PCWG, 1114 Brandt Drive, Tallahassee FL 32308


Clark County Detention Center
Clark, Nevada
Prison Health Services

May 4, 2004
The death of Karl Robert Kurfis was caused by the denial of his HIV medication while in the Clark County Detention Center, attorney Robert Langford said during opening arguments in a federal trial Monday.  A lawsuit originally filed on Kurfis' behalf and now listing his mother as the plaintiff seeks $10 million in punitive damages from Metro Police and Prison Health Services Inc., the medical contractor for the Clark County Detention Center.  "Karl Kurfis died because of a system that does not care about the detainees who arrive and get sick at the Clark County Detention Center," Langford said. "This trial is about a system that isn't working. A system that does not provide medical care to citizens when they are detained at the detention center."  Bruce Alverson, representing the defendants in the case, who also include former Sheriff Jerry Keller and Dr. Harvey Hoffman, the jail's medical director, countered that Kurfis did not die because of mistreatment at the jail, but because of his own unwillingness to take his medication.  "The plaintiff refused to take his HIV medication," Alverson said. "Why? Because he abused methamphetamine and it has been shown that drug abusers lack the responsibility to take care of themselves."  Kurfis, 34, died on June 3, 2002, of a strain of pneumonia that often attacks AIDS patients. Kurfis had been arrested in February 2000 on a burglary charge, and was held until September of that year. Kurfis only received his HIV medication for 14 days during the incarceration, Langford said.  (Las Vegas Sun)

November 19, 2003
The family of a French citizen who died in a videotaped struggle with Las Vegas jail guards has settled a federal lawsuit against the jail's health care provider, according to a relative and the American Civil Liberties Union.  The undisclosed settlement between the family of Philippe LeMenn, 33, and Prison Health Services Inc., was the last of a series of civil lawsuits stemming from LeMenn's death in January 2001.  "Nothing can compensate the family for the tragic loss of their son, but we hope this gives them some sense of relief and a small measure of justice,"said Gary Peck, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada. The ACLU acted as co-counsel for the family.  Peck said the Oct. 29 settlement with the health care company, combined with a $500,000 settlement in July with Las Vegas police, illustrated the cost of providing substandard inmate care at the county jail in Las Vegas. The ACLU acted as co-counsel for the family.  Lawyers for LeMenn's family had alleged that Prison Health Services psychiatrists and psychologists failed to identify LeMenn's mental health problems when he was booked into the Clark County Detention Center. Lawyers for the company, based in Brentwood, Tenn., could not immediately be reached for comment.  The ACLU alleged that the case highlighted a chronic lack of care for mentally ill inmates at the jail.  The case against Las Vegas police, who administer the jail, claimed wrongful death, battery and negligent supervision and training of guards.  A Clark County coroner ruled that LeMenn died of asphyxiation due to restraint. A coroner's inquest cleared the nine corrections officers videotaped struggling to subdue the 275-pound man.  Philip Moreau, LeMenn's cousin, said he had wanted the jail, guards and administrators held responsible for his cousin's death. He said he disagreed with the family's decision to settle, and did not know the settlement amount.  "I wanted them to be punished publicly, not under the table,"Moreau said by telephone from his home in West Los Angeles, Calif.  LeMenn, a restaurant manager, had been arrested by Clark County School District police on charges of disorderly conduct, annoying a minor and causing a disturbance on school property.  Police said he grabbed a child and banged on a school bus before he was taken to jail.  (Reno Gazette-Journal)

Las Vegas Community Correctional
Las Vegas, Nevada
GEO Group

Apr 4, 2015
A former prison inmate claims he suffered a minor stroke and nearly died after he was deprived of blood pressure medication for an extended period of time at a halfway house in Las Vegas. Oscar Corado, 33, made the allegation in a lawsuit he filed last year in Clark County District Court against The GEO Group Inc., which operates the Las Vegas Community Correctional Center on Industrial Road. On Thursday, the defendant’s attorneys moved the case to federal court. According to the lawsuit, Corado spent about 28 months at a federal prison in Sheridan, Ore., where the medical staff diagnosed him with hypertension and placed him on prescription medication to control the condition. In October 2012, Corado was transferred to the halfway house in Las Vegas to finish the remainder of his sentence. His lawsuit claims the staff at the correctional center stopped providing Corado with his medication and “ignored his medical needs for over a month.” On Nov. 7, 2012, staff at the halfway house gave Corado his medication for the first time, according to the lawsuit. Later that day, he began having chest pains and dizziness. He was taken to Valley Hospital Medical Center, where “his medical providers opined that the reintroduction of the medication following the deprivation had caused what had amounted to a minor stroke,” the lawsuit alleges. As a result, according to the document, Corado incurred significant medical bills and nearly died. The defendant’s lawyers could not be reached for comment Friday.

