Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

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Plutodog
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Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#1

Post by Plutodog » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:39 am

New Disclosure: Attorney-Client Phone Calls Were Recorded At Leavenworth Detention Center

New revelations emerged at a court hearing today that the private prison contractor operating a pretrial detention center in Leavenworth recorded phone conversations between attorneys and their clients and turned them over to federal prosecutors.

The disclosures came atop revelations at a hearing last Tuesday that the contractor, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), had made video recordings of meetings at the Leavenworth Detention Center between lawyers and their clients and turned those over to prosecutors.

The disclosures led U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson to announce in court today that she would appoint a special master, or independent third party, to investigate, although she said she had yet to determine the scope of the inquiry.

The latest revelations came during an extraordinary two-hour proceeding at which Melody Brannon, the head of the Federal Public Defender’s office in Kansas, accused federal prosecutors of taking a “derisive and dismissive” attitude toward what she termed “brazen” violations of the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment.
IANAL, obviously but surely, The shit should hit the fan.
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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#2

Post by Maybenaut » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:31 am

I wonder how the defense found out about it. The article's not clear on that point.
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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#3

Post by Plutodog » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:45 am

It would appear much more will be revealed.
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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#4

Post by vic » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:48 am

Maybenaut wrote:I wonder how the defense found out about it. The article's not clear on that point.
This story from five days ago has some answers

http://kcur.org/post/discovery-video-re ... rs-outrage

Discovery Of Video Recordings At Leavenworth Detention Center Spurs Outrage
An investigation into the distribution of contraband at the Leavenworth Detention Center has morphed into an explosive case involving possible violations of attorney-client privilege on a massive scale.

Evidence at a hearing Tuesday revealed that the private contractor operating the facility, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), made video recordings of confidential conversations between inmates and their attorneys and passed some of it on to government prosecutors in response to a grand jury subpoena.
:snippity:
The Kansas Federal Public Defender Office says it first learned of the recordings last week after a private attorney, Jacquelyn Rokusek, was told by federal prosecutors they had evidence, in the form of a video recording, that she had a conflict of interest and should withdraw from a related case. The Federal Public Defender represents about 75 clients at CCA Leavenworth, a pretrial detention center that houses inmates from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.

Rokusek was later given an opportunity to review the recording, which included videos of meetings between other attorneys and their clients. She brought the recording's existence to the attention of an employee of the Federal Public Defender, which led to the emergency hearing on Tuesday.
:snippity:
Many more details in that story

There's also this story from today (Wednesday)

http://cjonline.com/news/2016-08-17/how ... e-attorney

How a prison drug smuggling case in Kansas led to a showdown over recordings of inmate-attorney talks
When attorneys said in court Tuesday that phone calls between lawyers and inmates at Leavenworth Detention Center had been recorded and obtained by federal prosecutors, the development was just the latest revelation in what a United States public defender says was a systemic violation of constitutional rights.

The assertions by defense attorneys that federal prosecutors obtained video recordings of in-person meetings and audio of calls between inmates and their lawyers at Leavenworth Detention Center have already affected criminal cases resulting from a sprawling investigation of drug trafficking within the facility. Other cases could be ensnared as well.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees individuals accused of crimes with a right to counsel, and the ability of attorneys to speak privately with their clients about their defense is a sacrosanct legal concept. Defense attorneys argue the recordings violate that privilege — on a potentially unprecedented scale.

A flurry of court filings, as well as a hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., begin to reveal the potential scope of the recordings. The situation has developed quickly since the beginning of August, but the roots of the current controversy go back nearly a year ago.
:snippity:
That story says that an investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation into smuggling started about a year ago. In April, they subpoenaed video surveillance, and in May the center turned over about 18 terabytes of recordings. In July the U S Attorney notified defense that the recordings included the attorney-client meeting rooms, but said that audio was not recorded. And then everything exploded.

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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#5

Post by Jim » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:48 pm

Just read a story on abcnews.go.com (sorry can't link) that the DOJ is discontinuing the use of private contractors for prisons. They cite the private prisons are less secure, fair, and well run as government. Good news in light of this latest discovery. I also believe there have been more escapes in privately run prisons over the years.

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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#6

Post by MsDaisy » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:07 pm

From the Guardian

US justice department announces it will end use of private prisons
Snip
The decision was announced days after the Department of Justice’s inspector general released a damning investigation report. It found instances of inmate-on-inmate assaults were 28% higher in contract prisons than in government-run facilities, and that the confiscation of contraband mobile phones occurred eight times more frequently.

