Sunday, April 09, 2017

Trump overturns decision to eliminate private prison contractors and pays his campaign donors (kelly Macias) · Tuesday, April 04, 2017, 12:52 pm

Is there anything that the Trump administration touches that isn’t completely criminal or absolutely corrupt? Seriously, this guy makes Richard Nixon look saintly. Over the last few months since he’s taken office, Trump has given us so many scandals we’ve got whiplash. And here’s one you haven’t likely even heard of—he quietly overturned the Obama administration’s decision to stop contracting with private prison operators and it looks like his campaign donor buddies are set to make out big from this decision.

“Corporations that manage private prisons — Civic Corp, GEO Group, and Management and Training Corporation — reportedly donated over $750,000 to super PACs that supported the President,” the senators wrote. “One private prison corporation donated $100,000 to pro-Trump PACS the day after former Attorney General Yates announced that the Bureau of Prisons would no longer renew their contracts with private prisons.”

On Monday, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to explain exactly why the Justice Department decided to reverse this decision, particularly because reports from the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that there were reports of serious problems and violence at for-profit facilities compared to those run by federal and state authorities.

Booker and Van Hollen pointed to the OIG report in their letter to Sessions:

[I]n 2016, the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General concluded, “in most key areas, contract prisons incurred more safety and security incidents per capita than comparable BOP institutions.” In another example, a 2012 Justice Department investigation found that in the City of Walnut Grove, Mississippi, a private prison that held youth offenders, did not provide “constitutionally adequate care” and that staff routinely engaged in “systematic, egregious, and dangerous practices.” In fact the investigation concluded that the Walnut Grove private prison was “among the worst […] in any facility anywhere in the nation.”

They also argued that the Trump administration’s decision “lends the appearance of rewarding campaign donors.”


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