Las Vegas Wal-Mart

Las Vegas, Nevada
Wackenhut (Group 4)
Jul 24, 2014 Reno Gazette Journal

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld a $1 million verdict against a security firm accused of not doing enough to prevent the fatal attack of a man in a crime-riddled Las Vegas Wal-Mart parking lot. The high court on Friday declined to grant a new trial to private security firm Wackenhut in the death of 51-year-old Michael Born. The retired Air Force major had been changing his car’s headlight in the parking lot in 2004 when Raymond Garrett punched him. Born later died of his injuries. Lawyers for Born’s relatives argued in 2011 that Wackenhut should have been more vigilant in protecting customers at the store on Nellis and Charleston. Attorneys said police were called to the store an average of three times a day prior to the attack.

February 16, 2011 The Street
After fiery closing arguments in the Smith v. Walmart trial, a jury found Wackenhut, but not Wal-Mart(WMT), liable for inadequate security in a store parking lot where a customer was murdered. The jury awarded over $1M in damages. Michael Born was murdered in a Wal-Mart parking lot while replacing his car's headlight. The plaintiffs claimed that Wal-Mart knew the store was located in a high-crime area, and that police were repeatedly called to the site. However, neither Wal-Mart nor its hired security service, Wackenhut, took adequate measures to protect Wal-Mart customers. Plaintiff attorney Mont Tanner reminded the jury that there had been more than a hundred similar incidents of serious crimes at the store, such as battery and robbery, most within the two years prior to the murder. However, said Tanner, there was no annual security assessment at this "crime magnet" by either Wal-Mart or Wackenhut, and the Wackenhut patrol officer was not trained to identify or deal with suspicious persons. Wal-Mart also allegedly failed to comply with its own security guidelines.

