Friday, December 17, 2010

Nine Vance Laughlins Breaking Labor Laws to use Illegal Immigrants to Build a CCA Facility

What is two three letter words for hypocrisy? CCA & ICE

On December 15, 2010 Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and Georgia Department of Corrections commissioner Brian Owens, as well as local leaders and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) corporate officials held a groundbreaking in Millen Georgia for CCA's newest prison the Jenkins Correctional Center.

Today the 270 View Internet blog ( would like to bring to the publics attention violations of several United States laws by Corrections Corporation of America at the Stewart Detention Center (SDC) while current CCA/Adams County Correctional Center Warden Vance Laughlin was SDC's Warden. During this time period Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials discovered that illegal immigrant labor was being used by Corrections Corporation of America to build the facilities intake and court house additions to the Stewart Detention Center. This was well after ICE and CCA had opened the facility and several hundred detainees were housed at it. Apparently ICE contracted with a company who used illegal immigrants to build a court house in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement held hearings to deport other illegal immigrants.

One can honestly say that CCA not only profits off of ICE paying it to house undocumented workers but also evidently saves money on constructing it's facilities by using undocumented workers to build them. The use of undocumented workers in construction is unfortunately a way in which companies like Corrections Corporation of America can exploit illegal immigrants hired into construction jobs in order to lower costs by not paying required coverages like workers compensation or insurance and also by paying individuals a wage often many times lower than the government mandated minimum wage. These workers also often do not have taxes taken out of there paychecks since they are being employed illegally. It is not known if this happened on this construction project. But if this were true in this case then CCA would be profiting off of detention contracts paid for by the United States tax payers while in return not paying taxes for work that undocumented workers performed building parts of the Stewart Detention Center.

The discovery that Corrections Corporation of America was using undocumented workers only came about after ICE staff checked the identification of construction workers who had been entering the facilities secure perimeter for months and discovered that the CCA contracted companies construction employee's were in the United States as illegally as the detainees that CCA was being paid by ICE to detain inside the Stewart Detention Center. Over the course of constructing the facility hundreds of ICE agents had walked by the undocumented workers. ICE felt the need to verify the legality of the construction work force only after Fort Benning (less than an hour North of SDC) had been raided by ICE and had several of it's construction workers rounded up in January of 2007 on immigration violations. Ironically it is are understanding that the illegal immigrant construction workers detained at Fort Benning were later held by ICE and CCA at the Stewart Detention Center.

Following the Fort Benning raid local ICE and CCA officials quickly came up with a system in which construction workers at the Stewart Detention Center had to show identification cards to enter the facility to work. The illegal immigrants who lacked the required identification were told to not come back to the job site. They were never charged or detained at the work site most likely because of the embarrassment it would cause both Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Corrections Corporation of America. However under exactly the same conditions ICE was happy to embarrass the United States Military for using undocumented workers on construction projects at Fort Benning. It is my understanding that both ICE guidelines and CCA policies require the showing of identification upon entering detention facilities. Yet for several months this procedure was not followed by Corrections Corporation of America at the Stewart Detention Center which allowed CCA to use undocumented workers in constructing it's facility.

Corrections Corporation of America regularly boasts of how it saves taxpayer money. This incident seems to show just one of the negative ways in which Corrections Corporation of America engages in saving money and increasing profits. CCA claims to hire local labor yet these undocumented workers in this case were brought in from another state. The use of undocumented workers in constructing CCA prisons could possibly be seen as taking the same local jobs that CCA claims to create when it talks a town like Millen, GA into the many benefits of cooperating with them in building a new prison or detention center.

Stewart Detention Center is the largest detention center for undocumented workers in the United States. It is a for profit facility that ICE contracts with Stewart County, GA and Corrections Corporation of America. It is located in Lumpkin, GA. Corrections Corporation of America is the nation’s largest provider of for profit corrections. Corrections Corporation of America is also the largest private company that ICE contracts with to house undocumented workers awaiting court hearings and/or deportment.

The 270 View Internet blog was started as a place for people who are concerned about Corrections Corporation of America to share their views. Since September of 2008 it has highlighted unfavorable conditions and illegal practices taking place at Corrections Corporation of America facilities like the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin,GA. Members of the media or public can contact The 270 View at