Monday, December 20, 2010

Six Vance Laughlins Ordering ICE Not To Observe A Riot At The Stewart Detention Center

Yesterday we wrote about a very, very disturbing audit in which Vance Laughlin was found by the Department of Homeland Security/Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency to be running (In our opinion) such a sad and pathetic facility that ICE had to take the unusual step of declaring the audit a "practice" audit, thus concealing the sorry state of the Stewart Detention Center.

Today we will address the tension level of this facility and the way in which the immigration detainees (in my opinion) chose to show their dissatisfaction with Vance Laughlin's leadership, Corrections Corporation of America and the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency.

During the final exit meeting in which ICE staff members were revealing the pathetic audit findings the facility lost control over several housing units as the detainees caused a serious disturbance that appeared to of possibly been planned to correspond with the ICE audit. Corrections Corporation of America removed there guards from the effected housing units and the detainees caused minor facility damage and minor physical altercations as they attempted to get there dissatisfaction across.

What followed was a situation that would have been comical in a keystone cops sort of way if it was not for the physical well being of CCA employees and the detainees that was at stake.

Some of the ICE staff who were giving the final audit meeting then walked out of the meeting room and went down to the area of the riot to observe what was happening. What followed was a very surreal situation in which Vance Laughlin told the ICE auditors to exit the area where they were observing the riot. Unbelievably these ICE staff members then actually left the area! One can only wonder how CCA can maintain a contract with ICE after they give orders removing ICE employees from being able to observe a riot in a facility that they are paying to operate! In my opinion, it is pathetic that tax payer money is going to fund a facility in which ICE would accept that they do not have the right to observe any actions taking place in it!

Vance Laughlin then sat in his chair in his Wardens office in Administration and repeatedly ordered his Chief of Security over the radio to "breech" the area that inmates were in control of. Vance's Chief of Security continued to ask for permission to use force. Eventually CCA staff entered the affected housing units after Vance got his Chief to understand that he was ordering him to use force against the detainees if necessary. I believe chemical agents were also used.

After the facility was back under CCA's control, Vance Laughlin then asserted that what happened was because of the detainees dissatisfaction with ICE staff not meeting with them regularly as they should of been. It is this blogs opinion that this was not entirely true and that while that may of been one of the detainees issues, there were actually many more issues they had with both CCA and ICE. In this blogs opinion, it is very ironic that previously ICE would attempt to cover-up a bad audits findings by declaring it a "practice audit" (In effect helping Vance to save a then quickly fading career in corrections) but that Vance Laughlin would be so quick to throw ICE under the bus as the only reason for a riot.

Regardless of why the detainees were angry it continues to amaze me that a audit could be declared a "practice audit" and that ICE employees would willingly submit to CCA authority and leave an area of a facility that they are paying a private for-profit company to run when it is their detainees involved in the riot. It is this blogs belief that this issue was covered up and never investigated properly. Issues like this lead me to believe that a government inquiry should be conducted at the congressional level into possible contract violations that have taken place at private detention facilities like the Stewart Detention Center and whether ICE management of facilities like the Stewart Detention Center is appropriate.

Oddly this incident also does not appear to be listed by CCA here.

This blog again wonders how an individual can still be employed as a Warden with this kind of track record! It again calls on Corrections Corporation of America and the Bureau of Prisons to examine his operations and past record to determine if he really is qualified to lead any institution. Personally, This blog does not feel that Vance Laughlin is qualified to be the Assistant Manager over French Fries at a Burger Barn.

All opinions and allegations expressed here are just that. Please cross check anything you read before forming your own decision.