Lincoln County, Nevada
Western Correction
June 25, 2000 The Independent
The scramble in the US for the rich rewards to be made out of the private prison sector is leaving a trail of individual investors feeling as if their pockets have been picked. Many prisons stand empty, with private investors holding worthless bonds - a salient warning for those on this side of the Atlantic who are advocating greater involvement by the private sector in our penal system. The scramble in the US for the rich rewards to be made out of the private prison sector is leaving a trail of individual investors feeling as if their pockets have been picked. Many prisons stand empty, with private investors holding worthless bonds - a salient warning for those on this side of the Atlantic who are advocating greater involvement by the private sector in our penal system. The demand for more space is far outpacing the building of new US jails, so a for-profit prison looked like a sure thing for many New York investors. But, after similar scandals in Florida and Texas, the problems of a small prison in Nevada are shaking investors' confidence and raising questions about whether profit can be made from felons. The investors eagerly snapped up the tax-free municipal bonds in the billion-dollar rent-a-bed prison business that swept the tumbleweeds of rural America in the 1990s. Buoyed up with the initial excitement and 90 per cent returns offered in the shady rent-a-bed prisons, Lincoln County in Nevada set to work on a plan sold it by Western Correction, an Albuquerque, New Mexico, agent that promotes the idea of private prisons. The plan had been proven, it heard, in other states, and Lincoln County was eager to jump on the prisoners-for-profit bandwagon. Building conglomerates grew up in the feeding frenzy. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is developing some 82 jails with 73,000 beds in the US, the UK and Canada, and has 55 per cent of the global private prison market. But as new technology takes over real estate as the stock of choice in the high stakes poker game on Wall Street, prison privatisation is taking a drubbing. Last month CCA helped remove Robert Crant, the CEO of Prison Realty Trust (PRT) - which CCA now controls - when PRT stock dived and PRT stopped paying dividends. Lincoln County hired a private equity company, Juran & Moody, to issue $3.5m in tax-free bonds for a 64-bed jail. Investors were offered the security of the lease of the land where the prison stood. Prisoners could be traded for $30 to $50 each and if the experiment worked, it would be expanded using prisoners from other parts of Nevada and eventually other US states. Charles Thomas, who developed the University of Florida's Private Prisons Project, funded by corporate donations from the private prison sector, said: "For whatever good, bad, or indifferent reason, there've been other privately financed facilities that couldn't make a go of it, and so some who've invested in [them] have lost some significant money." In Lincoln the numbers looked great and the county paid a hefty fee in tax dollars to Juran & Moody. At $40 a prisoner the jail would turn over a $1m a year. For the small Nevada county whose population of 5,000 is scattered over 10,000 square miles, including a nuclear weapons testing range, this was a windfall - and it took the bait. The then county commissioner Ed Wright told the town hall that the profits would go to build new sewage plants and schools. They then set about spending most of the bondholders' money paying Salt Lake City's Layton Construction, the state's top engineer, to build it. The prison gates opened in 1994. Today, six years later, it still lies empty, the wind whistling through the razor wire, tumbleweed pinioned on the chain link fence. And in an ironic twist of fate the new county commissioner, Floyd Lamb, a former state senator who's spent time in a federal prison for blackmail, refused to send inmates and defaulted on the lease. Local Sheriff Dahl Bradfield was installed in the prison with his men but they promptly left the place empty. Bondholders were told they could have the jail back. In private hands the prison was subject to property taxes and the bondholders still hadn't seen any return on their investment. A for-sale sign was hammered on the door. Juran & Moody liquidated itself and the remains of the bond transaction lie hidden in a trust set up before the company died. If the sale goes through, "The bondholders would be able to offset their losses against gains they made in private equities," says Ted Brownell, a manager with the firm that acquired Juran & Moody's assets, including the prison. That's if they have any equities. The bondholders had watched their 1992 investment shrink to nothing today. And Lincoln County is paying to house prisoners in jails across the state. "That's rural small-town politics," says a former county commissioner. The bondholders have been given a reprieve until September to come up with back taxes before forfeiture proceedings begin. Spring Past, a California real estate investment firm specialising in distressed properties, offered to take the facility off their hands for $500,000. That, after the initial investment, missed interest payments and back taxes, would have been 10 cents on the dollar for investors. That offer was withdrawn when Spring Past couldn't find a private firm to operate the jail. For now, bondholders, mostly individual investors from New York, are holding paper that's never paid a penny. It seems their best hope is for the county to buy the jail. The county commission has discussed offering £500,000, if it can come up with the financing - now a mute point. Dissatisfaction with the for-profit prison spread to neighbouring Phoenix, where the construction of a private jail was cancelled this month after the local community's protests reached federal government, which put a stop to the project. "When it doesn't work, the core problem tends to be that the established for-profit prison sector isn't involved at all and that those who are - investment bankers, real estate developers - simply don't know much about jails," said Dr Thomas. A point worth thinking about, perhaps, for those desperate to bring private equity into Britain's creaking prison service.

Nevada Department of Corrections
Jan 20, 2022

Judge Denies CoreCivic's Request to Dismiss Proposed Nationwide Wiretapping Class Action

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, January 20, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ - On January 14, 2022, Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada ruled that a lawsuit against the for-profit prison company, CoreCivic, should move forward. CoreCivic had sought to dismiss the lawsuit, which is a proposed class action that alleges CoreCivic wiretapped attorneys' phone calls with their clients who were confined in CoreCivic's prisons and detention centers. The Plaintiff, Kathleen Bliss, is herself a criminal defense attorney and will seek to certify a nationwide class of attorneys who have had their calls with clients recorded, as well as a subclass of Nevada attorneys. Bliss alleges CoreCivic violated the Federal and Nevada Wiretap Acts. Bliss said of the court's decision: "The attorney-client relationship is one of the most important protections that the Constitution extends to all of us in America. It is key to our liberty, our ability to defend ourselves against government accusations. Judge Dorsey's decision recognizes the seriousness, the importance of these rights; and though not deciding the merits, this first step demonstrates that all accused people expect and deserve to have the confidentiality of their innermost thoughts and conversations with counsel preserved and respected without violation or ill-intention." Bliss is represented by Anna P. Prakash, Charles A. Delbridge, Matthew H. Morgan, Melanie A. Johnson, and Charles J. O'Meara of Nichols Kaster, PLLP; Michael Hodgson of The Hodgson Law Firm, LLC; Lance Sandage of Sandage Law LLC; Joseph K. Eischens of the Law Office of Joseph K. Eischens; and Paul S. Padda of Paul Padda Law, PLLC. The case is Kathleen Bliss, on behalf of herself, the Proposed Nationwide Rule 23 Class, and the Proposed Nevada Subclass v. CoreCivic, Inc., Case No. 2:18-cv-01280-JAD-EJY (District of Nevada). Nichols Kaster, PLLP, an employee, consumer, and civil rights firm has dedicated over 45 years to fighting for clients in individual and class action matters. With offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco, California, the firm is perfectly situated for the work it does representing plaintiffs in cases across the country. The firm has recently received a First Tier ranking on the 2022 Best Law Firms List in Minneapolis for Litigation-Labor and Employment by U.S. News-Best LawyersR "Best Law Firms.

