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Connecticut Department of Corrections
February 8, 2005 AP
State prison officials have dropped a plan to have a private company run a drug treatment and vocational training facility for female inmates. The New Jersey-based Education and Health Centers of America initially won the roughly $2.2 million contract in 2003 to run the program at the women's prison in the Niantic section of East Lyme. But Attorney General Richard Blumenthal forced correction officials to withdraw the contract after concerns were raised. It was learned that the company had hired a lobbyist close to former Gov. John G. Rowland, contributed to Rowland's campaign and gave a free trip to state officials. about the company's lobbying efforts.
The state's decision may have no effect on a plan to build one or more community justice centers for male offenders that would be operated by a private company.

February 28, 2004
A private prison company from Tennessee has told the Department of Correction it plans to bid on housing up to 2,500 prisoners in its facilities.  Connecticut must find a place to put 500 prisoners by October, after Virginia officials canceled a contract to house the state's inmates this week.  Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America has submitted a letter of intent to Connecticut, said company spokesman Steve Owen. He would not reveal any proposed details.  "We certainly are interested and will be submitting a proposal," Owen said.  The state Department of Correction confirmed it received letters of intent but would not say which providers had expressed interest. Private providers and states have until May 3 to submit proposals.  Corrections Corporation of America is the nation's largest private prison operator, holding 55,000 inmates in 64 facilities in 20 states. Company officials said last year their Youngstown, Ohio, facility would be ideal for Connecticut inmates, but Owen said Friday they could be placed in any of the company's 6,800 available beds.  The company also has hired a former a former chief of staff to Gov. John G. Rowland, David O'Leary, to lobby for the company in Connecticut. Rowland is currently enmeshed in a federal investigation into possible bid-rigging in the administration, and a House committee is considering whether to recommend impeachment.  "We are not concerned," Owen said. "He is being retained because of his ability to be kept up to speed with the decision making, like all of our lobbyists around the states. That is why we retain the individual."  Connecticut had been looking for a private or other state provider since the legislature last year authorized out-of-state placements for 2,500 prisoners.  Virginia has said it will not accept Connecticut prisoners past Oct. 22, but it will be flexible in allowing Connecticut to get its inmates out of the state.  Marc Ryan, Rowland's budget chief, said the state would not discuss anything with providers until after the closing date for the proposals. He also said the state was not leaning toward any particular provider, and was considering entering into multiple contracts.  A preliminary survey of the private prison industry showed Connecticut could get rates as low as $10 per prisoner per day, Ryan said. In Connecticut, it costs roughly $80 a day to house prisoners, he said.  The Virginia contract's demise is giving some lawmakers that prison crowding reforms will move through the legislature.  The proposals include building up community based programs and releasing prisoners more quickly when they become eligible for parole. They would also fund the state's jail re-interview program, which assesses whether inmates awaiting sentencing can be released into the community.  "We need a long-term solution to this problem, and it's got to be a Connecticut solution. Not one that's going to be canceled with six months' notice," said Rep. Mike Lawlor, D-East Haven, chair of the legislature's Judiciary Committee.  The proposed reforms do not eliminate the state's ability to send inmates to other states. But backers argue that the reforms will reduce the population enough so that it won't even be a discussion.  "I don't think it's a problem at all creating that room in our system, so we can accept people coming back," said Rep. William Dyson, D-New Haven.  Barbara Fair, an activist with People Against Injustice and the mother of an inmate who was sent to Virginia, said she doubted there would be any substantial change.  "As long as they're trying to fill up cells somewhere else, that's what they're going to do," she said.  (AP)