Snip
Private prisons are operated for the federal government by three companies: GEO Group, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and Management and Training Corporation.

CCA is the largest private prison operator, with a market cap of $3.2bn. Within an hour of the news on the government’s decision on Thursday, its shares had fallen in value by 52%, dropping from $27.06 per share to $13.

Shares of GEO group, the second-largest private prison firm, also fell by more than 45% during that time. With its shares dropping to $17.30 from $32.32, nearly $700m was shaved off GEO group’s earlier $2bn market valuation.
More
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... department
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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#7

Post by jmj » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:23 pm

Off Topic
I didn't realize that private prisons were so common until recently. These stories prompted me to look into how many and where they were. I noticed that the vast majority of them seem to be in the south. There seem to be relatively few in the north. Anybody have an explanation for that?

http://www.geogroup.com/maps/index/1
http://www.cca.com/locations

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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#8

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:26 pm

jmj wrote:
Off Topic
I didn't realize that private prisons were so common until recently. These stories prompted me to look into how many and where they were. I noticed that the vast majority of them seem to be in the south. There seem to be relatively few in the north. Anybody have an explanation for that?

http://www.geogroup.com/maps/index/1
http://www.cca.com/locations
Money, my friend, money. Like everything else down here, they come in with big promises of money and jobs and economic improvements, get big money tax breaks, economic concessions and agreements from the State to shoulder the cost of training, then proceed to bleed the coffers dry (if they even hang around long enough to actually begin operations.)

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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#9

Post by Family Liberty Patriot » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:27 pm

All we can say for sure is that it's not about race, because nothing is ever about race.
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006)

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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#10

Post by Dan1100 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:27 pm

jmj wrote:
Off Topic
I didn't realize that private prisons were so common until recently. These stories prompted me to look into how many and where they were. I noticed that the vast majority of them seem to be in the south. There seem to be relatively few in the north. Anybody have an explanation for that?

http://www.geogroup.com/maps/index/1
http://www.cca.com/locations
Right to work laws and general lack of unions in the South.
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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#11

Post by MsDaisy » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:30 pm

Sugar Magnolia wrote: :snippity:
Money, my friend, money. Like everything else down here, they come in with big promises of money and jobs and economic improvements, get big money tax breaks, economic concessions and agreements from the State to shoulder the cost of training, then proceed to bleed the coffers dry (if they even hang around long enough to actually begin operations.)

:yeah:
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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#12

Post by jmj » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:32 pm

...and if I had taken a few more minutes to ponder, perhaps those obvious explanations would have come to me. Makes perfect sense.

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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#13

Post by MsDaisy » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:37 pm

Come to think of it, these private prison guys are probably feeling pretty much like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan right now, completely fucked and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it except stand there and watch it happen.

I’m telling you, Karma is a bitch not to fuck with. :nope:
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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#14

Post by Jim » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:37 pm

I think it is more a case of Republican privatization in the South and their opinions on gov't v. Private prisons.

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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#15

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:46 pm

Jim wrote:I think it is more a case of Republican privatization in the South and their opinions on gov't v. Private prisons.
That was addressed with the "money, my friend, money" explanation. Our ex-MDOC commissioner is facing almost 30 years in federal prison (sentencing has been delayed repeatedly because....Wingate) for bribes and kick-backs, mostly related to the private prisons he brought in. They're throwing around numbers like $800 million......

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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#16

Post by Plutodog » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:13 pm

Now, back to the prosecutors who were taking, wanting to keep illegal recordings of prisoner consulting with their layers...
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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#17

Post by GlimDropper » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:42 pm

Plutodog wrote:Now, back to the prosecutors who were taking, wanting to keep illegal recordings of prisoner consulting with their layers...
Sorry, not quite yet. Grassroots Leadership dot Org are very clear about their propose, they appose the for profit prison model. I'm not finished with their 2013 article on the 30 year history of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) but it's a doozy: The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America.

Again, that article is written by an organization apposed to CCA and companies like them but they also provide links to newspaper accounts about most of the incidents they reference and overall it's a horror story. Not only for the prisoners but for the staff and communities surrounding the facilities. It's ugly enough that they just have to have some sort of high influence backing behind them to survive. From part 19 of the report linked above:
19. CCA and ALEC’s Conservative Agenda

ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a political organization known for incubating and proliferating conservative political agendas that have found notorious success in a variety of policy-making areas, including criminal justice and specifically in support of the for-profit private prison industry. At its founding in 1973, ALEC’s statement of purpose included language indicating that the organization would not focus its energies on influencing legislation. However, by the 1980’s, the organization shifted focus to influencing lawmaking at the state level and disseminating model legislation.