Feb 27, 2020

State auditors raise questions about efficacy of new Day Reporting Centers for parolees

A state audit cast some doubts on the cost-effectiveness of Nevada’s new Day Reporting Centers, which offer a higher level of supervision, life skills classes and other resources to people on parole or probation. The audit, discussed Wednesday at the Executive Branch Audit Committee that includes Gov. Steve Sisolak, Attorney General Aaron Ford and others, found that the state is paying a flat rate of nearly $769,000 a year for the physical centers in Reno and Las Vegas but is about 12 percent below capacity on average. The result is a “windfall” for the contractor of about $94,000 a year that, if used instead to pay rent for recently released inmates, could help the state save more than $450,000, auditors concluded. “DRCs are a high cost program serving a small percentage of offenders at an additional cost to community supervision,” auditors wrote. “Allocating resources to other successful programs and services optimizes limited funds for reintegration efforts to maximize outcomes.” Auditors looked more kindly on “indigent funding,” a pot of money that subsidizes rent for people recently released from prison. Nevada has struggled to get inmates back into the community as soon as they’re eligible for parole largely because the inmates have nowhere to go; offenders stay in prison an average of 93 days more than they otherwise would because they lack appropriate housing, the report said. A $433,000 investment in indigent funding in 2018 yielded a cost savings of $6.2 million, mostly because the state did not have to pay to keep parole-eligible people in prison, the audit noted. The Division of Parole and Probation pushed back on the conclusions in an extensive written response, questioning the math that auditors used and positing that inmates were double counted when estimating the cost savings. The division says that auditors overstated the cost of inmates staying in prison beyond their parole dates by about 43 percent. The division also said that the overall concept of DRCs has “been so impactful” that Georgia’s use of the centers was recognized within the audit itself. And they said that in many cases, people using the services of the DRC would otherwise have been incarcerated at taxpayer expense. “Considering the purposes of the Indigent Funding budget and the Daily [sic] Reporting Center program, both were successful and represent a reduction in state incarceration costs,” Parole and Probation Chief Anne Carpenter wrote in a response to the audit. “As such, both remain worthy of continued funding and utilization by the Division.” Centers in Reno and Las Vegas, which were authorized by legislators in 2017 and opened in late 2017 and early 2018, were recently in the spotlight because the state approved a new vendor to run them. Previously operated by Sentinel — a company best known for parolee GPS monitoring equipment — the state’s Board of Examiners earlier this month awarded a two-year contract to GEO Reentry. GEO Group, the umbrella company, is best known for operating for-profit prisons and has attracted scrutiny for conditions in the detention centers it operates for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). More globally, critics have said that the profit motive in having private companies offer DRC services creates an incentive to supervise more parolees more intensively than is beneficial.  Before the Board of Examiners awarded the DRC contract earlier this month, Sisolak asked if the centers would direct any state resources to ICE detention. Parole officials said that the centers would not have any connection to ICE detention and emphasized that DRCs are not live-in facilities but rather drop-in centers. On Wednesday, Ford asked how the division would be addressing underutilization of the centers. “We just had a meeting yesterday and the day before with the new vendor, and we’ve already discussed metrics, we’ve discussed how we will utilize it better and more efficiently, so those talks are already underway,” Carpenter responded. The audit also raised other general criticisms of the Day Reporting Centers, saying they “show low performance.” Of the 4,536 people who had participated in DRC activities at the time of the audit, only 113, or less than 3 percent, had “graduated” the program. Auditors also said that 164 of the participants had found employment, but none had achieved a GED or obtained housing through the DRC. The audit said the weekday-only schedule of the DRC, and the fact that staff are not licensed practitioners of any kind, are limitations of the centers. “Although DRCs are becoming a popular alternative to incarceration for those under community supervision, there is conflicting research on the overall effectiveness of DRCs,” the report said. It noted that a February 2019 research brief from UNLV found that DRC participants were more successful than those in the control group but “acknowledged a long-term study is necessary to show the impact of DRCs on reducing recidivism.” Sisolak, too, called for more study of the centers. The audit division promised a follow up on the DRCs in a year. “I just want to emphasize … how important it is to have accurate information and make sure that we’re utilizing to the full potential those services, and then tracking any data points that we’re concerned about,” Sisolak said, pointing out that he had called for the new contract to be halved before it was approved earlier this month. “That’s why we reduced it from a four-year contract out to two — to  decide if it’s worth keeping moving forward.”

