Sunday, February 1, 2009

Prison Riot Underway Due to Inhumane Treatment & Death! GEO Group Cited for Worst Prisons Ever!

A Prison Uprising is underway at the Reeves County Detention Center (RCDC). This is the second uprising in 2 months. The detainees say prison conditions are inhumane and they lack needed medical treatment. The trigger setting them off in December was a prisoner dying.
This center is located in Pecos, Tx, an extremely "out of the way" location. It houses approximately 2,400 minimum security inmates and immigration detainees. It is operated by the GEO group. GEO attempted to cover up the reason for the prisoner's death by saying the young prisoner died of natural causes. The detainees, risking their lives, protested.
As I have previously reported, the GEO Group, is an international corporation that operates prisons around the country and is frequently in the news for its abuse of prisoners in its care resulting in many preventable deaths. At least eight people died at the Geo Group-operated George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania, the state's only privately run jail. Several of those deaths resulted in lawsuits by family members who say the facility did not provide adequate medical care or proper supervision for inmates.
GEO, based in Florida, also has been under fire in Texas, where it operates more than a dozen correctional facilities. Last fall, the Texas Youth Commission abruptly canceled its $8 million contract with GEO after investigators found unsanitary living conditions at its juvenile facility. Several of the teens said they were sexually assaulted by a guard who was a convicted sex offender, according to lawsuits. GEO lost its contract at an adult facility in west Texas last year after an inspector reportedly characterized the prison as "the worst correctional facility I have ever visited." The inspection was sparked by an inmate's suicide.
Texas legislators have called for a review of all of GEO's contracts with state and local agencies.

Message to Janet Napolitano: Please investigate the conditions in Detention Centers operated by the GEO Group.
The Reeves County Detention Center (RCDC), built in 1998, is publicly owned by the Reeves County Detention Center Trust and is the largest employer in Reeves County.
The center is funded based on per diem (charge per inmate/per day) paid by the Board of Prisons (BOP).
In 2003, most of the beds were empty and the center was going bankrupt. The County was in trouble. Federal contracts with county facilities do not stipulate how many prisoners are to be housed at a facility, and the 1000 beds in the latest addition to the RCDC remained empty. The BOP stated the problem was the location (out in the middle of nowhere) and it was far too costly to transport prisoners there.
In the summer of 2003, when default seemed imminent, county Judge Jimmy Galindo wrote a letter to his friend, President Bush, asking him to intervene and save the local economy by providing BOP prisoners for the facility. In November, 2003, the GEO Group, a large RNC contributor, was brought in to operate/manage the prison.
3. GEO Group Abuses - Wikipedia
5. Jail Overcrowding (Randy DeLay (brother of Tom DeLay) hired)


ultima said...

Dee wrote, "county Judge Jimmy Galindo wrote a letter to his friend, President Bush, asking him to intervene and save the local economy"

Sounds like what you were advocating for Postville, doesn't it. I guess it depends on whose ox is being gored.

Dee said...

I never advocated anything like this for Postville.
GEO is an RNC crony. They are typical of the RNC/Administration agenda. They are only concerned with the bottom line, their profit. They operate for profit, cut costs, no concern for human safety, no safeguards, no medical facilities. Their privately run prisons are ticking time-bombs. ALL THEY CARE ABOUT is how many butts they have in the beds -- the per diem per bed per day!

Anonymous said...

Hit the nail on the head Dee. Privatization of correctional facilities is one of the worst ideas ever imaginable. If these private correctional firms had their way you'd get thrown into jail for stepping on a crack in the sidewalk.

TexMex said...

Thanks for your work.

Dee said...

This just reported from AHN news:

Prisoners rioted at about 4:00 pm local time on Saturday after a fellow inmate, Ramon Garcia, was transferred to solitary confinement after complaining of dizziness, according to a prisoner interviewed by KFOX. "All we wanted was for them to give him medical care and because they didn't, things got out of control and people started fires," the unnamed inmate is quoted as saying. A riot also broke out last December at Reeves County Detention Center over demands from prisoners for access to medical care.

Dee said...

Here is what the SACurrent is reporting:

CNN’s report didn’t reference the earlier riot. No mention of the original complaint about poor health care. Nothing about the private corporation’s dead-inmate problem or extensive lawsuits and canceled contracts.

I'd be more willing to blame it all on the curse of the 24-hour news cycle if online sources of information about this jail and it's operator weren't so easy to find. Thankfully, when primary sources won’t talk, as apparently happened out in Pecos with local, state, and jail officials lockstepping in silence, reporters have lots of other avenues for information. There are primary documents, like audits, letters, and tax returns. And we have each other.

In this case, it’s as simple as checking the company’s name (GEO Group) with a few online search engines.

