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“You just sell it like you were selling cars, or real estate, or hamburgers.

In the early 1980s, the Corrections Corporation of America pioneered the idea of running prisons for a profit. “You just sell it like you were selling cars, or real estate, or hamburgers,” one of its founders told Inc. magazine. Today, corporate-run prisons hold eight percent of America’s inmates. Here’s how the private prison industry took off:

1983

Thomas Beasley, Doctor R. Crants, and T. Don Hutto start Corrections Corporation of America, the world’s first private prison company.

1984
CCA begins operating a county jail and a juvenile detention center in Tennessee. It also opens its first privately owned facility in Houston, a motel hastily remodeled to hold immigration detainees.

1985
A federal judge orders Tennessee to stop admitting inmates to its overcrowded prisons. CCA offers, unsuccessfully, to pay $250 million for a 99-year lease on the state’s entire prison system.

1986
CCA goes public, saying its facility design and use of electronic surveillance mean it can operate larger prisons “with less staff than the public sector would have needed.”

Dog team at Winn Correctional Center

A guard dog at Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, Louisiana
1987
Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, later known as the GEO Group, gets its first contract to run a federal immigration detention center.

1990s
Among the “model” bills ?to emerge from the American Legislative Exchange Council‘s criminal justice task force, which CCA later co-chairs, are truth-in-sentencing and three-strikes legislation that help fuel the ’90s prison boom. (CCA says it did not vote on or comment on any proposed ALEC legislation.)*

1997
Arguing that it’s in the property business, CCA becomes a real estate investment trust for tax purposes. A new affiliate, Prison Realty Trust, raises $447 million for a prison-buying spree.

Private And Public Prison Populations 1990-2014

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/KYDjl/2/

1998
The Justice Department investigates a CCA prison in Youngstown, Ohio, following a spate of escapes, stabbings, and killings. In addition to finding inexperienced and poorly trained guards, the probe reveals that CCA took on maximum-security inmates at a facility designed for a medium-security population.

2000
As prison occupancy rates drop, Prison Realty Trust nearly goes bankrupt. CCA stock, once nearly $150 a share, falls to 19 cents. The company drops the trust and restructures.

CCA Stock Price, 1997-2016

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/LsEny/3/

2004
A Justice Department report finds a “disturbing degree” of physical abuse by staff and underreporting of violence among inmates at a Baltimore juvenile facility run by the private prison operator Correctional Services Corporation. CSC is later acquired by GEO.

2005
Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) introduces the Private Prison Information Act, which would require private prisons holding federal inmates to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests. It died, as have at least seven similar bills opposed by CCA and GEO.

2007

A drawing by an immigrant child held at CCA's T. Don Hutto Center.

A drawing by an immigrant child held at CCA’s T. Don Hutto Center. ACLU

CCA’s and GEO’s stock prices jump as both companies jockey to run the federal government’s expanding immigration detention centers. Meanwhile, the ACLU settles a case against Immigration and Customs Enforcement for conditions in the CCA-managed T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Texas, where about half the detainees are kids. Under the agreement, children no longer wear prison uniforms and may move more freely.

2008
The New York Times investigates the deaths of immigration detainees, such as a Guinean man at a CCA-run facility who fractured his skull and was placed in solitary confinement before being taken to a hospital. He died after four months in a coma.

2009
A CCA representative attends a meeting where ALEC members draft the legislation that will eventually become Arizona’s notorious anti-immigration law. CCA denies having a hand in writing the bill. It cuts ties with ALEC the following year.

2010
An ACLU suit alleges rampant violence at a CCA-run Idaho prison known as “gladiator school.” The lawsuit claims the prison is understaffed and fosters an environment that “relies on the degradation, humiliation, and subjugation of prisoners.” The FBI investigates but doesn’t pursue charges. In Kentucky, the governor orders all female inmates removed from a CCA prison after more than a dozen cases of alleged sexual abuse by guards.

2011
 

Inmates at Winn Correctional Center

Inmates at Winn Correctional Center

CCA becomes the first private prison company to purchase a state facility, buying Ohio’s Lake Erie Correctional Institutionas part of a privatization plan proposed by Gov. John Kasich and supported by his corrections chief, former CCA Director Gary Mohr.

 

2012
CCA offers to buy prisons in 48 states in exchange for 20-year management contracts. The same year, a GEO-operated youth facility in Mississippi where staff sexually abused minors is described by a judge as a “cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions.” At another Mississippi facility, a 24-year-old CCA employee is killed during a riot over prisoners’ complaints about poor food, inadequate medical care, and disrespectful guards.

2013
CCA converts back to a real estate investment trust, as does GEO. Mother Jones reports that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $2.2 million in GEO.