Oct 22, 2017
Transparency advocates concerned about Nevada's new partnership with private prison, which is exempt from public records law
Nevada’s plan to use private prisons to ease overcrowding in state facilities has already been controversial on principle — Democratic lawmakers don’t like the idea of a company profiting off incarceration. But civil liberties advocates are raising another concern about the arrangement — that private companies contracting with the government aren’t subject to state or federal public records laws, potentially complicating the public’s ability to get timely, complete information about how safely and effectively Nevada inmates are being taken care of. “There’s really no oversight over that if we’re not able to request that information through [the Freedom of Information Act],” said Holly Welborn of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada. “There’s no way to hold them accountable.” Nevada Department of Corrections Chief James Dzurenda said the 200 or so inmates who will be sent to Arizona in November through a $9.2 million, two-year contract with the company CoreCivic will be treated with the same standards as the nearly 14,000 inmates under Nevada’s direct supervision. The agency also says they’ll be collecting the same information from the company as they would about inmates in state prisons — data about inmate grievances, disciplinary action, segregation, hospitalizations and deaths — to provide to the governor and the Legislature. But the department has yet to release specific reporting requirements and procedures. As of last week, spokeswoman Brooke Keast said they were still being finalized. The state of Hawaii, whose prisoners occupy most of the space at the Arizona facility where Nevada inmates will go, conducts audits every three months to ensure the prison is complying with its state contractual standards and posts the reports online. Auditors draw from records reviews, staff and inmate interviews and observations to fill out a detailed, 243-point checklist covering everything from whether substance abuse counselors are certified to whether refrigerators are maintained at the proper temperature. It’s unclear if Nevada will take the same approach. And even if the state is collecting the information, Welborn warned that contractors can sometimes exploit a loophole by marking key documents as “internal,” preventing their public release. Democratic Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, a former corrections officer herself, sponsored a bill in the 2017 session that started out banning the use of private prisons and later became a measure eliminating their use after five years. It was vetoed by Gov. Brian Sandoval, who said he didn’t want to tie the hands of the corrections agency when trends in the prison population are so unpredictable. In hindsight, she says, she should have split her bill into two. In addition to the more controversial ban, the bill set reporting requirements for any outside prisons companies the state works with, mandating data about the makeup of the prison population, their discipline and how many were participating in rehabilitation programming, and requiring biannual, on-site inspections of private prisons to ensure compliance with a contract. “I will be staying on top of that,” Monroe-Moreno said. “Whether it’s mandated or not, [Dzurenda] seems to be in agreement with me and others that that information is vitally important.” Corrections officials have sounded a desperate plea to get relief from out-of-state as they struggle with a stubbornly high staff vacancy rate and cramped quarters. There were 13,683 inmates in the system as of mid-October, which is hundreds more people than beds, and several wings of Nevada prisons will be going out of commission soon for major repairs  and upgrades. “We have 322 inmates today that are not sleeping or being housed in traditional bed areas,” Dzurenda told the Board of Examiners on Oct. 10, when they approved the CoreCivic contract. “Those inmates go into day room areas, program areas that we make appropriate housing for, but it takes away program space that we know is going to help get these inmates back into society much better than they came in.” The pleas for funding for private prison space were met with skepticism in the Democratic-controlled Legislature, which only authorized money for 200 inmates to be sent out of state rather than the 400 the agency requested. Dzurenda expressed some regret that the state had to resort to the private solution at all. “It’s unfortunate that the state has to even look at this today,” he told the board. But he suggested that the state could be better off if it’s able to send away the worst bullies and bad apples, relieving inmates who truly want to change. The agency plans to prioritize inmates who are “identified with strategic threat groups,” are having disciplinary issues or are not originally from Nevada as the first to move, although Dzurenda said he won’t be transferring people with serious mental illness. “I think it’s important if I make a pact with our staff that we’re not going to tolerate this. We’re not going to tolerate any of this behavior by these inmates,” Dzurenda said. “If they want to partake in gang activity, if they want to disrupt the operation of our facilities, they will find themselves going to Arizona where I can create a better environment here in Nevada for those that really do need the help to get back in the community.” While this marks Nevada’s first time working with a private prison, the practice is done at a higher rate at the federal level. About 18 percent of federal prisoners (34,900 inmates) are housed in a contract prison, while about 7 percent of state prisoners (91,300 inmates) were in private facilities in 2015. Private operators such as CoreCivic also run many detention centers for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), including the 1,072-bed Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump. Almost three quarters of federal immigration detainees are in private facilities. “We appreciate Nevada’s trust in CoreCivic to provide them a high quality, flexible solution to their current needs,” said Jonathan Burns, a spokesman for the company, which was the only one to submit a bid to serve Nevada. “CoreCivic has more than 30 years of experience providing safe, secure and humane correctional services and effective reentry programming to diverse correctional populations. We are confident our state-of-the-art facility, combined with CoreCivic’s deep experience managing a wide range of inmates, will lead to a successful partnership.” But the world of private prisons hasn’t all been rosy, according to a report from the Department of Justice’s inspector general in 2016 that compared 14 private prisons with 14 federally run prisons. It found that from fiscal years 2011 through 2014, the private facilities had more contraband, reports of incidents, lockdowns, inmate discipline, telephone monitoring and grievances than the public facilities. The private facilities performed better in drug testing and sexual misconduct, auditors found. The inspector general’s office recommended closer oversight of the facilities, including more frequent verification that inmates are receiving basic medical services, periodically validating whether the actual staffing levels are meeting the agreed-upon levels and ensuring that monitoring steps yield meaningful information. Under the Obama Administration, the tide turned against the use of private prisons. In August 2016, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates directed the Bureau of Prisons not to renew or substantially reduce the scope of private prison contracts as they expire. Current Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the memo this February, saying it impaired the bureau’s ability to respond to future needs. Now some lawmakers are asking for more insight into the contract facilities’ operations. Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin introduced a bill in August that would require private prisons to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. “Private prisons account for 20 percent of our federal prison and detention population but hide behind loopholes in the law when it comes to how they perform their job on behalf of the American people,” Cardin said about the measure, which has the support of open government groups but has no co-sponsors. Barry Smith, director of the Nevada Press Association, agrees. He believes any contract outsourcing state functions to a private company should explicitly state that all records remain under the ownership and control of the government, thus making them public records. “Private companies doing the work of a government agency should still be subject to the same open-records requirements as the government itself,” Smith said. “In the case of a prison, it should be obvious that everything a contractor does is acting in the role of the Department of Corrections. We can’t have secret jails or a shadow justice system. It has to be an open book.” Dzurenda said he and NDOC’s director of programs visited the Arizona facility, which is located in Eloy — halfway between Tucson and Phoenix. The 1,896-bed prison was built mainly for inmates from Hawaii because it’s cheaper than keeping them on the islands, and the facility observes Hawaiian traditions and holidays including King Kamehameha Day. “It was important for us to see that so I can feel comfortable that they will be receiving the services that we asked for, but also that we’re not going to reduce any of the services for these offenders, for reentry back into the community when that point comes,” said Dzurenda. He noted that the prison is accredited by the American Correctional Administration, which he said conducts audits to ensure the treatment, programs, grievance process and out of cell time meet standards. “And you’re 100 percent … that they will be treated the same as if they were in Nevada?” Sandoval asked at the Board of Examiners meeting. “That is correct,” Dzurenda answered. Monroe-Moreno didn’t get to check out the Arizona facility on Dzurenda’s recent tour. But she said she plans to do so moving forward, and wants the state to work on getting an unvarnished picture of how the private company is handling the public’s wards. “When you have company coming, everything is shiny and new,” she said. “I think we need more unannounced visits … sometimes that’s a logistical nightmare but that’s when you find out the truth.”