Had CNN done this, they would have known of the first riot, of the health care concerns, and of this company’s horrendous history.

Dee said...

GEO, formerly Wackenhut, was recently kicked out of Australia, New Zealand, and the fine state of Idaho.

Dee said...


GEO has a backlog of complaints in Texas, too.

We’ve got lawsuits and apparent rampant sex abuse in South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall; shuttering of the Coke County Juvenile Justice Center in Bronte for “unsanitary and unsafe conditions;” and Idaho's Department of Corrections Director of Health Care calling the prison up there the “worst he's ever seen and ‘beyond repair.’”

Dee said...

From texasprisonbidness:

What Isn't Going Wrong in GEO Group's Texas Prisons?
Wed, 05/14/2008 - 17:08
Last week's horrendous news that guards have allegedly sexually assaulted female detainees at the GEO Group's South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall made me reflect on the scandals that have rocked the company in the past year and half. Consider that in the last year alone the following events have happened in the GEO Group's prisons, jails, and detention center facilities in Texas:

1. Last week, WOAI reporter Brian Collister reported allegations of widespread sexual abuse of female immigrant detainees at the company's South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall. The allegations were varified by a number of former guards at the facility.

2. The same Pearsall detention center was the subject of a lawsuit last September alleging that a mentally disabled prisoner was proper denied medical care and generally mistreated.

3. The Texas Youth Commission shuttered GEO's Coke County Juvenile Correctional Center "filthy" and "unsafe" conditions including feces on walls and fire exits chained shut were found at the facility. In the wake of the scandal revelations that the TYC monitors at the facility were former GEO employees, State Senate John Whitmire called hearings on private prison oversight. GEO Group responded by sending in lobbyists, and substantially increased its lobbying expenditures in the state over the following months. Seven youths then sued the company over conditions at the facility.

4.The suicide of Idaho inmate Scot Noble Payne last spring at GEO's Dickens County Correctional Center lead to an investigation into the facility's operation. The Associated Press's expose on the prison described the facility as "squalid" while Idaho's Department of Corrections Director of Health Care called the prison the worst he's ever seen and "beyond repair." Noble Payne's family has subsequently sued GEO over conditions at the prison.

5. In November 2007, a former GEO Group guard has been indicted on federal civil rights
charges for twice striking a federal detainee while employed at the Val Verde Correctional Center. The Val Verde Detention Center had been subjected to two well-publicized lawsuits in the past several years. In a 2005 suit, an employee reported that his superior displayed a hangman’s noose in his office and took pictures in his prison uniform donning KKK garb. The second lawsuit was brought by a civil rights organization on behalf of the family of LeTisha Tapia, a detainee who committed suicide after reporting that she had been sexually assaulted and denied medical care. GEO settled both suits. The settlement from the Tapia suit included a full-time county monitor to the prison.

6. This summer, Val Verde was again rocked after four inmates came down with a mysterious illness. Three of the inmates later died, but a state investigation could find nothing at the prison linking the prison to the illnesses.

7. In March 2008, a 20 year-old Val Verde GEO Group guard was indicted for smuggling marijuana into the correctional facility. Similar charges were filed against two other GEO Group jailers who attempted to smuggle liquor and contraband into the facility.

The list is long enough and filled with enough serious incidents that it makes me wonder why GEO continues to earn lucrative contracts like the three new Texas contracts that Nicole reported on last month. One reason might be the high-priced lobbyists and former state officials that GEO keeps employed. We'll keep you posted on ongoing problems at GEO's Texas facilities.

Dee said...

Dallas News - 2007:

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, threatened to hold a public hearing on GEO's operation of the TYC prison.

"Certainly that's an option if this goes any further," said Mr. Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. "If GEO thinks they've been treated unfairly, let's have a public hearing and look at all the photographs and videos [of the Coke County prison] and let the public decide."

Mr. Whitmire said he was upset at efforts this week by GEO lobbyists to convince legislators that TYC had treated the company too harshly.

"Now enters GEO with their paid lobbyists attempting to put a good face on this," Mr. Whitmire said.

"I'm saying the corporation should back off. They've run a very poor facility that probably violates the youths' civil rights. ... Kids were stepping in their own feces. The sheets were such that a cat or dog wouldn't sleep on them."

Anonymous said...

"Kids were stepping in their own feces. The sheets were such that a cat or dog wouldn't sleep on them."

They were doing this to American citizens? I find that hard to believe.

Dee said...

Read the links.
Read the documentation from the lawsuits.

janet nichols said...

this concerns the geo facility at hobbs n. m.,inmates are not getting their pain meds-this is violating their rights for proper medication.will someone please help me-there are so many things wrong there-these people are still human-they hurt just like you and

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