For Hawaiians in Kentucky, it’s ‘double punishment’
By Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal
WHEELWRIGHT, Ky. — It harkens back to centuries past, when felons were
banished to penal colonies on distant continents.
One hundred and nineteen Hawaiians— all women — are locked behind razor-wire
fences at an isolated private prison in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, 4,500
miles from their homes and families.
Most will never get a visitor, no matter how long they’re incarcerated.
Emerald Nakamura, 26, of Honolulu, who is serving five years for forging checks,
sees her 20-month old son Ikaika once a month — on a video screen. She said he
doesn’t recognize her.
“It is very sad,” she said. “I think about him all the time.”
The Hawaiians are housed at the Otter Creek Correctional Center because of
severe prison crowding in their native state, and because incarcerating inmates on
the mainland saves Hawaii money.
Even with the price of flying inmates across the Pacific and back, it’s still cheaper
to house them in the continental United States. It costs $56 per day to house
each inmate off the islands, compared with $110 in heavily unionized Hawaii, where
a gallon of milk is $6.
Ten years after Hawaii started exporting prisoners, nearly half its 3,858 inmates
are lodged in the continental United States — in rural Mississippi, Oklahoma,
Arizona and Kentucky, all in prisons owned by Corrections Corporation of America.
The Nashville-based company says it has saved the state $158 million since 1998.
But prisoner-rights advocates in Hawaii say it is a false economy.
“The cost per bed may be cheaper, but not when you include the cost of broken
families,” said Kat Brady, coordinator for the Community Alliance on Prisons in
Honolulu. “It is hard for a woman to come home after three or five or 10 years
and say, ‘I’m your mom,’ when her child has never been able to visit her.”
The Hawaii Department of Public Safety doesn’t dispute that sending inmates
out of state is hard on them, said Shari Kimoto, who runs its mainland branch. But
she said the agency has no choice because the people of Hawaii don’t want
prisons built in their back yards, and the remaining open areas that can still
be developed are prized for resorts.
Kimoto acknowledges that separation is particularly hard on women, who
traditionally have been the primary caregivers in their families. But that is where
her sympathy ends.
“I don’t think they had their children or families on their mind when they did
their crimes or did their drugs,” she said.
The Hawaiians have been held at Otter Creek since September, when CCA
reopened it as a women’s prison; 399 Kentucky women also are held in the facility,
which once housed about 600 men from Indiana and also was the scene of a nine-hour riotin July 2001.
But the Hawaiians went unnoticed outside of Wheelwright, a former coal camp,
until Sarah Ah Mau, 43, died mysteriously Dec. 31 after complaining for a month
of a stomachache. The cause of her death is still under investigation.
Hawaiian news organizations reported that she’d told family members before her
death thather pleas for medical attention went ignored. CCA said in a
statement that her care was appropriate.
A Courier-Journal reporter was allowed to interview 10 of the Hawaiians but
barred from asking any questions about Ah Mau’s death; Warden Joyce Arnold
also insisted that the prison’s security director monitor the interviews.
Adjusting to Kentucky
About half the women are serving time for using and selling crystal
methamphetamine — known as ice — which swept through the islands in the 1990s.
The women interviewed said they deserved to be punished but questioned the
fairness of being sent so far from home.
“It is like a double punishment,” said Deenie Tanele, 33, who has been locked up
since 1999 for smoking and selling ice and will serve out her term until 2009.
The U.S. Supreme Court, however, ruled in a case from Hawaii in 1983 that an
inmate has no “justifiable expectation that he will be incarcerated in any particular
Most states, including Kentucky, ship only a few inmates to other states, usually
for security reasons. (Kentucky has 19 housed elsewhere; Indiana has none,
according to corrections departments in both states.)
Wisconsin, which six years ago had more than 5,000 prisoners out of state, leading
the nation in that category, brought the last of them home last year, said John
Dipko, a spokesman for the state corrections department.
The state acted in part so its prisoners would have more family support and be less
likely to commit more crimes, Dipko said.
Otter Creek is the fourth stop for many of the Hawaiian women. They were
removed from prisons in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado after other private
companies allegedly violated contracts by refusing to provide promised vocational
training and drug treatment.
In Colorado, two of the inmates allegedly were sexually assaulted, and inmates had
to teach their own vocational classes.
The women say their hardest adjustment in Kentucky has been to the weather. The
average February temperature in Wheelwright is 35 degrees, compared with 73 in
“The cold is unbelievable,” said Iwalani Carroll-Vierra, 27, who is also serving time
for selling ice and noted that she must sleep fully dressed because she is allergic
to her blankets.
The Hawaiians also have had to allow for subtle but significant cultural
differences, said Catherine Samuel, 65, who is serving 20 years to life for murder.
For example, guards have confused a hand symbol that signifies good luck in Hawaii
with a gang sign, she said. Hawaiians also are more likely to touch one another and
hold hands, which Samuel said has been confused with prohibited lesbian advances.
Arnold, the warden, said officials are aware of the differences, which she said
came into play earlier this month when an inmate innocently put her hand on an
officer’s shoulder. Arnold said the inmate nonetheless was placed in segregation
under the prison’s zero-tolerance policy for touching employees. Kimoto said
Hawaiian prisons have the same policy.
As a concession to the Hawaiian diet, prisoners are served rice at least once a day
and fresh fruit at least once a week. They also may practice hula and other native
dances for one hour twice a week, and they will be allowed to celebrate King
Kamehameha Day each June 11, to honor the monarch who unified the Hawaiian
But Arnold acknowledged that it is hard for the Hawaiians to watch as Kentucky
inmates get visited weekly by their families and friends, while nobody comes to see
A few have received visits from friends from the mainland, Arnold said, but most
say traveling from the islands is so expensive that they’re not expecting any visits
Inmates such as Patsy Kahaunaele, 36, who is serving 10 years for selling and using
ice, said she worries most that her family members will die and she won’t be able
to bury them.
The state of Hawaii won’t pay to fly inmates home for funerals. They are allowed
to listen on the phone, and the state will send them a videotape, Kimoto said.
‘Life has been taken away’
Several prisoners praised an intensive drug-treatment program offered at Otter
Creek, and said they have more freedom there than at Hawaii’s single, crowded
women’s prison on the island of Oahu.
But Samuel said the private prison has been slow to provide them with prescription
medicines they got for years at other facilities.
Lorraine Robinson, the director of a Honolulu-based program that helps female
inmates re-enter civilian life — Ka Hale Ho’ala Hou No Na Wahine (Home of
Reawakening for Women) — said that being so far from home makes it hard for
the women at Otter Creek to hold out hope.
“They are on shaky ground to begin with,” she said of the many who are
addicted to drugs, depressed and lacking resiliency, “and this makes it worse.”
Deborah Mainnaaupo, 54, who is serving 20 years for attempted assault, said the
Hawaiian women feel like “we are all on death row. Life has been taken away from
us. It is too cold. They should leave us in Hawaii, where we belong.”
Looking out the barred windows of the visiting room to the barbed wire, cliffs and
mountains outside, Kahaunaele laughed at the security that keeps the Hawaiians
“I don’t think it would be possible for us to escape,” she said. “But even if we
could, where would we go?”
See related stories at: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/current/ln/prisoners
$ $ $
October 3, 2005
Prisons for profit:
Inside the big business of CCA
Years of problems yield few answers
By Kevin Dayton, Advertiser Staff Writer
Corrections Corp. of America, a pioneer in the private prison industry, has
control over nearly half of Hawai’i’s prison population in what may be the state’s
biggest venture into privatization.
Publicly traded CCA is the nation’s largest private provider of jail and prison
services to government agencies, and has the country’s sixth-largest corrections
system, behind only the federal government and four states.
It owns and operates 39 facilities and manages 38 others. The company also owns
three facilities that are leased to other operators. In all, CCA is present in 19
states and the District of Columbia.
Founded in 1983, the Nashville, Tenn.-based company has grown into a behemoth
that employs 15,000 workers to oversee 62,000 inmates, including about 1,830
inmates from Hawai’i. CCA reported revenues of $1.15 billion last year, and last
week became Hawai’i’s sole provider of Mainland prison space.
The company is expected to collect $36 million from Island taxpayers in mostly
nonbid contracts this year.
All but one of the prison contracts were awarded without formal competitive
bidding because, technically, they are government-to-government agreements,
which are exempt from state procurement rules.
The contracts are with governmental entities such as Pinal County in Arizona, the
Watonga Economic Development Authority in Oklahoma and the Tallahatchie
County Correctional Authority in Mississippi, which subcontract the work to CCA.
Hawai’i Department of Public Safety officials said they invite other companies to
compete for the contracts in an informal process, but the nonbid arrangement
gives the state greater flexibility to negotiate for services.
In order to broaden the field of potential providers, the state issued a request
for proposals when seeking a new facility to house women inmates, said Marc
Yamamoto, purchasing specialist for the Department of Public Safety. CCA’s
Otter Creek Correctional Center in Kentucky was selected, and last week about
80 women inmates were transferred there.
As for male inmates, an official familiar with the history of the prison contracts
said that since the late 1990s, CCA has been the only private operator with enough
suitable beds available to house all of the men Hawai’i must send to Mainland
prisons. The official asked not to be identified because the official is not
authorized to discuss the issue with the media….
The company has been dogged by controversy over its financial stability and
management, labor practices, and safety problems that led to escapes and deadly
violence. Some critics argue it is wrong for a business to profit from the
imprisonment of human beings.
