On November 30, 2010 Correction's Corporation of America's own sad little blog posted an entry condemning the Associated Press for releasing footage of an inmate in a CCA facility being attacked to the point that he ended up in a coma while CCA's officers apparently sat on the sidelines and watched the attack without attempting to help the inmate. Even worse than that allegedly the staff members put the inmate in that specific housing unit to allow the inmates to attack him.
CCA some how thinks that they can take the high road on this incident and claim a variety of reasons why they can not talk about the incident. Yet they then proceed to somehow try to spin it into a PR win for CCA.
Well we here at the 270 View are going to call BULLSHIT on this one. In CCA's story they state the following:
"In regard to the incident, CCA management and staff at the Idaho Correctional Center cooperated fully with the Ada County Sheriff's office and Ada County Prosecuting Attorney's office to ensure that inmate James Haver was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It is CCA's understanding that Haver plead guilty to both aggravated battery and to committing battery with the intent to promote gang activity, and was sentenced to serve an additional 17 years in prison for his crime. It is also our understanding that CCA's security system video recording of the attack was key to the state's successful prosecution."
they go on to say:
"CCA is committed to safety and security for the community, our employees and the inmates in our care. Every day CCA's dedicated family of nearly 17,000 corrections professionals - including more than 350 in Idaho - face personal risk while fulfilling this commitment. As Mr. Haver's wanton attack illustrates, correctional and medical personnel must often respond to render aid in dangerous situations, not knowing the extent of the risk they may face when they do. Our hard working employees receive a high standard of training and supervision in order to comply with all state and federal standards with respect to the care, custody and control of the inmates and detainees housed in CCA facilities and to ensure reasonable efforts are made to protect the safety and security of the public, CCA employees and inmates housed in our facilities."
Whats ironic to this blog is that at the Stewart Detention Center under Warden Vance Laughlin leadership a correctional officer physically assaulted a detainee in the cafeteria and nothing really happened at all. This officer was caught on camera and filmed conducting the abusive attack on the detainee. It is this blogs understanding that the officer resigned or was fired but that he was not prosecuted for abusing the detainee. I guess sadly that CCA staff members physically abusing a detainee in an ICE facility does not warrant prosecution from Corrections Corporation of America in the same way that an inmate on inmate attack does.
One can only wonder why this attack was not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. What is known is that CCA and ICE officials viewed the footage of the attack. This blog wonders if Stewart County law enforcement officers were ever allowed to see the footage or received any reports on the attack it is not believed that they were given the chance to investigate the incident. This blog wonders if Vance Laughlin or CCA took these actions in order to attempt to conceal the violation of the detainees rights from the public or detention monitoring groups.
While CCA might have attempted to bury this incident by possibly not reporting it I am sure that one day the true details will come to light. Maybe one day a reporter or a detention monitoring group filing out a few freedom of information requests will turn up a disciplinary action on the employee or an incident report on the abusive attack on the detainee.
This blog again calls for an investigation into the activities that took place under Vance Laughlin's rather poor leadership of the Stewart Detention Center. This blog believes that the string of leadership failures he was responsible for along with the abuse of detainees and failure of CCA staff to comply with mandatory ICE detention standards clearly show that neither Vance Laughlin or Corrections Corporation of America are fit to run taxpayer paid for detention centers like the Stewart Detention Center. This blog continues to wonder how a company like CCA continued to employ Vance Laughlin as a Warden knowing about incidents like the one discussed here today.
All opinions and allegations expressed here are just that. Please cross check anything you read before forming your own decision.