Nevada Legislature
Jun 13, 2019
Nevada: Bans private prisons
Late last month, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed into law AB183, a bill which would ban the use of private prisons for core services, such as housing and custody. Nevada now joins Iowa, New York, and Illinois in establishing this type of prohibition. During the 2017 legislative session, Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno introduced AB303, an Assembly bill that contained similar language banning private prisons. However, then-Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed the bill and subsequently signed a $9.2 million two-year contract with CoreCivic, a private prison company, to house 200 Nevadan inmates in a private correctional facility in Arizona. The company, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, had a notoriously poor track record with regard to inmate safety. Shortly after their transfer to the facility, some of the inmates went on a hunger strike to protest their treatment. Reports at the time noted allegations of inadequate medical care, retaliation and other forms of mistreatment against the inmates. In addition to these issues, lawmakers also had concerns that contract was hastily thought out and too costly to Nevada taxpayers. “As a retired corrections officer, I have seen firsthand the need for improved services and reforms in our criminal justice system,” said Monroe-Moreno, the bill’s primary sponsor. “Outlawing for-profit prisons once and for all will better help us achieve a criminal justice system of equity, integrity, and fairness — a system that views prisoners as people instead of profit margins.” Under AB183, the provisions prohibiting the Department of Corrections from contracting with private prisons will go into effect July 1, 2022.