CCA spokesman Steve Owen said the company is simply filling a dire need for more
prison beds while saving state and federal governments millions of dollars….
The company’s most notorious incidents occurred at Northeast Ohio Correctional
Center in Youngstown, which opened in 1997. During the first year of operation,
when the prison held 1,500 inmates from the District of Columbia, there were 13
stabbings, including two fatalities. The prison was supposed to hold only medium-security inmates, but more than 100 had to be moved after it was discovered they
actually had higher security classifications.
The deaths of several inmates while under prison medical care brought additional
scrutiny, and when a group of five murderers and another inmate escaped, Ohio
Gov. George Voinovich wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in July
1998 saying he wanted the prison closed.
A lawsuit filed by inmates alleging unsafe conditions at the Ohio prison resulted in
a $1.65 million settlement with CCA. The prison closed in 2001 when the District
of Columbia withdrew its inmates, but CCA reopened the facility last year to
accommodate federal detainees.
More recent CCA troubles include a five-hour riot involving inmates from
Washington, Colorado and Wyoming at Crowley County Correctional Facility in
Colorado in July 2004. Nineteen inmates were injured in that melee. A Colorado
Department of Corrections report found prison staff were inexperienced,
undertrained and spread too thin to control the inmates. The night of the riot,
fewer than 35 corrections officers were on duty for more than 1,100 prisoners.
The company referred to the trouble in its 2004 annual report. “While
disappointing, inmate disturbances are an unfortunate part of our business,” the
report said, noting that the incidents led to significant changes in the company’s
management structure and operations.
There also have been problems at CCA prisons holding Hawai’i inmates, including
violence, drug smuggling and contract violations. Still, state prison officials say
CCA has generally done a good job and has been quick to make changes when
deficiencies are pointed out.
CCA’s formula for success includes buying or building prisons in rural or
depressed communities such as Tutwiler, Miss., and Wheelwright, Ky., providing
needed jobs in areas with high unemployment.
That strategy helps CCA keep its wages relatively low, which is critical because
labor is the primary cost in operating a prison. The starting pay for a CCA
corrections officer at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler is
about $8.40 an hour, compared with $13.20 for a new guard in Hawai’i.
In the late 1990s, CCA teetered near bankruptcy as thousands of beds remained
empty and states began withdrawing inmates from private prisons. A surge of new
contracts from federal agencies seeking space for increasing numbers of criminals
and immigration detainees helped the company rebound in recent years.
Since CCA relies on government contracts, it has not shied away from playing
The company last year contributed $100,000 to the DeLay Foundation for Kids, a
charity established by U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay. DeLay resigned as Republican
majority leader last week after he was indicted in connection with a Texas
political fundraising scandal.
In Montana, which is a CCA client, the company donated $10,000 to help finance
an inauguration ball for Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer. In the state of
Washington, another client, CCA has made political contributions to Republican and
Democratic organizations and candidates.
Hawai’i Gov. Linda Lingle accepted a $6,000 corporate contribution from CCA in
2002, the maximum allowed in a four-year campaign cycle, and an identical sum in
February of this year for her 2006 re-election race.
< < < FLASHBACK < < <
March 1, 2003
Lingle appoints public safety director
The federal prosecutor is currently
serving the U.N. in Bosnia
By Richard Borreca, Star-Bulletin
Gov. Linda Lingle appointed veteran federal prosecutor John Peyton as the new
director of the Department of Public Safety. His appointment was immediately
praised by Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee, who
said the state would be “getting a running start with someone like him.”
Bob Awana, Lingle’s chief of staff, said yesterday that Peyton, currently serving
in Bosnia with the United Nation’s Independent Judicial Commission, would be
able to start work at the end of April or beginning of May.
Awana called Peyton “a bright, experienced, tough cop.”
As an assistant U.S. attorney in Honolulu in 1985, Peyton successfully prosecuted
Ronald Rewald for swindling about $20 million from Hawaii residents. Rewald was
sentenced to 80 years in prison but was let out of federal prison in 1995 after
suffering a back injury and being confined to a wheelchair.
Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle described Peyton, 58, as being “capable of
taking on any kind of assignment you give him.”
“I didn’t think he was coming back to Hawaii. We are very lucky to get him,”
Peyton will be the third person put in charge of the Public Safety Department
since Lingle became governor. She first named Stephen Watarai, a Honolulu
assistant police chief, to the post, but he withdrew after saying the police
retirement pay schedule made it too costly for him to leave the city.
Hanabusa, whose committee would handle the public safety director’s
confirmation, had been critical of Watarai’s experience. He is also being
investigated by police internal affairs and the city ethics director because of
allegations that he had ordered police officers to work during a charity golf
tournament for a police charity and then take the extra day off with pay.
Watarai denied the charges.
Lingle then named James Propotnick, a retired first deputy U.S. marshal for
Hawaii, as interim public safety director….
Hanabusa said in Peyton’s case, his relative lack of experience in running a
prison would not be a handicap, because of his experience as a manager.
“He is clearly someone with superb credentials and is a true manager.
“What is necessary is someone who can manage these very different types of
duties. Someone who can go to a foreign country and help them set up a judicial
system has got to be able look at our prison system and make sense of it,”
Cabinet nominations confirmed
The state Senate gave unanimous approval yesterday to five Cabinet nominations
made by Gov. Linda Lingle.
Mark Bennett was confirmed as attorney general. Bennett is a former assistant
Others confirmed yesterday include Micah Kane, Hawaiian Home Lands director;
Rodney Haraga, transportation director; Brigadier Gen. Robert Lee, adjutant
general; and Russ Saito, comptroller and director of the Department of
Accounting & General Services.
Office of the Governor State Department of Public Safety
$ $ $
September 17, 2004
Prison Riot Followed
Increase in Inmates
By Deborah Yetter & Mark Pitsch, The Courier-Journal
The inmate riot Tuesday at a private Eastern Kentucky prison followed a dramatic
increase in inmates and cutbacks in privileges such as free time outdoors, prison
It also came after allegation of inmate abuse and mistreatment increased and
visits from friends and family were cut back, an inmate advocate said.
The Lee Adjustment Center near Beattyville took in 400 new prisoners from
Vermont about four months ago, raising the population to about 800 men, officials
Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the prison for the
Kentucky Corrections Department, does not believe those factors explain the riot
in which inmates set two buildings on fire, spokeswoman Louise Chickering said
“There is no justification for the destruction those inmates did,” she said.
But advocates for inmates and others with the prison industry said crowding, cuts
in privileges and an influx of inmates far from home created an explosive situation
“Usually when there’s a prison riot it occurs after months or years of intolerable
conditions,” said Barry Kade, a Vermont lawyer and a member of the Alliance for
Prison Justice, an advocacy group which works to improve conditions for Vermont
Kade and others said private prison companies are profit driven to increase inmate
populations. Nashville-based Corrections Corporation, the country’s largest
private prison company, gets a daily rate of $38.44 for each Kentucky inmate it
houses at the Beattyville prison and $42.50 per inmate from Vermont.
Kade said he has received an increasing number of complaints from Vermont
inmates since they were sent to Kentucky this year to relieve prison crowding in
their home state.
Of the nine inmates who officials said started the fires, five were from Kentucky
and four from Vermont.
The increasingly common practice of states sending inmates to private prisons in
other states has exacerbated problems, said some outside observers.
“It’s very clear that shipping prisoners far from their families is not good criminal
justice policy,” said Peter Wagner, assistant director of Prison Policy Initiative, a
nonprofit policy and research group in Massachusetts….
Corrections Corporation also experienced riots in July at prisons it runs in
Colorado and Mississippi – both of which house out-of-state inmates. The company,
which operates three private prisons in Kentucky, also had a nine-hour riot in 2001
by inmates at its Otter Creek Correctional Complex in Floyd County, which housed
“I think this latest uprising fits into this general pattern of unhappiness by
prisoners who have been transported out of state,” said Paul Wright, editor of
Prison Legal News, a Vermont-based magazine about the prison industry.
Vermont inmates at Beattyville complained to Kade that visits from friends and
family – who must drive about 1,000 miles to Kentucky – were cut to two hours a
week. Free time on the yard was cut and some inmates alleged they were
mistreated through physical abuse or by being put into isolation without have
committed any violation, he said….
Kentucky, Vermont and Corrections Corporation have all said they plan to
investigate Tuesday’s riot. Kade said he will ask for an outside investigation.
$ $ $
September 20, 2004
No Date Given On Transfer
Of Female Inmates to Utah
By Vicki Viotti, Honolulu Advertiser
The state Office of Youth Services would not say today when six girls
housed at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility will be transferred to an
unnamed juvenile detention facility in Utah.
State officials last week said the transfer would be for 60 days and would allow
the Office of Youth Services time to repair a building and relieve overcrowded
housing conditions at HYCF.
Members of the faith and social services community planned to gather this morning
outside the state Capitol to rally against the planned transfer.
“If there are only six girls, it’s unbelievable they can’t be accommodated,” said the
Rev. Sam Cox, treasurer of the Interfaith Alliance of Hawaii, one of the
organizations opposing the transfer.
Cox said that he and others have heard that the transfer would take place today,
but Sharon Agnew, director of the Office of Youth Services, said she could not
disclose scheduling or other details….
