Saturday, April 10, 2010

Why Are Workers in Lumpkin Not Getting $25 an Hour?

We first wrote about this some time back. It is very interesting that CCA is paying over $25 an hour for an ICE facility in Las Vegas and so much less to people in Lumpkin. Most likely it's because of all the Vegas competition. But at the same time what does that say about the exploitation of the workers in Lumpkin and the profit being taken out of SDC? Are you really worth so much less? If I worked at Stewart I would probably get together with my fellow Correctional Officers and demand a raise. Maybe if CCA paid a living wage then it's facilities would have less abuse claims do to a higher caliber of employee that could be attracted by paying more. But I think we all know that it's probably not really about the worker or prisoner... nope it's most likely about the PROFIT. CCA's contract probably sets the pay rate at $25+ an hour. Which is a sign that all of these communities begging for a facility could really be doing a lot better also if they reexamined there contracts with CCA. I hope Lumpkin is listening. With all the poverty in Stewart County they could definitely hold CCA more accountable and to a higher standard than they are. After all it is Stewart County that ICE pays not CCA. Seems like CCA's bag man (Stewart County) could be doing much better. Maybe even $25+ an hour better for it's citizens that work at this hell hole.

CCA will hold job fair on 28th

Originally found here.

Corrections Corporation of America will begin accepting job applications on the Internet for the Nevada Southern Detention Center April 28, according to CCA Vice-President of Marketing Louise Grant.

A job fair will be held in Pahrump for prospective applicants interesting in working at the federal detention center from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., April 30 and May 1, at Great Basin College, 550 E. Calvada Blvd., Grant said.

Job seekers won't be able to submit hard copies of applications at the job fair, but they can use computers at Great Basin College and get assistance in filling out the online application, which is the only way CCA will accept applications.

The Web site for applications online is

Company representatives will be available at the two-day event to answer questions about the application process and outline criteria for getting a job. Job seekers will also be able to get information about CCA, the company benefits package and promotional opportunities, Grant said.

A career information day Jan. 20 attracted a packed house of 300 prospective applicants at each of two sessions held at the Pahrump Nugget.

Applicants will have 180 computers available to use at Great Basin College, Bill Verbeck, the director of the Pahrump Great Basin College campus, said.

He added, "Talking to CCA, we expect more people than we're going to be able to accommodate in two days."

Great Basin College and Career Connections announced a series of job readiness workshops to prepare local residents for the CCA career fair.

Sessions will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on three Fridays, -- April 9, 16 and 23.

There will also be one session from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays, April 10, 17 and 24.

The workshops will help applicants create their resume, apply for jobs at the facility online, give tips to job seekers for the interview and advice on how to dress, as well as managing their money. A vigorous credit check is conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service; applicants must have a good credit history.

The workshops will be held at the Great Basin College-Career Connections Center, 1541 E. Basin Ave. The phone number to call is 537-2323.

"We want our folks in the valley as qualified as they can be. These online applications are tricky," Verbeck said.

People who want to sign up for the workshops must be registered with Career Connections, he said.

CCA expects to employ 231 people at the detention center. About 150 of those employees will be correctional officers, who will be paid a federal prevailing wage of over $25 per hour.

CCA will have a booth at the annual Biz Expo sponsored by the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce from noon to 7 p.m., Friday, April 23, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 24, at the Pahrump Nugget Events Center.

CCA said its participation is part of the national company's Diversity Business Inclusion Program, through which CCA will subcontract with local businesses classified as "diverse," such as those owned by minorities, women and veterans for the Nevada Southern Detention Center, Grant said.

The expo is a chance for thousands of Pahrump attendees to learn about the company and is also a networking venue for new and existing businesses, she said.

"CCA recognizes the importance of including diverse businesses in our procurement practices," said Dawn Williams, CCA manager of Diversity Business Development out of CCA's Nashville, Tenn., headquarters. "By creating sound business relationships, we strengthen economic development and enhance viability for diverse businesses in Pahrump Valley. Our commitment encourages job creation and strengthens purchasing power of those within the community."

The $80 million detention center is scheduled to be completed in July. As of early March, Grant said roofing work was 95 percent complete; interior work like drywall, ceiling grid installation and painting were well under way; perimeter fencing was more than half completed; and the general contractor was receiving bunks and tables.

CCA expects to begin receiving the first prisoners in October. The facility will have a capacity of holding 1,072 inmates awaiting trial in federal court or deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

CCA: Yes, We Do Let Inmates Order Pizza (Delivery Not DiGiornos)

A new low even for CCA. Apparantly CCA lets the prisoners at the county jail it runs in Hernando county have pizzas delivered. Crime might not pay (unless your CCA) but you sure can eat good if your locked up by them.