Mar 16, 2019
Nevada legislative panel approves private prison ban
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A bill seeking to ban private prisons in Nevada has passed a legislative hurdle. Legislators on a state Assembly committee voted on Friday to approve legislation that requires the "core correctional services" at each prison to be performed by local or state employees. It is sponsored by Democrat Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, who told lawmakers earlier this month the state has no private-run prisons at the moment. She says the state once did and experienced "negative consequences." Several Republican lawmakers voted against the measure. The same committee on Friday passed a separate measure that would ban forced human microchipping.

Dec 27, 2017
Assemblywoman wants to ban private prisons in Nevada
There was no opposition to a proposed ban on private prisons in Nevada when the bill came before a committee of lawmakers this morning. Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, D-North Las Vegas, is amending the bill to bring down the anticipated price tag of almost $85 million and to give the prison system time to transition. A retired corrections officer, Monroe-Moreno said Monday that she’s seen the need for improved services and criminal justice reforms. “The use of for-profit prisons can be a temporary fix if necessary, but it is not the ultimate fix for the overcrowding issues and other problems that we have in our criminal justice system,” she said. Monroe-Moreno said for-profit prisons are a big business. “It kind of incentivizes having people be incarcerated more often, having longer sentences,” she said. The Nevada Department of Corrections estimated the cost of the original version of Assembly Bill 303 and said it would be unable to meet the proposed requirements with current resources. The $85 million estimate attached to the original bill took several issues into account, such as new construction and the potential lease of an alternate facility in North Las Vegas. Monroe-Moreno said the amended version largely eliminates that estimated cost. Nevada’s one for-profit facility is a federal prison in Pahrump that Monroe-Moreno said the Legislature cannot control. The bill requires that state and local prisons, jails and detention facilities fall under the direct operational control of the state or a local government. Members of the Assembly’s Corrections, Parole and Probation Committee heard support for the bill from corrections officials and public defenders, among others. Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda said there were almost 600 inmates sleeping in unconventional housing, such as day rooms and program rooms. Gov. Brian Sandoval’s recommended budget requests that 200 inmates be housed out of state due to crowding and needed repairs in an uninhabitable part of Southern Desert Correctional Center. The Corrections Department’s fiscal note says the original bill would have prevented that. Monroe-Moreno said the amended bill would temporarily house those inmates out of state while repairs are made. “We’ve come to a happy medium between what they need and what I’d like to see,” she said. Two buildings need to be repaired. Monroe-Moreno said she’s been told the work would take two years for each, and the inmates would be moved back in state as soon as the facilities are ready. “Once we’re able to get them back in, we’ll have refurbished facilities but we’ll also have more programming to help with the behavioral health care issues and education issues once they come back,” she said. Less employee training and higher turnover are some of the issues seen in some for-profit prisons, said Nicole Porter, of the Washington, D.C.-based Sentencing Project, a nonprofit advocacy group. “With AB 303, Nevada lawmakers have an opportunity to codify the practice of incarcerating no state prisoners in private prison,” Porter said. Assemblyman Keith Pickard said people hear about the same kinds of problem outcomes in the public prison system as well. Porter said overpopulation issues can contribute to issues within prisons while also contributing to the need for for-profit facilities. Keeping in mind the prisoners being transferred out of state, Pickard asked for an analysis of institutions that are run well. “We’re talking about a mixed bag of results,” he said. “I’m wondering if then there are best practices.” If passed, the provisions in the bill would take effect in July. A sunset clause would give prisons five years to transition.

Jun 14, 2017
Sandoval vetoes proposed ban on private prisons
Assembly Bill 303 is among more than two dozen measures to be vetoed. Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, D-North Las Vegas, sponsored the proposed private prison ban, and worked with stakeholders to amend the measure to allow agencies until 2022 to make the transition. Sandoval cited executive authority in his veto message.. “To the extent that the intent of AB303 is to ensure that Nevada maintains complete control over its prisons and prison population, there is some merit to the bill,” Sandoval said. “But because the bill improperly encroaches on the authority and discretion of the executive branch of state government, including the State Board of Prison Commissioners, I cannot support it.” He said the bill goes too far by limiting the discretion of the Department of Corrections director to use private prisons when overcrowding or other issues make these facilities necessary. He also cited the high costs of building more facilities. “Between now and 2022, much can happen, and there is no way to predict whether private prisons may need to play a critical part in Nevada's future prison needs,” Sandoval said. Monroe-Moreno said on Twitter that the governor’s decision was disappointing, and that she has no intention of ending her work on this issue.