Kat Brady, legislative coordinator for the Hawaii Juvenile Justice Project, said the
response from the community has been a flood of e-mails calling the Office of
Youth Services plan “outrageous.”
“We know that in Hawaiian culture, strength is family, and since their mission is to
strengthen families, what the heck are they doing?” Brady said.
“Have they done any work to help the parents prepare?”
$ $ $
March 26, 2004
By Kathy Kelly, Voices in the Wilderness
This weekend, I’m preparing for an April 6, 2004 entry into the Pekin FCI (Federal
Correctional Institute) in Peoria. I’m one of several dozen people who, on
November 22, 2003, crossed the line at the US Army’s military combat training
school in Fort Benning, Ga….
I could be harmed in prison, but that certainly could have happened to me while in
Bagdad or several other places I’ve traveled by choice. I don’t feel anxiety beyond
normal fear of the unknown.
The cruelty of prison rests in locking up people who are often already feeling
remorse and low self-esteem because of past actions and then heaping upon them
more reasons to feel badly about themselves and allowing almost no means to
improve their situation. Parents separated from their children, feeling that
they’ve screwed up their lives, are often snarled at by counselors and guards who
say they should have thought about their loved ones before they started causing
People who’ve committed crimes, often nonviolent crimes which they honestly
regret, (mainly related to drug use and drug trade), shouldn’t be free to continue
harming themselves or others through drug traffic. But why take away every
other freedom, and why employ other human beings to act as “human zookeepers?”
I’ve felt somewhat insulated from attacks on self-esteem while in prison. I’m
proud of line-crossings that protest pouring money into the Project ELF nuclear
weapon facility in northern Wisconsin that fast tracks Tomahawk Cruise missiles
to maim and kill people in Iraq. Likewise, it’s good to be part of the growing group
who’ve crossed the line at a military combat training school in Fort Benning, GA.
Graduates of the school have been responsible for massacres, assassinations and
tortures. People should be crossing these lines every day of the week. No shame,
no stigma here.
But I do feel troubled because I’ve been so distanced, in recent years, from some
of the poorest people in our country. I need to better understand what’s
happening to them. Am I right when I guess that the media successfully pressures
young people in inner cities to consume, to buy, to have brand name this and that?
Does this corporate push to buy certain lines of clothing, cosmetics, and cars push
people further into an underground economy because they cant’ get a stake in the
above ground economies after our education system has badly failed them?
Thinking of how George Fox, who helped found the Quaker faith, would stand on
church pews during sermons and urge people to trod gently over the earth, seeing
that of god in everyone, I’ve nurtured a fantasy related to court rooms. Suppose
one were to stand up on a courtroom bench, risk contempt of court, and ask, “Could
we just take a minute to analyze how many are “the raw material” feed this
system? I’ll bet that the people making money would be, primarily, white and well
educated. They’re the lawyers, the judges, the courtroom personnel.
And I’ll bet that the people feeding the system, keeping the well paid criminal
justice system employees in business, would be African American, Hispanic, and
Asian. If convicted, the “criminals” could find themselves earning 18 cents per
hour laboring, within the prison industrial complex, for major US corporations who
can hire prison labor without ever having to worry about paid vacations, benefits,
overtime, hiring supervisors, or renting workspace. The prison industrial complex
resembles enslavement and might be a precursor to fascism.
I want to nonviolently defy this system.
In 1988, upon entering the Cass County jail in Harrison, MO, my heart sank as I
realized how intensely the other 12 women in the cell, a dingy area called “the
bullpen,” didn’t want to see a new person encroach on the minimal space allotted to
them. Most had already been there for many weeks.
The bullpen was meant to be a small holding cell area, but because the jail was so
overcrowded, the six bunk beds, exposed toilet, metal table and spray-mist shower
with a ripped curtain became housing for women prisoners awaiting transport. I
had just been released from the hospital following major surgery after a lung
collapse caused by a congenital abnormality. Friends said that in my prison uniform
I could have posed for a Soviet Union poster charging the US with abusing
The women prisoners glaring at me were seeing a 90 pound woman with pink eye, a
runny nose, tangled hair, an obnoxious cough, and a facial rash. Eying the top bunk
assigned to me, I wondered how I’d heave myself up there without stepping on
another woman’s bed. And how could I stuff the lumpy mattress I carried into the
prison issue casing when I could barely bend down to tie my shoes?
At that point, the most intimidating woman in “the bullpen” laughed, rolled her
eyes, and said, “I don’t know what I did so wrong to be locked up with this white
motherfu*ker with AIDS!”….
In our world, many of us who live in the US are perched, quite by accident, amidst
inordinately luxurious surroundings, relative to the rest of the world. We’re the
luckiest. We’re the most blest. And we have the greatest responsibility to build a
My own logic tells me that when US troops “crossed the line,” in March 2003, they
trespassed into a sovereign country, Iraq, based on the theory and argument that
Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction posed an imminent threat to people in the US.
Now it’s clear that Iraq didn’t pose even a distant threat to people here.
At Fort Benning, GA, we crossed a line onto two feet of government grass at a
place where it’s beyond dispute that graduates of the military combat training
school have participated in torture, maiming, disappearance, massacre and
assassination when they returned to their own countries….
On Monday, March 29, I’ll go to Madison, WI to face a one-month jail sentence for
refusing to pay a $150 fine after twelve of us walked two feet across the line onto
the Navy’s ELF/Trident transmitter site located in the northern woods of
Wisconsin. ELF (extremely low-frequency waves) is used to trigger nuclear
missiles. The ELF system is also used to trigger Cruise missiles. Cruise missiles
were the weapon of choice among war planners as the Shock and Awe campaign
against Iraq was developed….
Not all peace activists can be part of civil disobedience actions resulting in prison
sentences. But for those who can, entering the prisons offers an opportunity to
better understand how the once lauded war on poverty has become a war against
Those of us who ‘do time’ for crossing lines at Fort Benning and at Project ELF will
be away from our desks, but we won’t be away from our work.
Kathy Kelly is a co-ordinator of Voices in the Wilderness – ph. 773-784-8065
For the complete article, and much more, visit http://vitw.us
Race, class and crime no bar: In
fetters, they toil
Online edition of India’s National Newspaper, The Hindu
In the U.S., a number of states have passed laws that allow commercial
organisations to use convict labour. Prisoners get much less than the minimum
wage. Retrenchments are not a problem, there is no sick leave, vacation or
overtime, and unions are non-existent. The result, says noted journalist P.
SAINATH, is that American corporations are on to a good thing.
THE young executive was gushing. “You know, when I phoned my credit card people
while in the United States, I was speaking to a girl in Gurgaon. They’d trained her
so well, she had an American accent and was able to tell me what the next day’s
weather in my part of California would be. Why can’t we learn from them?”
The Indian press, too, had run many pieces on this much earlier. Since year 2000,
the much heard of, but seldom seen, “girl from Gurgaon” has attained special
status. She is a metaphor for the wonders of globalisation and corporate
Never mind the need to train the girl in an American accent. The executive had
made other calls to his bank’s enquiries section and or “credit card people”. I
asked if he had located who and where they were. He had not.
A pity. Some of those he had spoken to were in places that make Gurgaon look a
healthy hill resort in contrast. Possibly, they were convicts in prison. Probably
working at much less than the minimum wage. And, quite likely, Black or Hispanic.
Welcome to the new slavery.
Privatised prisons in the United States run by for-profit corporations. And
Federal or State-run prisons that allow — often invite — private enterprises to use
that labour. Quality control made easy. Unions non-existent. And workers don’t get
more disciplined than this. Even if the prisons are not private, the State can hold
down prison labour for private gain and its own benefit.
“These days,” says Business Week (online) “prison labour is as close as your cell
phone. Jail-based customer service centres have fielded 800-line requests for
airline reservations. According to news reports, prisoners have also wrapped
software for Microsoft, produced electronic menu boards for McDonald’s, and
stitched clingy lingerie for a manufacturer.”
In the past 20 years, more than 30 States have passed laws that allow commercial
outfits to use convict labour. Such programmes now exist in 36 of the 50 American
American prisons…New age “slavery” or
a good business idea?
The corporations that use prison labour at far less than minimum wage include
Fortune 500 giants and other famous “brands”. Starbucks and Nintendo Game Boy
systems are just two of the big names that have done so. Some of these companies
do pay minimum wages — many don’t. But they pay it to a private corporation that
hires or rents out the prison labour. A form of outsourcing that conceals their use
of such labour.
But the private corporation chews half off the top of a prisoner’s pay check. Or
the department of corrections may do that if it is a State-run prison. Which raises
the obvious question: why do companies willing to pay the minimum wage not do so
to workers outside the prisons, looking for a job?
The answers are fairly simple. Some of the work they’re getting done in prisons
could cost more than double the minimum wage hourly, outside. And outside, you
can’t coerce people into doing it for that much less.
The editors of Prison Legal News, a remarkable journal run by prisoners, point to
other gains, too. There are no problems of retrenchments and layoffs. Business in
a slump? Just send the “workers” back to their cells whenever it suits you. There
are no health, insurance or retirement benefits to be paid out, either. Nor is there
any vacation time, sick leave or overtime. It allows you to massively undercut any
rivals who have qualms about human rights and the treatment of prisoners. And it
helps push down wages across the industry.