2014
As it did during at least the previous five years, CCA’s annual report flags criminal justice reform—including drug decriminalization and the reduction of mandatory minimum sentences—as a “risk factor” for its business.* Chris Epps, Mississippi’s prison commissioner and the president of the American Correctional Association, is charged with taking kickbacks from a private prison contractor.

2015
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) co-sponsors the Justice is Not for Sale Act, which would ban all government contracts with private prison companies. After Hillary Clinton is criticizedfor using campaign bundlers who’d worked as lobbyists for CCA and GEO, she promises to no longer take their money and says, “We should end private prisons and private detention centers.”

blog16-privateprisonsmap-1160x768

 

* This item has been clarified.

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Hello everyone.

One of my names is Poley and my biggest challenge this week is staying motivated.  Its my studies.  I just can’t seen to get around to it, until the run goes down,  I think it might be depression caused y the fact that everyone has to be fucking loud all of the time.  Other than that I’m just fine, and will keep chipping away at learning stuff.  That’s all for this week, kids.

Thank you and good night!

Poley

Hello one of my names is Janos Undervoot and one of my biggest challenges this week is I learned my Grandfather, the man that raised me has cancer. It’s back he spent two weeks in the hospital and is now with hospice at home. I wish I wasn’t locked up I can’t call or go home for his passing. There isn’t anything I can do but honor his memory, somehow. Don’t worry about me though. I know sooner or later we all must wake from the dream. I learned that the day I killed a rabbit as I tried to protect it from a dog. The French say “Such is Life” and so do I.

Just remember children the revolution will not be televised but it will be on Facebook. Until next week.

Whisper

Hey, what’s popping?

I’ve been working on not focusing so much on the end result of things.  I bounce from one thing to another.  It’s like I don’t feel like I”m doing anything unless I’ striving for something, and then as soon as I get it or accomplish something, I’m on to the next.  I don’t even savor the accomplishment.  I really need to work on that.  Word.  Conditional reality.  That’s what I’m struggling with right now.  I need that happy core.

The falling down and getting back up is what life’s all about.  The day we stop getting back up  is when we really have problems.  I’ve learned that failure is when you give up.  It’s o.k. to make mistakes and fall down, but when we accept that and stop trying, that’s when we’ve failed.  So keep getting back up, everyone.

I can’t believe that this is the reason I self-sabotage so much.  I’m working on this, realizing this is the first step towards fixing it.  I don’t know why I hate myself; I think it’s some childhood shit.  I want you guys to know that I”m working hard to get better and be better so that when I come home I’m in the best possible space.

I’m trying to give all my problems to Allah, it’s hard though, because I’m such a control freak.  I know that He can handle everything better than I ever could so I need to start trusting in Him.  That is not stupid at all; everything is on loan to me from God, you know.  As for purpose, I am just starting to realize what my purpose isn’t.

Just know that I’m doing okay.

As I am,

Prince

There are things I thought I knew, and it turns out that my ideas and knowledge are that of a sheltered little boy.  Yeah, I know, I wouldn’t have classified myself as sheltered either, but there is so much out there beyond me and the little I know.  Right now, my head is a mess.  I am battling the pain and horror of learning that childhood beliefs in the world and myself are false.  I am evolving, becoming so much smarter and stronger, but it is not easy.  I do not wish/want to return to the ignorance and naivety that defined me but I do recognize how ignorance is bliss.  I have had to learn some very painful truth about my abilities or lack of them in the last month or so.  It is all worth it though.  I am becoming the best I can be.  Which is doubly important so that when I come home I will be able to be successful and no, I am not trying to become a better criminal, even though knowledge is power.  Hahaha.

As I am,

Prince

What’s really good?

Things have been kinda hectic  here lately.  Long story short: people don’t realize that “real” muhfuckers live and die behind/over words.  Somebody said something and it had to be dealt with.  The person who said it was not prepared for the level of violence that the words caused.  So their friends stepped in so I stepped in for my man.  It was a bad situation for a while.  God forgive me but the adrenaline made me feel so alive.  Everything seems so much, well, “more: when you’re on that tightrope between life and peace on one side, and bloodshed and pain on the other.

Racial tensions here are sky-high.  I imagine it’s only a matter of time before there’s a race riot.  There is so much ignorance and prejudice here.  There’s prejudice on both sides, but in defense of the brothers, most of the whites they come in contact with are either outright racist or so ignorant of black culture that their comments and actions seem racist.  I have been blessed to have met so many amazing white people that I have been unpleasantly surprised about half the population up here.  Anyway, that’s neither here not there, just the events of the past week have brought it all back into the spotlight.

As I am,

Prince

Dear Holistic Peeps:

Mama-love always told me that nothing worth having is ever easy, and while that makes a lot of sense, it has also lead to a lot of spurned gifts.  Who knows how many blessings that I have undeserved or cheapened because I didn’t have to work for them, not knowing that if they were given to me by the grace of God, then I could never earn them?

