Friday, October 10, 2008

The Power of Demotion

"Here, everyone gets a fair shake" Quote from Vance Laughlin

This week the 270 View learned that Stewart Detention Center Warden Vance Laughlin is no longer the facilities Warden. It appears that Assistant Warden Michael Swinton is now the facilities acting warden. Michael Swinton is a by the book military man. He seemed very honest. Having met him several times I can honestly say that he is 10 times the man that Vance Laughlin was. Hopefully he will now be better able to assist employees in turning the facility around.

It is the 270 View's opinion that many of the facilities problems were directly due to Vance Laughlin's failure to adequately supervise and run the daily activities of the Stewart Detention Center. It is my personal belief that Vance Laughlin always seemed to lack both maturity and professionalism. He never seemed to keep all of his (hunting) ducks in a row. We see him leaving SDC as a sign that progress might finally be coming to SDC. We strongly encourage CCA to do a better job in selecting Vance Laughlin's replacement. Both the employees and detainees at SDC deserve much better treatment than they have received.

Keep in mind though that prior to being terminated or transferred from SDC Vance Laughlin was evidently judged qualified enough by CCA's corporate leadership to be involved in the companies internal Facility Management Selection Process to help pick wardens. In fact we hear Vance Laughlin was even part of the team that selected Michael Swinton as the facilities Assistant Warden. Talk about irony, it's gotta suck when you picked the guy who got your job, at least temporarily.

We have heard that Vance was terminated and that he was transferred to another state. Regardless of whether he was fired or transferred it seems that he left in a hurry. Odds are that if CCA was happy with his performance then they would of had him stick around to train his replacement. My guess is that the black cloud hanging over SDC finally caught up with him.

Less than two months ago Vance Laughlin had stated that before accepting a paycheck from CCA (prior to 2004)"I did not believe the staff or the practices of private prison operators could compare to the government run operation." It's very ironic that a man who consistently dragged a private correctional facility down to new lows would make that statement.

In the interest of fairness, we however would like to hear Vance Laughlin's version of events. The 270 View is willing to print Vance Laughlin's side of his apparent termination or transfer if he should contact us in the near future. We have also asked CCA for comment on Vance Laughlin's current situation. If CCA sends us back an official response we will pass it on to all of the loyal 270 View readers.

Thanks for all your emails and keep them coming. The encouragement from SDC employees and Stewart County residents is appreciated. Lots of new stories are being researched. The lights growing brighter.......