There is now a large, and growing, pool of prison labour to draw from. The United
States has around two million people behind bars. Of these, 63 per cent are Black
and Hispanic, although these two communities together form only 25 per cent of
the population. With only five per cent of the world’s population, the U.S. has
nearly 25 per cent of the world’s eight million prisoners.
“It’s the new slavery,” says Randall Robinson. “It’s destroying the younger
generation of Black people,” he told us at Trinity College in Connecticut earlier this
year. This leading African-American thinker points to “the built-in bias and
discrimination of the system. It ensures this huge pool of labour. In our
democracy, we have private prisons. When as private corporations you own
prisons,the only way you can get your stocks to go up is to get more
“Blacks are just 12 per cent drug users,” points out Robinson, “but account for 35
per cent of those arrested for drug use; for 55 per cent of those convicted for
use; and 75 per cent of those incarcerated for use.”
In the State of Washington, where Starbucks and others milk this situation,
Blacks account for less than four per cent of the population. Yet, they make up
almost 40 per cent of the State’s prison population. In West Virginia, there are 17
Black prisoners for every White one.
A Human Right Watch backgrounder early this year brought it out in other ways.
It observed that “in 12 States, Black men are incarcerated at rates between 12
and 16 times greater than those of White men. In 15 States, Black women are
incarcerated at rates between 10 and 35 times greater than those of White
One out of every 14 African American men is now in jail. And one out of every four
is likely to be in prison at some point in his lifetime. The fastest growing section of
prisoners, though, is Black women, of whom 70 per cent are non-violent offenders
and 75 per cent have children.
Tying prisons to commerce will affect all prisoners. Black, though, will do much
worse than others. That goes back a long way in history. For decades into the 20th
Century, the State of Alabama, for instance, ensured a steady supply of servile
Black labour to “U.S. Steel”. Its laws were shaped for this purpose. A system
that even the Wall Street Journal describes as one “rooted in racism and economic
expedience”, Alabama, says the Journal, “was providing convicts to businesses
hungry for hands… ” That is, mainly unpaid hands.
“For many years,” writes the Journal, ” ‘convict leasing’ was one of Alabama’s
largest sources of funding.”
And for some States and corporations, it could well be so again. The Federal Prison
Industries (FPI) has yearly sales of$600 million and it is rising. Profits in 1999
were over $37 million. And that’s a government programme. What of private
prisons? Or private use of labour in State prisons?
Stan Saunders of the Columbia Theological Seminary writes that“prisons for
profit now generate$30-40 billionof revenue annually. The corrections
segment of our economy today employs over half a million full time workers.”
That’s “more than any `Fortune 500′ company except General Motors.”
Saunders rightly includes prisoners, guards and others in the “corrections
industry”. If we take just prisoners put “to work”, some counts are as low as
100,000. If that is true, it would only show that business is booming. If putting
five per cent of the prison population “to work,” can rake in such revenues, then
the money yet to be made is mind-boggling. Hardly surprising then, that the
number of prisoners made to labour for profit goes up each year. Prison workers
“employed” by the FPI alone went up 14 per cent two years from 1998.
And in some towns across the U.S., the prison is now the mainstay of the local
economy. Crime rates have dropped in the U.S.. Violent crime is down by one-fifth
in the last three decades. But incarceration rates, Saunders points out, have
quadrupled. Creating a state of siege mindset in the public has helped. Both, media
and lawmakers have done that.
People have often been led to act against their own interests. Like in Oregon in
1994. Over 70 per cent of voters there, including union members, voted for a
constitutional amendment forcing all prisoners to work 40 hours a week.
The result? As Alan Whyte and Jamie Baker write in analysis for the World
Socialist Web Site: “thousands of public sector jobs have been lost to convict
labour. And thousands of private sector jobs have been lost as a result of
firms that now utilise prison labour.”
But as they point out, corporations have gained: “Prisoners now manufacture
everything from blue jeans to auto parts, to electronics and furniture.
“Honda has paid inmates $2 an hour for doing the same work an auto worker would
get paid $20 to $30 an hour to do.
“Konica has used prisoners to repair copiers for less than 50 cents an hour.
“Toys R Us used prisoners to restock shelves and Microsoft to pack and ship
“Clothing made in Californiaand Oregon prisons competes so successfully with
apparel made in Latin America and Asia that it is exported to other countries.”
Quite a few public dollars also go to prison farms. These may be
government-run, but the labour in these prisons can be hired out to corporations.
The giant $178 billionU.S. farm bill (see The Hindu, May 5, 2002)gave
subsidies to these and university-owned farms.
“We need to merge the prison and university system,” jokes Prof. Eileen Mahoney
of San Francisco State University. “It seems the only way we’ll ever get money for
education. At least, in this social and political climate.”
Some private prison groups have had top state level political leaders on their
Take Wackenhut Corp. for instance. In New Mexico, as investigations by
journalist Greg Palast show,it hired the state legislature’s Democratic Party
leader as a paid lobbyist. It also gave out contracts to one of his companies.
Are these private prisons “efficient”?
For their top bosses and their political friends, yes. For the State and its people,
it has cost a bomb. Wackenhut hired untrained guards on the cheap.
Another cost-saving trick: It used fewer guards to control dangerous prisons. A
riot in April 1999, points out Palast, “required 100 state police to smother 200
prisoners with tear gas… The putative savings of privatisation went up in smoke
The damage from riots, prisoner and even guard revolt costmillions of public
dollars. That, in a single year.
The social costs, though, are beyond measure. The implications for poor minorities
and non-convict labour are appalling. Corporate profit resting on a largely racial
basis and a servile workforce is legitimate.
Goodbye Gurgaon. Welcome back, Alabama.
P. Sainath is one of the two recipients of the A.H. Boerma Award, 2001, granted
for his contributions in changing the nature of the development debate on food,
hunger and rural development in the Indian media.
From: “Linda C. Miller” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Tainted prison plasma
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 02:16:16 -0800
I found your site by searching on “tainted prison plasma”, and am always glad to
find others who are making this issue known to the world. However, I don’t know
where you got the information that prisoners caught in homosexual acts were not
permitted to donate thereafter. In fact, known jailhouse prostitutes, also known
to be infected with HIV and AIDS were permitted to donate regularly. One male
AIDS-infected prisoner prostitute, known as “Charlotte” donated right until the
end of “her” life.
You might be interested in my web site on this topic – my brother was one of the
hepatitis-infected prisoners who was the source the the tainted plasma. Most of
my information was provided by prisoners who worked and/or participated in the
program. In addition to the web site, I am working with a documentary film maker
who is in the process of selling his film about the AR end of this atrocity.
My web site is at http://www.geocities.com/bloodcows/
Thanks for your interesting and informative site.
LINDA TANT MILLER
Rule the World
By David C. Korten
Corporations profit not only from committing and facilitating crime, they also
profit from punishing street criminals. Prison operators such asCorrections
Corporation of America, Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, and Sodexho SA
aggressively promote prison privatization globally.
J.C. Penney, Victoria’s Secret, IBM, Toys ‘R’ Us, and TWA are among the U.S.
corporations that have augmented their profits by employing prisoners who
reportedly earn as little as 11 cents an hour with no benefits – a rate competitive
with the worst of China’s sweatshops.
Under a new law that took effect in July 2000, Kentucky prisons began billing
prisoners up to $50 a day for room and board. Other states were expected to
Combine long mandatory sentences for minor drug offenses, a strong racial bias,
prisons run by corporations for profit, the sale of convict labor to corporations at
sweatshop rates, and a charge for prison room and board and you have a modern
system of bonded labor, a social condition otherwise known asslavery….
While arrests and convictions are steadily on the rise, profits are to be made
– profits from crime. Get in on the ground floor of this booming industry now!
– From a brochure for a conference on prison privatization held December 1996
in Dallas, Texas
~ ~ ~
The privatization of the prison industry, creating an entirely new American
industry dependent upon filling prison cells to make a profit, has been accompanied
by the equally disturbing trend towards the use of prison labor forces by private
On the bright side, these parallel trends should stop some of the siphoning off of
jobs out of the country and into third world slave-labor markets, while still
allowing American corporations to post record-breaking profits. Of course,
sustaining those profits will require a steady flow of new prisoners, creating a
self-sustaining system that, once built, will become a permanent part of the
~ ~ ~
WE’RE TRYING TO MAKE A PROFIT HERE
“Many experts believe that the involvement of private companies increases the
likelihood of inmates being abused and subjected to poor conditions. They suggest
that private companies have a stronger interest in cutting costs, which can lead to
less investment in staffing, training, health care, educational or rehabilitation
programs, and even food. Such fears are borne out by serious complaints about
conditions in privately run facilities in a number of states.”
– Amnesty International “United States of America–Rights for All,” October 1998
~ ~ ~
“In August 1997 a videotape, apparently compiled for training purposes, showed
guards in a privately run section of Brazoria County Detention Center, Texas,
kicking and beating inmates, coaxing dogs to bite prisoners and using stun guns.”
– Amnesty International “United States of America–Rights for All,” October 1998
~ ~ ~
IT’S A GOOD THING WE HAVE PLENTY OF CRIMINALS
“To be profitable, private prison firms must ensure that prisons are not only built
but also filled. Industry experts say a 90 to 95 percent capacity rate is needed to
guarantee the hefty rates of return needed to lure investors.”