<Snip>

Corrections Corporation of America was a corporate member of ALEC for over two decades and participated in key leadership roles within the organization with members on the Executive Committee, the Homeland Security Committee, and on the Public Safety and Elections Task Force whose agenda has included tough-on-crime measures that drove up incarceration rates, benefitting private prison corporations.

CCA’s influence in ALEC has been widespread. The company was a member of the Public Safety Task Force, at one time serving as co-chair. This task force developed model legislation including mandatory minimum sentencing, three strikes laws that give repeat offenders 25 years to life, and “truth-in-sentencing” laws that require that prisoners serve most or all of their time without a chance for parole. [2]

In 2010, State Senator Russell Pearce of Arizona championed and successfully passed SB 1070, legislation that requires state and local law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of people with whom they come into “lawful contact”, which has increased the flow of undocumented immigrants into detention (see #21). The law has been the subject of numerous legal challenges on the basis that it will be enforced through racial profiling of Latinos. The model for SB 1070 was developed in 2009 in a Public Safety and Elections Task Force attended by both Pearce and representatives of CCA.[3] CCA is reported to have identified immigration as a profit-center for the growth of the private prison industry. The private prison industry operates about half of all immigrant detention facilities, and as such, SB 1070 and other anti-immigration legislation that ALEC has advanced is money in the pockets of CCA executives, shareholders, and their industry counterparts. Although CCA reportedly left ALEC in 2011, the legacy and influence of the company’s affiliation with ALEC is long lasting.
The Koch brothers strike again.

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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#18

Post by mmmirele » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:45 am

I'd just note that the Federal government's announcement that it was getting private prisons out of the incarceration business does NOT apply to Homeland Security. There are lots of private lockups involved in Homeland Security. For example, the detention center in Eloy, AZ, is run by Correction Corporation of America and that is not going to change.

I mention this because recently, a federal judge here in Arizona, released pictures of immigration holding facilities in the Tucson sector (not sure if this is Eloy or some other center). To wit:
717.jpg
Those are not burritos, sitting under a heat lamp at in the work cafeteria. Those are detained immigrants, wrapped up in Mylar "blankets" and stuffed into a room in one of the Tucson sector holding facilities. And you can tell from the date stamp on the screen shot, that was taken one year ago today.

The Guardian has a story:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... on-arizona

Here are additional photos as part of an exhibit in the case Doe v. Johnson.

https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil. ... -v-johnson

Back in the late 1990s, I worked in commercial real estate, and one of the loans we managed was for a private immigrant detention center in the Tucson sector. I wish I had paid more attention to the paperwork, but the "toilets" depicted in the pictures look for all the world like the toilets described in the loan file.
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Re: Prosecutors Behaving Badly? Private Prison Corps Behaving Badly? Both.

#19

Post by Addie » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:30 am

CBS News
One winner under Trump: The private prison industry

The U.S. prison population has been falling for several years, reaching its lowest imprisonment rate since 1997, amid a sharp decline in violent crime. But that isn't ending the good times for the private-prison industry.

That might seem counter-intuitive, but analysts point to President Donald Trump's initiatives as providing an unexpected boon for these businesses. Although Mr. Trump's 2019 budget would maintain the federal Bureau of Prison's annual spending at $7.1 billion, some analysts expect spending to shift to private prison companies. At the same time, the budget calls for $2.5 billion to hold as many as 47,000 illegal immigrants within detention centers, another major revenue source for prison operators.

It's a remarkable turnaround for an industry that less than two years ago was on track to be phased out from use by the federal government, which at the time cited declining prison populations and reforms for its decision. A month after President Trump was inaugurated, the Justice Department backtracked and said it would continue to use private prisons.

Since President Trump initiated a crackdown on illegal immigrants, the surge in arrests by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also proved to be a boon for private-prison giants CoreCivic (CXW) and The Geo Group (GEO), according to Stefanie Miller of Height Securities.

Through the first nine months of 2017, ICE arrests shot up 42 percent from a year ago, Miller noted in a recent research report. "The Trump administration's tough-on-immigration policies are unlikely to fade anytime soon, meaning investors should expect continued strict enforcement, more arrests by ICE and the need to accommodate a growing number of arrested individuals," she predicted.

The result will be a "tailwind" for private prison operators, the analyst added.
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