to pay the costs of routine “medical, mental health, and dental service.”

But some expenses must be paid by the state, including hospital physician reimbursements, surgeries and other “invasive procedures” and procedures involving anesthesiology, the contract language stipulates.

In those cases, the contractor must pay the first $2,000, but the state is responsible for the balance, according to the contract.

In a response to Higa’s audit, newly-appointed Public Safety Department director Jodie Maesaka-Hirata made it clear that no matter how the numbers are sliced and diced, private prisons are cheaper than Hawaii lock-ups.

Maesaka-Hirata is a leading advocate for bringing Hawaii inmates home to local prisons or to expanded community release programs.

She told Higa the price for 1,000 or so inmates now imprisoned at the Halawa Correctional Facility is double what it would be if they were held in Arizona (assuming the private prison would accept them).

Prisoners Post: to the CEO of CCA, Damon Hininger.

Hope some of Hawai’is legislators are paying attention to this – look at what you really get for your dollar in Arizona.

This is a courageous, frank letter from a prisoner of the Corrections Corporation of America and the City of Eloy out at the Saguaro Correctional Facility (where 18 prisoners are suing for torture, and one is suing a guard for sexual assault).

I sure hope Thad was right when he guessed that the CEO may actually answer his letter, though, if he’s right about all this, then they’ll be sure to send someone to his cell to harass and write him up, at the very least.

Keep us posted on how you’re faring in there, Thad. We still want to see you make it out of there soon. He makes a hell of a lot of money off of prisoners like you behaving yourselves, so I’d think he’ could afford the grace to listen...

– Peg

“Prisoners Have Families, Too”.
Maricopa County Jail: Tent City.

Phoenix, AZ. (April 6, 2011)

PS: Here’s the follow-up post to this letter. Thad got harassed alright – he was hit for another year by the parole board after they had already given him an out date, thanks to a personal call from the good warden at Saguaro after this post went up. As far as I’m concerned, they’re corrupt through and through in Eloy, Arizona: the City of God.


To The CEO of CCA:
Damon Hininger

Corrections Corporation of America

10 Burton Hills Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37215

Phone: (615) 263-3000; (800) 624-2931
Fax: (615) 263-3140