– CounterPunch “America’s Private Gulag,” January 1997
~ ~ ~
“The private prison business is most entrenched at the state level but is expanding
into the federal prison system as well. Last year Attorney General Janet Reno
announced that five of seven new prisons being built will be run by the private
– CounterPunch “America’s Private Gulag,” January 1997
~ ~ ~
“ In addition to the companies that directly manage America’s prisons, many other
firms are getting a piece of the private prison action. American Express has
invested millions of dollars in private prison construction in Oklahoma and General
Electric has helped finance construction in Tennessee. Goldman Sachs & Co.,
Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, among other Wall Street firms, have made huge sums
by underwriting prison construction with the sale of tax-exempt bonds, this now a
thriving $2.3 billion industry.”
– CounterPunch “America’s Private Gulag,” January 1997
~ ~ ~
“The prison-industrial complex now includes some of the nation’s largest
architecture and construction firms, Wall Street investment banks that handle
prison bond issues and invest in private prisons, plumbing-supply companies, food-service companies, health-care companies, companies that sell everything from
bullet-resistant security cameras to padded cells available in a ‘vast color
– Atlantic Monthly “The Prison-Industrial Complex,” December 1998
~ ~ ~
IT WORKED FOR L.G. FARBEN, FOR A WHILE AT LEAST
“Convicted kidnapper Dino Navarrete…earns 45 cents an hour making blue work
shirts in a medium-security prison near Monterey, California. After deductions, he
earns about $60 for an entire month of nine-hour days . . . Navarrete was
surprised to learn that…California, along with Oregon, was doing exactly what the
U.S. has been lambasting China for – exporting prison-made goods.”
– Covert Action Quarterly #54, Fall 1995
~ ~ ~
Some of the country’s largest and most profitable corporations have quietly begun
to use prison labor forces, at wages up to 80% below the national minimum wage.
Among those reportedly contracting to emply prisoners, either directly or through
their subsidiaries: AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Chevron, Costco, Dell
Computers, Eddie Bauer, IBM, Konica Business Machines, Microsoft,
Starbucks, Texas Instruments, TWA, and US West.
– Michael Moore Downsize This, Daniel Burton-Rose, et al. The Celling of America,
and Covert Action Quarterly #54, Fall 1995
~ ~ ~
“In a revealing comment, Oregon State Representative Kevin Mannix argues that
corporations should cut deals with prison systems just as Nike shoes does with the
Indonesian government. Nike subcontractors there pay workers $1.20 per day.
‘We propose that [Nike] take a look at their transportation costs and their labor
costs,’ says Mannix. ‘We could offer [competitive] prison inmate labor’ in Oregon.”
– Covert Action Quarterly #54, Fall 1995
~ ~ ~
IMPRISONING NOT JUST AMERICA, BUT THE WORLD
“U.S. companies have also been expanding abroad. The big three (Corrections
Corporation of America, Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, and Esmor) have
facilities in Australia, England and Puerto Rico, and are now looking at
opportunities in Europe, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and China.”
– CounterPunch “America’s Private Gulag,” January 1997
By Amanda George
The first private prison opened in Australia in 1990. In just three years, Australia
now has the highest percentage of prisoners in private prisons in the world. Private
security is one of the fastest growing industries in Australia.
There are two private prisons in Queensland, one opened at Junee in NSW this
year and a contract has been awarded for one at Alice Springs. Unlike other areas,
when prisons are privatised the government foots the total bill. The government
pays private corporations to build prisons and then run them. They also contract
out services such as prisoner transport, education and food.
The state’s avoidance of responsibility for running the criminal justice system is a
major concern arising from privatisation of prisons. That contracts for the
construction and operation of such prisons are not open for scrutiny, not subject
to Freedom of Information because of the issue of commercial confidentiality;
that private corporations cut costs by installing electronic equipment and cutting
services to prisoners; that there is evidence of corruption and interference in
government policy on law and order issues where private prisons exist — all these
are matters of concern.
On the question of whether they are cheaper for the state, Queensland economist
Dr Allan Brown states that more information and analysis is necessary before the
matter can be determined.
In research done in the US comparing the New Mexico private women’s prison
with its state-run counterparts, the prisoners found conditions better in state-run
prisons except on the issue of physical activity. This prison was recently visited by
Victorian corrections minister Pat McNamara as part of the Kennett government’s
strategy of replacing Fairlea women’s prison with a private prison.
The New Mexico prison is run by the Corrections Corporation of America. Their
Australian subsidiary, Corrections Corporation Australia, runs Borallan prison in
Queensland as a joint venture with Chubb Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of
CCA US was financed on capital from the Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation.
According to the vice-president of CCA US, “the business of private prisons is
just like selling cars, real estate or hamburgers”.
~ ~ ~
In the US, private prisons are now
executing people as part of their contract.
The newest private prison contractor in Australia is Australasian Correctional
Management, which runs Junee prison in NSW and the Arthur Gorrie prison in
ACM is a wholly owned subsidiary of another US private prison company called
Wackenhut. They run Junee prison in a joint venture with ADT Security
Australia, which is also a wholly owned subsidiary of ADT Ltd, a US electronics
Australian prison governors come from US prisons. The governor of Junee is an
avid supporter of capital punishment. Every inch of Junee prison is monitored by
cameras. In its first month of operation tear gas was used on the prisoners.
In the 12 months of Arthur Gorrie prison’s operation there have been four deaths.
David Biles, from the Australian Institute of Criminology, said after the third
death that this rate of deaths was “much higher than the national average”. There
have been riots and fires at the prison over conditions.
The last man who suicided there was in the process of suing ACM for negligence
over the rapes and bashings to which he had been subjected.
The private prisons’ passion for keeping things out of the public eye is illustrated
by the fact that after the Brisbane Courier Mail ran stories criticising the private
jail following the fourth death, the paper was contacted by the prison’s lawyers
threatening to sue them for damage to the prison’s “commercial reputation”.
One of the biggest hurdles prisoners and prison activists face is the silencing that
occurs around prison issues. The Victorian government has now made it virtually
impossible for the media to have access to prisons unless “to improve the public
image of the department”, according to the Corrective Services Director General’s
Rules. This sort of silencing occurs all the time around what goes on in prisons and
is compounded by the pressure that transnational corporations can bring to bear on
In the UK there is clear evidence that private prison corporations lobby
governments on law and order policies. And why not? The more prisoners there are,
the more business they get. In Junee a local council member has won a contract to
provide sporting equipment to the jail. Clearly this meshing of financial interest
and politics is absolutely improper.
Not only is there money to be made in private prisons, there is money to
be made out of prison labour.
In Victoria prisoner labour brings in $5.5 million per year. In Queensland
prisoners are working in the River of Gold Slate Mine. They get $5 a day, with a
productivity bonus of $2 a day. The contractors certainly have a river of gold with
those sorts of labour costs.
There is a long history of privatisation in prisons which seems to be coming full
circle. Private contractors were removed from corrections because of the high
rates of death and abuse. Women prisoners were moored in hulks off Williamstown
pier in 1850. In the last two years prison hulks have reappeared, moored in New
York harbour and in the river Thames.
None of this is to suggest that state-run prisons have reason to be proud. The last
year has seen increasingly punitive regimes operating in our prisons that can only
have terrible long term consequences. Legislation is about to be introduced in
Victoria allowing body cavity searches. These already occur in Queensland where
prisoners can forcibly have speculums stuck in the vagina and anus.
The sentencing the Victorian government, which created indeterminate sentences,
is more than any private prison could have wished for.
[Amanda George is a lawyer who is active around issues of police violence and
prisoners’ rights. This article is based on a speech she gave to a meeting on August
8 opposing the closure of Fairlea Women’s Prison in Victoria.]
– This article was posted on the Green Left Weekly Home Page.
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul:
Prison Labor in America as the Dubious
Answer to Corporate Flight
by Allison Sheedy
More than 80,000 prisoners are employed in some variety of inmate work program,
but the typical image of chain gangs at work along the edges of the highway is
changing. Inmates are just as likely to be engaged in apparel manufacturing, at
computer terminals, or in telemarketing consumer services.
All states employ some of their prisoners in labor situations, but the details of
these programs vary from state-to-state. Some prisoners work in government
industries or assemble products for the state; others manufacture goods that are
sold on the open market. Private sector manufacturers subcontract through inmate
work programs in 38 states, with companies such as Victoria’s Secret, CMT Blues,
and Target Corporation using prison labor to manufacture their retail products. In
at least three states, labor is mandatory for everyone in jail.
Although prisoners have always been used as a form of cheap labor in this
country, some recent trends are troublesome to both those concerned with human
rights, and those concerned with the labor movement….
As the United Statesrecently surpassedChina to have the largest percent of
its population behind bars, the moment is now for an analysis of the facts and
The increasingly close relationship between private corporations and public
correctional facilities has spawned the term “prison industrial complex.” Currently,
around 5% of the 1.8 million behind bars are contained in private prisons. While,
along with charter schools, this fits into a larger trend of privatization used as a
measure when public institutions get “out of control,” all such transformations are
merely examples of corporations making a national crisis into a profit-making
Investors such as Allstate, Merrill Lynch, General Electric and American
Express have purchased stock in private prisons. By no means a philanthropic
gesture, these investments are made with the intention of financial profit.
In areas where the economy has collapsed in the last few decades, private prisons
are viewed as a growth industry. For example, rural areas use new prisons as
sources of construction, administrative and security guard jobs for the community.
As a result, criminals from cities on the East Coast often end up incarcerated in
Indiana, which can be problematic for prisoners who wish to maintain relationships
with their families.