February 23, 2004
The next batch of inmates that Connecticut prison officials send out of state is likely to end up in a private prison in Ohio.  Correction Commissioner Theresa Lantz told legislators this week that her department has issued a request for proposals seeking a provider with enough beds to hold all the inmates -which could number more than 2,000. But she said Corrections Corp. of America, which operates the Ohio facility, might be the only provider able to accommodate that many.  Lantz assured lawmakers that like Connecticut, many other states are turning to private prisons to address their overcrowding issues.  "Thirty-one states contract with private prisons, so it is not a unique phenomenon," said Lantz. "And I'm not saying that because I am trying to sell you on private prisons."  She told members of the legislature's judiciary and appropriations committees during a joint hearing that she needs to find housing for inmates because the state's contract to house inmates in Virginia expires in 2005. She said the state's prison system does not have the capacity to absorb the 500 inmates currently housed there, even though the state's inmate population has significantly dropped since last year.  As of January 2004, the state's inmate population was 18,523, including 554 inmates being held for the federal authorities. Last year, the figure stood at 19,216, including 368 federal detainees.  John Ferguson, Corrections Corp. of America's chief executive, was quoted in the Tennessean newspaper in October claiming that his company's dormant facility in Youngstown, Ohio, which has 2,016 empty beds, would be an ideal site for Connecticut inmates. The company has roughly 6,800 empty beds in its 64 prisons around the country.  His comments were in response to the legislature's approval last year of the governor's plan to send 2,000 more inmates out of state.  Ferguson's firm is being represented in Connecticut by Gov. John Rowland's former chief of staff David O'Leary. The company has been paying O'Leary $4,500 a month plus expenses since January of last year. Corrections Corp. is the only prison provider with a lobbyist in the state.  Officials with the company said they were looking to break into the Connecticut market and approached O'Leary after learning that he was one of the most effective lobbyists in the state, said Steve Owen, the company's director of marketing and communications.  "It is common for [the company] to retain lobbyists in both states where we currently do business and states where we may be able to do business," said Owen. "This allows us to monitor ongoing public policy discussions in corrections. Additionally, lobbyists provide an avenue by which the company can inform and educate decision-makers on the merits of our industry generally and our company specifically."  Officials with the union that represents the state's correction officers said signs that the state is leaning toward a private provider concern them. They say the decision will eventually cost the state more than it saves.  They say instead of sending inmates out of state, the legislature should be pursuing measures that reduce the state's prison population.  "Council 4 and the corrections employees we represent have consistently and publicly supported viable alternatives to the management of the inmate population, such as diversion for first-time drug offenders and the mentally ill," said Thomas Sellas, a member of the union's executive board.  "We have also strongly advocated making better use of existing Department of Correction resources. It makes no sense to send prisoners out of state when there are open beds right here in Connecticut."  (CTNow)

August 19, 2003
Following are highlights of three budget-related bills the Connecticut General Assembly plans to vote on Saturday. The information is from drafts of the bills.    - Allow the Department of Correction to send an 2,000 more inmates to out-of-state public or private prisons.  (AP)

Connecticut Legislature
September 30, 2004 Fairfield Weekly
How much is the life of a troubled teenager worth? To the Tomasso family, it was worth about $51.2 million. That's how much state money Tomasso companies made from the suicide of 15-year-old Tabatha Ann Brendle, according to federal prosecutors. A federal grand jury last week indicted Tomasso and the family's inside man at the governor's office, Peter Ellef, accusing Ellef of handing massive state contracts to Tomasso in exchange for elaborately disguised payoffs. Amid all its legalese, the indictment stands as a powerful reminder that the corruption scandal that brought down former Gov. John Rowland isn't just about no-bid contracts and fishy credit card charges. It's about people's lives--and deaths. And it's about the willingness of high-ranking government officials and respected businessmen to profit from tragedy. The Rowland administration handed Tomasso a blank check--first to renovate Long Lane, then to build a replacement. And Tomasso got the multimillions without bidding because the jobs were an "emergency." Never mind that the governor's office had for years neglected countless emergencies at the Department of Children and Families--the agency charged with preventing abuse and neglect, the agency that ran Long Lane.
We do know, according to the indictment, that Tomasso companies paid $86,500 to a dummy corporation that Ellef and his deputy, Lawrence Alibozek, set up. That doesn't count the Tomasso-paid limousine rides to New York and Boston. Or the gold, for that matter: Alibozek admitted receiving gold coins and generously showed the feds where they were buried in his yard. Ellef also got gold from Tomasso, the indictment charges.

May 11, 2004
Former Chief of Staff David O'Leary spoke on the third floor of the capitol late Monday afternoon, questioned by an attorney for the House Committee of Inquiry for a mere 15 minutes.  The speech was a private deposition in the old house judiciary room at the capitol. O'Leary served as Gov. Rowland's first chief of staff after he was elected in 1994. The committee would not say why it asked for O'Leary to appear or what he said in the deposition.  O'Leary has been a lobbyist for sometime. He is the president of his own company. Some of his clients include Corrections Corporation of America, a company involved in privatizing prisons.  (WSFB Channel 3)

Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

May 19, 2006 Yale Daily News
Farallon Capital Management, a hedge fund that invests a portion of Yale's endowment, has sold all of its stock in a private prison company that has been criticized for alleged human rights abuses, though such criticisms have not been cited as a factor in the sale. The fund's May 12 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission included no investment in the Corrections Corporation of America, the target of a yearlong campaign for divestment by Yale's Graduate Employees and Students Organization. But while GESO leaders said they believe their campaign to have affected the move, members of the University's investment ethics committee said they did not advise divestment before the hedge fund sold its shares. At several rallies during the past year, GESO members criticized CCA for alleged cases of prisoner abuse and for lobbying for harsher sentences. GESO spokesman Evan Cobb GRD '07 said he believes Farallon's sale of CCA stock demonstrated the impact of the organization's opposition to "insidious" private prisons. "At this point, we're just very, very pleased," Cobb said. Farallon sold two thirds of its then-$1.5 million share of CCA in March, prompting GESO leaders to claim that their pressure on the University was working. But Yale's Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility has maintained that CCA does not merit divestment under the University's ethical policies, as private prisons are a regulated industry. ACIR chair Geert Rouwenhorst has said that CCA does not appear to cause "grave social injury," Yale's standard for divestment. That policy is based on the 1972 book "The Ethical Investor," which was written by a group of Yale professors and graduate students. "Divestment is an action of last resort for the endowment," Rouwenhorst said at the last public ACIR meeting, held in March. "We believe that selling the shares to someone who cares less than us [does] not necessarily [make] a good world." Zachary Bagdon, who heads the School of Management's International Center for Finance, said Farallon most likely made its decision with profit in mind. If activism did a play a role, he said, it was because fund managers thought public opposition would hamper the stock's performance. "When people rally to get people to divest in something, that puts downward pressure on the stock," Bagdon said. A Farallon spokesman declined to comment. But Cobb said that since CCA's stock has been rising, public opinion must have had more of an impact than a perceived lack of profit. GESO has not decided whether it will continue to campaign for Yale to take a public, policy-based stand against CCA, Cobb said. "It would obviously be nice for the University to actually talk about this and weigh in on the issue," he said. "In terms of where we go from here, I'm not really certain." When Yale officially divested from companies tied to the Sudanese government in February, it blacklisted several companies in which it did not hold stock but would exclude from its portfolio in the future.

March 7, 2006 Yale Daily News
Farallon Capital Management, a hedge fund that invests a portion of Yale's endowment, has sold about two thirds of its stock in a private prison company that campus activists have criticized for alleged human rights abuses. According to an analysis of public filings released Tuesday by the Graduate Employees and Students Organization, Yale's indirect holdings in Corrections Corporation of America decreased from $1.5 million to approximately $500,000 in the fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31. GESO activists said their on-campus campaign against CCA likely influenced the decision, but University officials denied any change to their divestment policy. GESO chair Melissa Mason GRD '08 characterized Farallon's move as a partial divestment that should be followed up with a new formal policy. "It's clear that there has been a step in a right direction, with Yale dropping two thirds of its share," Mason said. "Now Yale needs to make an official statement to finish off the divestment.""I don't think that this university should be investing in a corporation that is in the business of incarceration, that sees an interest in seeing a greater number of people being incarcerated in this country," she said. CCA representatives did not return calls for comment on Tuesday.

December 2, 2005 Yale Daily News
Around 100 Yale students and faculty members gathered at Beinecke Plaza on Thursday afternoon to hear faculty members denounce Yale's investment in the Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison-operating company. The demonstration, which was organized by the Graduate Employees and Students Organization and featured four faculty speakers, was organized to protest Yale's $1.5 million investment in CCA, the sixth-largest prison operator in the nation, behind the federal government and four states. Protestors said they want the University to divest from the company because there are a disproportionate number of minorities incarcerated and inmates are allegedly inhumanely treated in CCA prisons. Critics also accused CCA of lobbying for harsher sentencing in order to generate more revenue. Yale invests in CCA through Farallon Capital Management, which was founded by two Yale alumni. Farallon is a hedge fund that controls almost $10 billion in assets and owns 5.5 percent of CCA. Yale alone has around $500 million invested through Farallon, according to GESO.

December 2, 2005 Hartford Courant
A small part of Yale University's $15 billion endowment has been invested in the largest private prison company in the country - a revelation that has led to calls from some students and professors for Yale to divest for ethical reasons. The United States puts more people behind bars than any other country in the world, according to a report by Yale's unions. And more than ever, private companies such as Corrections Corporation of America have been hired to run public prisons to cut costs. The unions' recently published report revealed Yale's tie to the company based in Nashville, Tenn. The report details several inmate abuse scandals at that company's prisons and accuses the for-profit company of advocating public policies that put more people away, for longer. Several Yale professors demonstrated in front of Yale President Richard Levin's office Thursday. Matt Jacobson, a history professor, drew heavy applause and a catcall "Jacobson!" from the crowd. The afternoon rally started with about 50 people but doubled in size as the impassioned rhetoric, heavy on its critique of privatization, drew passersby. A Yale police officer wearing a neck warmer and dark glasses stood at the steps of Woodbridge Hall that houses Levin's office. A helmet hung from the handlebars of his mountain bike, as he evaluated the scene without expression. Yale's investment in Corrections Corporation came to light after the union that represents Yale graduate students analyzed the university's most recent federal tax forms, which showed that as of June 2004, Yale owned an 88 percent stake in a hedge fund called Farallon Capital Institutional Partners II. The hedge fund, managed by Farallon Capital Management LLC in San Francisco, in turn held 47,000 shares in CCA as of May 2005, according to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. The union estimates Yale has about $1.5 million invested in Corrections Corporation.