Hmm.  Food for thought.

No wonder why I usually fuck up my relationships with women.  It has always been so easy to get women.  So I work a little to make them fall in love with me.  I mind-fuck them ’til they love me.  Plus, my dick game (excuse the vulgarity) is something else – HaHaHa!

But then, when I have their love, two things happen:  I get bored because the challenge is gone and my inner insecurities start to emerge so I drive the women away so I don’t get hurt when they leave.  Pretty stupid, huh?

I have my close male friends and then I couldn’t care less about the rest of the guys in the world.  But women are a different story.  It seems like every woman I am close to, I try to seduce.  I need their love and to me, the ultimate proof of that is them giving me their bodies.  I make it worth it.  I’ve slept with 95 women and every one has come back for more.  Making love is a gift and a talent which through hard work (HaHaHa!) and lots of reading upon and practice I have become quite good.  Yet, to me, it can be and is most of the time as casual as shaking hands.  I’ll fuck a woman before I kiss her – for some reason kissing implies more intimacy.  Anywayz, though, I’m starting to ramble.  I was starting this to tell you about my own problems with women so that maybe y’all could find something to help you.

I remain,

Prince

So, as I’m sure you can tell by the paper and the pen, I’m in the Box again.

So, yeah, Friday the 13th.  So it was a regular day and I was supposed to take my college readiness final.  Actually, I was supposed to take it last Tuesday, but I wasn’t ready, so I pushed it back to Friday.

So, I’m up at the yard, and I see somebody who had done something he shouldn’t have the last time I’d seen him.  So I looked at him.  He saw me.  I walked over to him, and we started shaking.  (When you shake, it’s a really good fight.  If it’s just so-so, it’s just a fight.)  So,  mind you, this is right out in the middle of the gym.  He was standing 15-20 feet from a c/o, but he, the inmate, wasn’t gonna move away from the c/o, so we got it on right there.  It was bloody.  He gave me my first-ever bloody nose (those are a bitch.  It bleeds a lot.)  and I split his eye, nose and lips.  Plus, his tooth got in the way of my hand, and split my knuckle to the bone.  It took stitches to close it.  Should’ve been more, but the doctor just pulled until it closed.  His eye got ten stitches.

We got maced with the big riot-fog cans.  They are about the size of a can of tennis balls.  That was unpleasant, to say the least.  I felt like I was on fire.

So, as you can imagine, I got lugged.  Now, they’re saying I can go back to population sometime next week, but I have to be on a behavior plan.  I can’t go to the yard for 30 days, except for school or religious purposes.  I have to have a room by the c/o’s desk.

Just some juvenile bullshit.  It is  what it is, though.  I bought it, and I’ma pay for it.  It was something I felt I had to do, so I did it.  I’m not saying I’m right, but it’s over now, and time only moves in one direction.

To change the subject, I just had the MOST AMAZING conversation I’ve ever had since I’ve been up here.  The person I was talking to was X.  He is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.  I could write pages on him, but I won’t.  I’ma just give you just one point of the convo.  He asks: What is a human, and what separates us from the animals.  Me, I don’t know.  Answer:  the ability to dream.  Then we talked about the difference between dreams and ambitions.  Ambitions are something you want to do, have, and see (and get this, b/c it’s mind-boggling.)  A dream is God talking to you.

A dream is God talking to you.

As I am,

Prince

They dance so smoothly across the sky

Pars, like dancers in transit before my eye

My body worms at the thought of you

(You) how have captured our hearts

You who stands on a threshold so high

No one to deny you

Be on top, the mountain hop

I lie here on this meadow below her

Casting an eye to heavens solder

Cumulus clouds make for all things at random

Like circling dancers

Or shimmering angels

(Phantoms)?

When I think of  you,

I see too of everything

Dress me in the sound

of your thousand angels company

Carried on wings renowned

Though our heads are bowed in humility

They sing and a mountain, it moves (inside me)

Their song, it thins the boundary

Between heaven and earth

They care more for our souls

Then the shells of our birth

A treasured thing

Is a wants lived in being

A life long mystery

Like an echo of a song

Who will show up for me?

Will I remember you?

Or will you, me?  And

What of them will I see?

 

I’m fucking stuck behind the fucking wall!  I don’t know if I can get back to the dorms!  If something don’t go right for me soon, I will have a good blog for you :-)

I got to pray more, I guess.

I am worried.

I am struggling in the girl department.

I feel lost, a little bit.

Juice

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

In collaboration with the Holistic Recovery Project, the Political Prisoners Blog provides a prisoner's view into what's happening at Maine's correctional facilities.

Only your vigilance on the outside can guarrentee that justice goes on on the inside.

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