The purpose of the correctional system in America should be to reduce crime,
increase safety, and reform individuals. However, prisons can only make a
continuous profit if more people are incarcerated, even if crime rates drop.
Privatization, with its necessary drive towards profit, therefore transforms the
function of the correctional system in drastic ways, and begins to answer to its
investors rather than to the needs of society at large….
Prison labor is indeed most alarming in the states that require all of the inmates to
work more than forty hours a week: Texas, Oregon, and Missouri….
Labor leaders are unsurprisingly concerned about what the practices of prison
labor mean in the future for laborers who are not behind bars. Private companies
find prison labor attractive despite PIE regulations becausestate governments
offertax-breaksand other incentives to foster these relationships.
CMT Blues, a garment manufacturer that operates in California prisons, gets a 10
percent state tax break for operating behind bars, and does not have to pay
overtime, worker’s compensation, vacation or sick leave to its employees….
Since the wave of 1980’s drug sentencing laws increased the incarcerated
population by 80 percent, the accelerated velocity of prison growth has served to
focus public attention on the very function of prisons in capitalist society. This is
to say that the relationship between prisons and the political economy must be
called into question.
Not only should the profitability of operating private correctional facilities be
examined (the Prison Industrial Complex), but the larger picture of how the global
economy and the movement of labor to increasingly cheap markets makes prison
* * *
Read the complete article at:
Texas Prison Labor Union
Abuses In The Texas Prison System
* * *
YOU ARE WELCOME TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION GROUP ON
THIS TOPIC AT:
THE CATBIRD’S FORUM
~ o ~
DUNGAVEL : SCOTLAND’S FIRST DETENTION
CENTRE FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
The Case for Immediate Closure
By Christine Cooper and Phil Taylor, University of Strathclyde
and University of Stirling
On September 3rd 2001 the company which runs Scotland’s controversial private
prison in Kilmarnock commenced operation of Scotland’s first detention center for
asylum seekers at Dungavel, near Strathaven, South Lanarksire. Premier Custodial
Group (PCG) operates Kilmarnock prison through its subsidiary Premier Prison
Services (PPS), and the Dungavel detention center is being run by Premier
Detention Services (PDS).
All Premier companies are subsidiaries wholly owned by their American parent,
Wackenhut Corrections Corporation….
= = = = = =
Chairman, Wackenhut Corrections and Wackenhut Corporation : George R.
Vice-Chairman and CEO : George C. Zoley
President, COO, and Director : Wayne H. Calabrese
Shares Owned as of 22 March 2001:
George R. Wackenhut : 12,107,530
Zoley : 268,000
Calabrese : 103,334
(South Florida Business Journal, 13.7.01)
Wackenhut Corrections was founded in 1984 as a division of the Wackenhut
Corporation to build and run prisons. 55% of its total shares are owned by their
parent Wackenhut Corporation.
Wackenhut Corrections won its first two contracts inColorado and New York to
operate minimum/medium security facilities. In 1994 Wackenhut Corrections went
public selling its shares on NASDAQ. Wackenhut Corrections close relationship
with its parent corporation along with strong governmental connections has enabled
the company to become the second largest developer and manager of privatized
corrections and detention facilities in the US. Wackenhut Corrections shifted its
listing from NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange in 1996 to gain greater
access to capital.
Wackenhut Corrections Corporation is a world leader in the privatized ‘correctional
management, medical and mental health rehabilitation services industry.’ WCC
offers government agencies ‘a turnkey approach to the development of new
correctional and mental health institutions that includes design, construction,
financing and operations.
WCC has contracts/awards to manage 56 correctional, detention and mental health
facilities representing 39,000 beds in North America, Europe, Australia, South
Africa and New Zealand. WCC also provides prisoner transportation services,
electronic monitoring for home detainees and correctional health care facilities.
6. Wackenhut’s Record in Running Privatised Prisons and Detention
Centres in the United States and Australia
6.1 Privatised Prisons
After a decade as a leading operator of privatised prisons, Wackenhut Corrections’
reputation was severely damaged following a series of scandals in five states.
6.1.1 New Mexico
At least four inmates have died in Wackenhut prisons in Santa Rosa and Hobbs
since they opened in 1998. Three were stabbed to death and one beaten with a
laundry bag filled with stones.
The relatives of one of the murdered men, Richard Garcia, have now filed a
wrongful death lawsuit against Wackenhut. Garcia was in an isolation cell on 17
June 1999, when a guard opened the door to his cell in administrative segregation,
allegedly allowing two inmates to enter and stab him 50 times in the back, chest,
head, face and arms, officials said at the time of the murder.
According to the lawsuit, Wackenhut prison officials knew that the two men, Paul
Payne and John Price, who attacked Garcia were violent offenders with a history
of armed attacks on other prisoners. Paul Payne had been transferred out of a
Utah prison system for killing an inmate. Despite both men’s violent histories, they
were appointed as ‘trustees’ in the administrative segregation unit.
On 17 June 1999, Payne and Price, were distributing laundry and one of them yelled
out to a prison guard to unlock Garcia’s cell. When the guard opened the cell, both
men allegedly ran into Garcia’s cell and stabbed him with homemade knives. The
guard later admitted that she shouldn’t have opened Garcia’s cell door at the
direction of an inmate, but claimed she had been poorly trained and had to
‘short-cut a lot of things’, because of the severe staff shortage on the day of the
murder, the lawsuit claims. (Albuquerque Journal, 19.6.01)
However, what focused attention on Santa Rosa was the murder on 31.8.99 of a
guard, Ralph Garcia, following a riot in which an inmate also died. A 500-page
legislative report called for a near-total overhaul of Wackenhut operations.
Wackenhut was faulted for its building design, poor amenities and for inadequate
staffing, inexperienced supervisors, low pay (Garcia himself had been on $7.98 an
hour), high turnover, heavy overtime and a lack of knowledge about the gang
culture of the inmates.
Low pay, particularly, was highlighted by one of the report’s authors, consultant
‘Faced with the prospect of working in a prison or a Wal-Mart for $8.50 an hour,
many would judge the sales job better, despite the importance of the criminal
Internal company documents and witnesses revealed that a chief guard had warned
company executives that this penny-pinching and understaffing was ‘a death
sentence’ for guards sent alone to cell blocks. It is recorded that a company
executive responded just two weeks before Garcia was murdered, ‘Better to lose
one guard than two.’ (Gregory Palast, The Observer, 3.9.200)
Wackenhut is also being sued by nine American Indian inmates ofLea
County Correctional Facility, who contend that they are being denied
religious freedom, and are being discriminated against on the basis of race. The
nine inmates claim that after they formed a self-help group in 1998, Warden
Joseph Williams began to dismantle the programmes and activities they had set up.
They also claim their religious ceremonies were interrupted or stooped on several
occasions, and that some of their religious itms, including a ceremonial drum and
eagle feathers, were confiscated. Prison authorities failed to respond to their
complaints, ‘so that the abuses and racial harassment continued unabated’, the
lawsuit claimed (The Santa Fe New Mexican, 17.2.01)
Wackenhut’s prisons in Texas have long been plagued by profound problems. In
1998Travis County Community Justice Centre was found, in a state audit,
to have barely the minimum number of guards required by contract, largely
because pay rates were appallingly low – Wackenhut started its guards on $6.50 an
hour. A notice of default was filed and Wackenhut was fined$625,000.
However, it was the biggest prison sex scandal in state history (also at Travis
County) which gave the Wackenhut jail its notoriety. Twelve former guards were
indicted in December 1999 on charges of sexually assaulting or harassing 16 female
inmates at the Travis County Community Justice Centre in 1998 and 1999. Some
of the inmates’ accounts are quite horrific.
One former inmate, in an interview with the American-Statesman, said sex was
routinely traded for shampoo and underwear. She said she was doped up on
psychiatric medication late one night when a guard entered her cell and raped her.
Over the next three months, she said, guards hit her to keep her from reporting
the crime. Only after she appeared in court heavily bruised and emaciated did an
investigation begin. In the meantime, she tried to kill herself twice. (James
McNair, Miami Herald, 16.4.00)
‘Some of these were outright rapes. I’ve been practicing law for about 30 years
and I’ve never heard of anything like this in the state ‘ or county-run jails. This is
pretty much off the charts.’ (Ron Weddington, Austin lawyer representing rape
However, Travis County is not the only Wackenhut jail in Texas where allegations
of sexual harassment have been made against guards. Worst of all was the
treatment of inmates at Coke County Juvenile Justice Center.
Opened in 1994 with 200 beds, it was to be a place where disturbed girls as young
as 12 would benefit from a number of innovative programmes of education,
rehabilitation and care. According to a 1999 lawsuit filed by Dallas lawyer Penny
Raney, the girls were forced to live in sub-human conditions.
‘The girls were made to live in an environment in which offensive sexual contact,
deviant sexual intercourse and statutory rape were frequent, and which resulted
in a hostile, permissive sexual environment, and where residents were physically
injured to the point of being hospitalized with broken bones.’ (Lawsuit against
Wackenhut, Miami Herald, 16.4.00)
The state filed criminal charges of sexual misconduct against two guards, who both
pled guilty. Eventually further claims against Wackenhut were settled in mediation
for the sum of $1.5 million, awarded to the abused inmates (Corrections
A previous suit Raney filed against Wackenhut was settled out of court, although
tragically the former inmate she represented killed herself the day the
settlement was signed. These abuses of inmates by Wackenhut staff became the
subject of a the prime-time CBS News show, ‘60 Minutes II’ aired on 9 May 2000.