Originally found here.

BROOKSVILLE — As operators of the Hernando County Jail talked on Wednesday to visitors about how sincerely they work to help those behind bars, the proof sat just one room over.

There, a handful of male inmates took part in a discussion with their Alcoholics Anonymous group, one of dozens of programs from anger management to GED preparation to faith-based programs offered at the jail.

Officials from jail operator Corrections Corporation of America who were leading the tour, and the public relations push for the visiting media and county officials, accentuated the positives.

Facing the possible end to its 22-year contract to run the jail, CCA pulled out all the stops on Wednesday to make sure county leaders had their side of the story before deciding the jail's future.

Ever since Hernando Sheriff Richard Nugent announced weeks ago that he was interested in taking over the jail, saying he could run it cheaper and better, jail Warden Russell Washburn has gotten plenty of questions about the operation.

For example, some have questioned the jail's "pizza program'' in which inmates can have pizzas delivered to the jail. Washburn explained the inmates pay extra for the pizza, with a portion of the money helping local charities.

Addressing other so-called "myths'' about his company's operation, Washburn said he and others at CCA were "a little shocked'' when they heard of Nugent's interest in the jail, since he has always been adamantly opposed to taking on the responsibility.

"I absolutely believe today that CCA continues to be the best option for Hernando County and Hernando County taxpayers,'' Washburn said. Pointing to the company's 25-plus years of running prisons and jails, he said, "Experience is worth its weight in gold.''

County, CCA and sheriff's officials are expected to meet today to talk about jail operations. The commission is set to take up the issue again on April 13.

Washburn acknowledged that there have been high and low points along the way but that this would be true of any jail or prison. "At the end of the day, it's about how we make things better,'' he said.

The warden touted the hard work of the facility's staff but also the 154 volunteers at the jail. He spoke about 72 programs offered to inmates and the 2,000 hours volunteers have given.

Nugent has repeatedly said that he would not keep inmates longer than they needed to be in jail, unlike CCA which he said may delay releases until after they have been behind bars at least six hours. That means the company collects a full day's compensation.

Washburn said last year, CCA processed 1,390 inmates in less than six hours and 667 juveniles who cannot be kept for more than six hours, saving Hernando County $73,670.

Sometimes, he said, there might be a delay because jail personnel must be sure that the person they are about to release can be released. By contract with the county, if the jail improperly releases inmates, they can be assessed tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

"We have to make sure that all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed,'' he said.

Washburn also emphasized that, despite community sentiment that the facility has incarcerated more people to make more money, "we have absolutely no arrest authority'' and "no control'' of how many inmates are arrested and sentenced to the facility.

He also stressed to the group that the facility is staffed largely with 116 sworn officers, those who must complete rigorous training in order to be a correctional officer.

Washburn, others on his staff and from CCA's corporate office in Nashville, detailed the jail's suicide prevention program, the accreditation process for a proficient jail operation and its use of a data system collecting and analyzing incident reports to reduce jail incidents ranging from bringing in contraband to assaults.

In a packet of information given to visitors, Washburn also detailed the many community organizations his company contributes to, the volume purchasing CCA uses to save money as it operates more than 600 correctional facilities, and how it absorbs capital equipment purchases, building maintenance and utility costs.

"I'm convinced that CCA remains the best choice as manager of the Hernando County Jail, operating safely for the community, inmates and saving hardworking taxpayers' dollars,'' he said.

Visitors on the tour learned about booking procedures and fingerprinting, visited the pods where inmates are housed, and toured laundry, food preparation and the medical area of the facility where two special cells are designed for inmates who may be suicidal.

On Wednesday, there were 529 inmates in the facility, well below the capacity of 876. Some were working mopping in the hallways. Others were helping with the laundry. In the kitchen, a company that provides food services for all CCA facilities was washing up after lunch.

In the dry storage were huge bags of sugar cookie mix and rice, parsley flakes by the box and stacks of all kinds of spices. The food, officials said, is largely made by scratch and sent to the inmates' pods to eat, since the facility has no cafeteria.

Assistant Warden Orlando Rodriguez told visitors about how he frequently drops by the pods because it is impossible to know what was going on in the jail without doing that.

Meanwhile, inmates milled around, some watching the visitors. Two inmates at the picnic-style tables focused on the chess game in front of them.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.