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Douglas County Correctional Center
Douglas County, Nebraska
Correctional Medical Services

March 20, 2006 KETV
A Douglas County correctional employee has filed a formal complaint against a supervisor alleging that the boss pressures employees into having home parties to sell sex toys. The formal complaint comes from a medical clerk at the Douglas County Correctional Center. She alleges sexual harassment and a hostile work environment caused by some managers in her department. Specifically, the medical clerk alleges that one of the supervisors "solicits and coerces staff into attending and hosting parties that sell sex toys." Attached to her complaint is a product preview catalog with a Web site, which describes the so-called "slumber parties" and the sex toys available. The clerk addressed her complaint to Correctional Medical Services, or CMS, of St. Louis. That is the company contracted by Douglas County to provide medical care at the DCCC. Douglas County Corrections director Robert Patton said that whether it's sex toys or Girl Scout cookies, if a boss pressures an employee to buy or sell any item, it's inappropriate. Patton said he doesn't have direct control over the investigation because medical employees are contracted. Patton said he has discussed the matter with CNS of St. Louis. He said he'll stay apprised of the investigation and possible disciplinary actions. Calls to Correctional Medical Services were not returned.

Hall County Corrections
Hall, Nebraska

June 4, 2003
At the same time Hall County is trying to decide whether a new county jail should be funded publicly or privately, Grand Island Area Economic Development Corp. President Monty Montgomery is working for a private prison firm -- the same firm he recommended to Hall County supervisors.  "I have a debt of honor to them," Montgomery said of Corplan Corrections of Argyle, Texas. "I do it on my own time, and I don't do it on business time."  Montgomery first introduced Corplan Corrections to the Hall County Board of Supervisors in 2001, after starting work as president of the Grand Island Area Economic Development Corp. that July. That same year, he also arranged and accompanied four supervisors on a tour of a 1,097-bed jail Corplan worked on in Garza County, Texas, just southeast of Lubbock.  Corplan worked on a similar but smaller 548-bed jail in Haskell, Texas, where Montgomery was then economic development director.  Montgomery said it was that association with Corplan officials, a more than four-year effort, that led to his "debt of honor."  Because Corplan worked with Haskell for no pay for four years before the community finally settled on and constructed the privately funded jail, Montgomery feels a need to return the commitment.  "I'm helping friends of mine," Montgomery said of why he represents Corplan County supervisors most recently toured jails in Kansas and Iowa in pursuit of construction and operational ideas. However, the county is awaiting an attorney general's opinion on whether a private jail is even a legal option for the county.  Besides pitching Corplan Corrections to Hall County, Montgomery has also represented the firm to Huron, S.D., which is considering a jail there.  (The Independent)

March 12, 2003
A dozen Hall county corrections staff members listened on Tuesday as the spokesman of a national organization opposing private jails and prisons told the Hall County Board of Supervisors why such facilities pose a threat to the public, jail staff and inmates.  "I think it hit the nail on the head," Hall County corrections Cpl. Tom Hansen said of the presentation.  "They are unsafe entity and are unsafe in your community," Brian Dawe, executive director of Corrections USA, told the board about private jails.  In a passionate and well-rehearsed 20-minute presentation, Dawe cited studies from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service and academicians detailing that private prisons cost more and have more escapes, riots and assaults that publicly run jails.  "Our concern is the operator -- are we government employees or private company employees?" Hansen told The Independent.  "We're not about to jeopardize our homes and property."  (The Independent)

Nebraska Legislature
May 13, 2005 Journal Star
The Hastings Correctional Center, scheduled to close June 1, could not be sold or leased to a private company and used to house prisoners for cities, counties or other states, according to an attorney general's opinion. State Sen. Carroll Burling of Kenesaw requested the opinion in an effort to explore ways to keep the facility open. Thursday's opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Lynn Melson, said a 2001 law allows private prisons in Nebraska but only those that contract with the state. The state has no such plans for the Hastings facility, said Steven King, spokesman for the Department of Correctional Services. The law also does not allow counties and cities to contract with private prisons, the opinion said. It also precludes private companies from opening facilities to house inmates from other states.

January 23, 2003
Nebraska counties aren't authorized to have a private contractor build or operate a private county jail, a legal opinion from the Nebraska attorney general said. Specifically, the Nov. 5, 2002, opinion interpreting the Private Prison Contracting Act said the act "does not authorize a county or other political subdivision to enter into a contract with a private prison contractor to construct or operate a correctional facility within or on behalf of such county or other political subdivision."  That language was included in the act by its sponsor, state Sen. DiAnna Schimek of Lincoln, to specify that a private prison has to be done through the state and with the approval of the Department of Corrections, the opinion said.  But state Sen. Ray Aguilar of Grand Island, who requested the attorney general's opinion, said he doesn't think it should prohibit Hall County's pursuit of a private county jail -- for two reasons. "In my opinion, it's not going to be a problem for Hall County to proceed with where it's going," Aguilar said.  Where Hall County is headed is receiving proposals from private contractors to build and/or operate a new county jail.  (The Independent)