In Fort Lauderdale, five guards at a Wackenhut work-release facility were fired
or punished in summer 1999 for having sex with inmates. More recently further
controversy in Florida has surrounded Wackenhut’s operation of the South Bay
Correctional Facility in Palm Beach County. Inmates at the prison allege that the
state has failed to institute administrative rules for the facility, leaving
Wackenhut personnel free to administer ‘cruel and unusual punishment, without due
process of law’ (Broward Business Daily, 21.6.01). Ten separate petitions for writs
of habeas corpus were filed by inmates in Palm Beach Court on 30 May 2001.
The prisoners’ allegations centre on two incidents at the prison in January 2001.
In the first, the prisoners claim that Wackenhut guards, led by a shift captain,
assaulted a group of three prisoners who refused to be relocated within the prison
without a due process hearing. In the second, the prisoners allege that prison
officials subjected a wing of 40 inmates to a full day of solitary confinement in
retaliation for a fight between two prisoners which the inmates themselves
Public Defenders who are representing the inmates say that their goal is to
restrict what they call Wackenhut’s indiscriminate use of solitary confinement at
South Bay. Palm Beach County Public Defender, Ken Johnson, says that solitary
confinement is used ‘whenever, wherever and indefinitely.’
On 5 April 2000, Wackenhut agreed to surrender control of its 15-month-old
juvenile prison in Jena, after the U.S. Justice Department named Wackenhut in a
lawsuit seeking to protect imprisoned boys from harm at the hands of guards and
fellow inmates. The government accused Wackenhut of beating boys, throwing
tear gas indoors, spraying them in the face with pepper spray, and not providing
them with adequate education and counseling.
One incident highlighted the regime at the institution. In March 1999 Judge Mark
Doherty had ordered a 17-year old boy ‘ a shotgun victim – removed from the
prison. The boy wrote the following in testimony,
‘A Sgt. came to me and said to put shirt in pants, and I told him that I couldn’t and
he’put me to the ground and told me to lay face down on the ground. And I told
the Sgt. that I couldn’t that I have on a (colostomy) bag, and he went put me on
the ground. He came with his knee in my stomach’.
(The Pulse of America ‘ TIME.com
The nurse at the prison’s infirmary later noted that 5 to 6 inches of the body’s
intestines were in the colostomy bag.
One of the Justice Department’s consultants, Nancy K. Ray wrote that Jena’s
difficulties stemmed largely from operating problems. In Jena’s first 13 months,
more than 600 people ‘drifted through 180 positions’, including 125 who were fired
in 1999, a gross turnover rate of more than 300%. Ray also observed that
recreation and rehabilitative programmes were ‘grossly inadequate’.
Almost every boy she interviewed, many with psychiatric disabilities or IQs lower
than 70, complained about the lack of basic staples such as underwear, socks,
shoes, bedsheets, or a lock to protect what they owned. Shortages often led to
Reviewing infirmary logs from 28 November 1999 to 20 January 2000, Ray found
more than 100 incidents of ‘serious traumatic physical injuries’, including five
sexual assaults. During this period, eight children tried to kill or harm themselves.
Allegations of physical and sexual abuse against minors were also revealed in a TV
documentary (CBS, ‘60 Minutes II’, 9 May 2000). A former inmate who worked as
a clerk at the facility said in the broadcast that he watched security officers
having sex with youths and smoking marijuana with them.
When he worked as a clerk, the inmate stated, he was ordered to shred documents
containing complaints against the Jena staff.
Wackenhut had operated the Grimes Unit for men and the McPherson Unit for
women in Newport since January 1996 but in July 2001 the Arkansas state prison
board ‘decided it would be in the best interests of the state, based on the
director’s recommendations, to take control of the management responsibilities’
(The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1.7.01).
The decision to terminate Wackenhut’s involvement in private prisons came after
serious complaints by the authorities into the way that Wackenhut had been
operating the two Newport prisons.
Arkansas’ state Board of Correction and Community Punishment unleashed a
‘barrage of complaints’ regarding serious staffing shortages, unsanitary living
conditions, poor maintenance and a lack of eduacational and substance-abuse
programmes for inmates (The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 21.10.00).
Mary Parker, Chairman of the Board, stated after a visit to the McPherson Unit,
‘It was not pretty’ It’s the closest I’ve been in a long time to being appalled.’
Max Mobley, the State Department’s Deputy Director for Health and Correctional
Programmes, was equally horrified following a surprise visit to the Grimes’ Unit
when he found ‘Just inmates sitting on their beds talking’, with no evidence of
remedial and educational programmes.
Mobley had long-standing concerns regarding Wackenhut’s treatment of inmates,
when he discovered in 1998 that 70% of women at McPherson were taking some
kind of psychotropic medication, drugs designed for those with mental problems.
By comparion, when the state was housing women at McPherson’s predecessor, the
Tucker Unit, only 7-9% were on these types of medication at any one time.
6.2 Detention Centres
Wackenhut runs a 200-bed detention centre, on behalf of the US Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS), in Jamaica, Queens (New York) where asylum
seekers who arrive without ‘proper documentation’ are held. WCC has a 5-year,
$49m contract with the INS. Recently religious leaders from Queens toured the
Jamaica facility and raised concerns about the conditions in which the asylum
seekers were being detained.
‘The Jamaica detention centre is an unmarked structure of brown brick with video
cameras perched on each corner. Slots 2 inches wide ventilate the centre, which
has only a few windows atop one wall.’ Detainees live in open rooms of 20-30 beds,
with communal showers and partially enclosed toilets. Men and women are housed
in separate rooms. They eat food brought to them on trays, talk to their lawyers,
play Ping-Pong, watch TV, sleep and bathe in the same locked area. There are few
books in any language. Detainees get one hour of ‘outdoor recreation’ a day in a
small courtyard. Visits with family and friends happen in guarded rooms through
Plexiglass booths with telephones.’ (Newsday, New York [Queens Edition], 3.6.01)
Reports have emerged which have been highly critical of Wackenhut’s treatment
of asylum seekers and, in interviews, inmates past and present portray a world
filled with idleness and uncertainty. Philip Sesay a 54- year old refugee from
Sierra Leone watched as his traumatized cell mate stuffed six tablets of
pain-killers in his mouth, jumped from the adjoining bunk bed screaming ‘Let me
die’ and then saw security guards and a nurse drag the detainee away in handcuffs.
‘It’s like a hell here. Humiliating’said Sesay.
‘They talk to you like a dog, no respect, no consideration for you. Only difference
here than in my country there are no beatings [here].’ (Jean Pierre Kamwa from
the Cameroon, a former detainee now granted asylum, Daily News, New York
‘They tell me we send you to a place like hotel for approximately seven days. But
this is not a hotel, it is more like prison, but much worse. At least in prison you
have a sentence. In prison you can move around, go to library ’you can get fresh
air.’ (Oleskly Galushaka, from the Ukraine, who has been at Wackenhut for two
years fighting his deportation order, Daily News op cit)
Other reports tell of grown men scrawling words on the walls with their own feces,
and of people staging hunger strikes. They also tell stories of detainees trying
unsuccessfully to take their own lives by hanging with threadbare sheets or
swallowing liquid detergent.
One detainee, —- —-, who had fled from Albasra in southern Iraq, after his
father, two brothers and an uncle were captured, tortured and killed for their
Shiite beliefs and opposition to Saddam Hussein’s regime, described his
experiences in Jamaica.
‘I arrived expecting it would be a refugee camp where I would be free to come and
go while applying for asylum. Instead it was a prison. I couldn’t believe it. I
thought my eyes were seeing wrong. It was very sad, silent and hopeless.’ (Quoted
in Newsday, op cit)
All of Australia’s detention centres for asylum seekers are run byAustralasian
Correctional Management (ACM), a subsidiary of Wackenhut Corporation.
In a documentary screened on SBS in 2000, George Wackenhut welcomed
Australia’s policies favouring privatized prisons and detention centres, saying
‘[Australia is] really starting to punish people, as they should have done all
along’, adding, ‘This year we are going to make US$400 million’.
In February 2001 the Australian government ordered an inquiry into claims that
employees of ACM attempted to cover up the rape of a 12-year old boy at a
detention centre for immigrants. Two nurses from the Woomera Detention Centre
told the authorities that management deliberately suppressed evidence of an
attack on the 12-year old boy by his father and that other inmates had sex with
the boy in return for cigarettes. Also there had been abuse of other children
(Scotland on Sunday, 10 December 2000).
One ACM worker has described the company’s Woomera Immigration Detention
Centre, built on the site of a former missile testing range west of Sydney, as ‘like
a concentration camp’.
Complete with razor wire, barbed wire, steel fences and patrolling officers, the
comparison is easy to make. The detainees are treated as criminals and
dehumanized. They are assigned numbers corresponding to the prefix of the boat
they arrived on, such as ‘Don 27’ or ‘Rap 180’.
Conditions such as these drove inmates to stage, in August 1999, a desperate
protest at Woomera, waving signs saying ‘save us from ACM’
Other detainees are used as cheap labour by ACM. According to reports in the
Sydney Morning Herald, inmates work in kitchens and clean toilets, often working
for 12 hours a week in return for a $15 or $20 phone card.
