Hawai`i extends CCA VENDOR contract

Todayʻs post is a story from Civil Beat about the new contract the state signed with its VENDOR, Corrections Corporations of America (CCA).

This is infuriating since the departmentʻs own numbers show that 74% of people incarcerated by Hawai`i are classified as C felons (the lowest felony) and below. Saguaro is a medium security prison. Mixing classifications is against all correctional best practices. Three of our people have died brutally at Saguaro and there have been lots of contract violations that, when asked, the department says are resolved because CCA calls and tells them it is so!

The only changes in the contract are that CCA must be fully compliant with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (to which Hawai`i itself is non-compliant) and adding ladders for bunk beds. When CCA either understaffs the mandatory posts or fails to place qualified prisoners into the residential drug treatment program within 30 days, Hawai`i can claim liquidated damages. But how would we know these things are happening or not happening? There is apparently an on-site monitor at Saguaro that Hawai`i pays for, but when Kat asks the men who this person is, they have never seen her or heard of her. Seems she is monitoring her paycheck.

There should be mandatory reporting from a monitor on Hawai`iʻs payroll, however, Kat canʻt find any reports filed by any on-site monitor in Arizona ever. It is laughable that Hawai`i would ever penalize this VENDOR; CCA has never been penalized despite the numerous lawsuits that the taxpayers have been burdened with. Other jurisdictions have meted out penalties for contract violations, but as the 2010 Hawai`i audit revealed, the department has an all-too-cozy relationship with this VENDOR.

Hawaii Re-Ups With Arizona Prison For $45 Million Per Year
The Saguaro Correctional Center currently houses an average of 1,338 Hawaii inmates, but that will go up to as many as 1,926.
Rui Kaneya, Civil Beat, August 1, 2016

“Now it’s official: Hawaii will continue housing hundreds of inmates on the mainland — at an estimated cost of nearly $45 million a year.

“The Hawaii Department of Public Safety awarded a new, three-year contract last week to Nashville, Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America, the largest for-profit prison company in the country, to house up to 1,926 Hawaii prisoners in Arizona.”

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