7. A Brief History of a Controversial Company
Much of the information in this section comes from an article, which appeared in
SPY Magazine in September 1992, Inside the Shadow CIA, by John Connolly.
Founded in 1954 by George Wackenhut, a former FBI agent, Wackenhut
Corporation was originally called Special Agent Investigators Inc.
George Wackenhut had two personal attributes that were instrumental in the
company’s growth. First, he got along exceptionally well with important politicians,
including Florida governor, Claude Kirk, who hired him to combat organized crime
in the state.
He was friends with Senator George Smathers, an intimate of John F. Kennedy,
who provided Wackenhut with his first big break, when the senator’s law firm
helped the company find a loophole in the Pinkerton Law. This was a federal
statute that had made it a crime for an employee of a private detective agency to
do work for the government. Smather’s firm set up a wholly owned subsidiary of
Wackenhut that provided only guards, not detectives.
Shortly afterwards Wackenhut received multi-million dollar contracts from the
government to guard Cape Canaveral and the Nevada nuclear bomb test site, the
first of many extremely lucrative federal contracts that have sustained the
company to this day.
7.1 Abusing Human Rights ‘ Spying on ‘Dissidents’
The second thing that helped make George Wackenhut successful was that he was,
and remains, a hard-line, right-winger. He profited from his beliefs by building up
dossiers on Americans suspected of being Communists, or merely left-leaning
‘subversives and sympathisers’, as Wackenhut put it, and selling the information to
According to Frank Donner, author of the Age of Surveillance, the Wackenhut
Corporation updated its files after the McCartyism hysteria had ebbed, adding the
names of anti-war protesters and civil rights demonstrators to its lists of
By 1965 Wackenhut was boasting to potential investors that the company
maintained files on 2.5 million ‘suspected’ dissidents. In 1966, after acquiring the
private files of Karl Barslaag, a former staff member of the House Committee on
Un-American Activities, Wackenhut was claiming he maintained files on 4 million
In 1975, after Congress investigated companies that had private files, Wackenhut
gave its files to the now-defunct anti-Communist Church League of America of
Wheaton, Illinois, although Wackenhut reserved the right to use them for its
7.2 Wackenhut’s Special Relationship with the United States
The relationship between Wackenhut and the federal government has always been
close. According to Connolly, when it comes to security matters, Wackenhut in
many respects is the government.
In 1991, a third of Waceknhut’s revenues came from the federal government, and
another large chunk from companies that themselves work for the government. At
the time of the SPY article in 1992, Wackenhut was the largest single company
supplying security to U.S. embassies overseas. Several of the 13 embassies it
guarded have been in ‘important hotbeds of espionage’, such as Chile, Greece and El
It also guards nearly all the most strategic government facilities in the United
States, including the Alaskan oil pipeline, the Hanford nuclear-waste facility,
the Savannah River plutonium plant and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Wackenhut’s close relationship with the federal government also involves shared
While early boards of directors included such prominent extreme right figures as
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, General Mark Clark and Ralph E. Davis, a leader of
the white supremacist John Birch Society, recent board members have included
much of the USA’s former national security directorate; former FBI director
Clarence Kelley; former Defense Secretary and ex-CIA Deputy Director, Frank
Carlucci; former Defense Intelligence Agency Director, General Joseph Carroll;
former U.S. Secret Service Director, James J. Rowley; former Marine
Commandment, P.X. Kelley; former Chairman of President George Bush’s (senior)
Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board; former CIA Deputy Director, Admiral Bobby
Before his appointment as Reagan’s CIA Director, William Casey had been
Wackenhut’s outside legal counsel.
7.2 Wackenhut and the CIA
Thus, several CIA operatives have become Wackenhut executives upon retirement,
but some claim that the relationship between the Agency and Wackenhut has been
even closer. SPY magazine claimed to have spoken to numerous experts, including
current and former CIA agents, Drug Enforcement Agency agents and former
Wackenhut executives and employees, all of whom have said that: ‘‘in the mid
1970s, after the Senate Intelligence Committee’s revelations of the CIA’s covert
and sometimes illegal overseas operations, the agency and Wackenhut grew very,
very close’ (SPY Magazine, September 1992).
SPY Magazine’s sources confirmed that Wackenhut’s longstanding relationship with
the CIA deepened from the late 1970s into the 1980s. SPY cites the evidence of
Bruce Berckmans, who was assigned to the CIA station in Mexico City and left the
agency in January 1975 to become a Wackenhut international operations vice
Berckmans, who left Wackenhut in 1981, told SPY that he had seen a formal
proposal George Wackenhut submitted to the CIAto allow the agency to use
Wackenhut offices throughout the world as fronts for CIA activities.
Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, was said to have rebuffed Wackenhut’s
attempt in the 1980s to purchase a weapons propellant manufacturer in Quebec
with the comment, ‘We got rid of the CIA ‘ we don’t want them back.’
Phillip Agee, the former CIA agent who wrote an expose of the agency in 1975,
told SPY, ‘I don’t have the slightest doubt that the CIA and Wackenhut overlap’.
(Phillip Agee, quoted in SPY Magazine, September 1992)
Testimony also comes from William Corbett, a terrorism expert, who worked for
the CIA for 18 years:
‘For years Wackenhut has been involved with the CIA and other intelligence
organizations, including the Drugs Enforcement Administration. Wackenhut would
allow the CIA to occupy positions within the company [in order to carry out]
clandestine operations’ (William Corbett, Spy Magazine, 1992).
He also said that Wackenhut would supply intelligence agencies with information,
and that it was compensated for this ‘in a quid pro quo’ arrangementwith
government contracts worth billions of dollars over the years.
Retired FBI agent William Hinshaw also told SPY about Wackenhut’s ease in
snaring lucrative governmental contracts as being the government’s way of ‘paying
Wackenhut for their clandestine help. It is know throughout the industry that
if you want a dirty job done, call Wackenhut’.
SPY magazine uncovered considerable evidence that Wackenhut acted on behalf of
the CIA in fighting Communist influence in Central America, during the 1980s
when Reagan was President and the CIA Director was former Wackenhut
lawyer, William Casey.
7.3 Questionable Minority Contracting
In 1981 Berckmans joined with other senior Wackenhut executives to form the
company’s Special Projects Division. The SPD entered a joint venture with the
Cabazons, a small native American tribe, whose administrator was John Nicholas, a
former CIA agent.
Together they pursued a scheme to convert the Californian reservation into an
arms factory, manufacturing explosives, poison gas and biological weapons.
Then, by virtue of the tribe’s status as a sovereign nation, the aim was to
export the weapons to the contras.
(American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO, Center on Privatization, SPY
Magazine, September 1992)
7.3 Abusing Human Rights ‘ Surveillance of Environmental Activist
In the 1990s Wackenhut was hired by Alyeska, an oil consortium that controls the
oil flow from Alaska, to investigate environmental activist, Charles Hamel. Mr.
Hamel was a whistle blower who released damaging information about Aleyska’s
Wackenhut was the subject of Congressional hearings and fined $10,000 by the
state of Virginia for its role in the investigation.
7.4 Wackenhut Operating a ‘Cyber-Terrorism Team’ on the Web’
In a press release dated 25 April 1997, the American Computer Company (ACC)
accused Wackenhut of conducting a ‘pre-planned, well-organized harassment of
ACC by wire fraud, email fraud and telephonic threatening’.
After discovering digital signatures it couldn’t identify on its web server in bulletin
board messages and access records, ACC installed updated remote host detection
code in an effort to determine who or what was behind a concerted effort to
undermine its operations.
In particular hackers had interfered with ACC’s Publication Department’s On-Line
Investigation into the science of space travel, a light, satiric investigation of
scientific issues including discussion topics such as the alleged 1947 Roswell
(New Mexico) crash of a UFO, and theories about the tragic Kennedy, King
and Rabin assassinations.
Round the clock surveillance of its own equipment for three months finally paid off
when, after isolating the pattern of fraudulent access to its servers, a message
left by a member of the group of hackers revealed the original digital signature of
that user’s web host, and what is believed to be the origins of the entire group
hacking ACC’s equipment.
The message originated on the servers maintained by Wackenhut International
Corporation’s ‘Mail 1’ server, part of the Gateway used by Wackenhut to gain
access to the internet. Wackenhut’s equipment has extensive security, precluding
the possibility that the hackers had hacked into Wackenhut’s equipment to use it
as a shield.
ACC President Jack Schulman explained the reasons why the company requested
federal agencies to investigate Wackenhut’s activities:
‘We have asked the Justice Department and the National Security Agency to look
into the hacking and intrusion for the possibility that Wackenhut should have its
‘sensitive top secret’ security clearance revoked until we get to the bottom of this,
as security violations also included one breach into our passwords file by what
appears to be a security operative directed by Wackenhut, along with depictions of
our executives on the Internet with rifle sight cross hairs added to their images,
filing of false registrations with the Internic, and sending of threatening audio
transmissions to our voice mail.’
‘We commenced a lengthy criminal investigation of the harassment when the
individuals started posting the telephone numbers and names of family members of
ACC’s executives, encouraging others to harass what turned out to be 80 year old
senior citizens, spouses and children. At that point we decided to catch the
harassers and seek punitive damages.’ (Jack Schulman, American Computer
Company Press Release, 25.4.97, Cranford, New Jersey)
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