May 31, 2017
Bill banning private prisons in Nevada reaches final version
A proposed private prison ban is in its final version and making its way toward a Senate vote with days left before the legislative session ends. Assembly Bill 303 came up for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, D-North Las Vegas, is sponsoring the measure and says she expects it to reach Gov. Brian Sandoval’s desk in its current form. Monroe–Moreno worked with Nevada Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda to amend the bill, giving officials enough time to deal with overcrowded facilities and needed repairs. A retired corrections officer, Monroe–Moreno says two facilities need work. She said the Southern Desert Correctional Center segregation unit will be refurbished and the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City needs to be made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Nevada Department of Corrections estimated that the original bill would have cost tens of millions of dollars to implement. The current version allows Nevada to continue sending inmates out of state through the Interstate Compact for Adult Offenders for five years. “So by allowing five years that gave them enough time to get both facilities to where they needed to be for our citizens to live in and to work in,” Monroe-Moreno said. Dzurenda told the Senate committee Monday that the hope is to get inmates back into the state. He said contracts will ensure out-of-state inmates have the same offerings as Nevada prisoners. Monroe-Moreno said that prisoners sent out of state during the five years could end up in a state facility or for-profit prison. She said using that tool temporarily will allow the state to make its facilities humane for the people who live and work there. “The five-year window gave enough leeway time for that to happen,” Monroe-Moreno said. “As the director said, it’s his hope to bring everyone back in.” Dzurenda said Tuesday that 200 inmates need to be removed almost immediately from the portion of the Southern Nevada facility that will be refurbished. “The building foundation is cracking and there’s some sewage issues,” he said. This refurbishment will cost about $10 million, Dzurenda said, hitting areas needing immediate improvements. He also said officials are in the planning stages for new dormitories at the Carson City facility. Monroe-Moreno said banning private prisons sends a message that the state has tried this method before and doesn’t want to go down that path again. The Southern Nevada Women’s Correctional Facility was operated by the Corrections Corporation of America when the Nevada Department of Corrections’ inspector general was made aware of substandard supervision and medical treatment of inmates. Nevada’s state prisons are not currently run by any for-profit industries. “I may not be in the Legislature 20 years from now and we want to make sure that the next generations of leaders know that we’ve ... learned from this,” Monroe-Moreno said. The goal is to avoid overcrowding issues that the state is facing now, Monroe-Moreno said. “Hopefully we don’t have this overcrowding problem again, but that is a bigger issue than the for-profit prison,” she said after Tuesday’s hearing. “It’s working on their parole, and parole hearings, and probation and making sure that the first order of business when someone messes up is not to put them right back into prison but to look at what those wraparound issues were that caused them to mess up.” In its current form, the bill passed a 38-3 Assembly vote on May 24 and was sent to the Senate. Members of the judiciary committee who heard the bill Tuesday need to approve the bill before the full Senate can consider whether to send it to the governor. The last day of the 120-day session is June 5.

Apr 5, 2017
Assembly bill will bar for-profit prison operators in Nevada
CARSON CITY — For-profit companies that run prisons may get locked out of doing business in Nevada. Assembly Bill 303, heard Tuesday by the Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation, would forbid local jails and state prisons from contracting with private companies for so-called core services. Those services, which include housing, security and discipline of inmates, would have to be provided by state or local government employees. Government agencies would be allowed to contract with private vendors for support services, such as food service, medical support and janitorial work. Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, D-North Las Vegas, said the bill is needed to avoid problems associated with the for-profit prison industry. Monroe-Moreno, a primary sponsor of the bill, also said the private prisons’ business model runs contrary to the goals of a corrections system: to rehabilitate inmates and reduce recidivism. “If the point of a prison is to ensure justice and provide for the welfare of our citizens, then the use of for-profit prisons is entirely defective,” said Monroe-Moreno, a retired North Las Vegas corrections officer. The legislation was amended Tuesday to enable the Nevada Department of Corrections to contract with private companies to house inmates out of state. That amendment is intended to give the agency flexibility to deal with overcrowding. Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda said the state prison system is facing overcrowding, forcing officials to place about 600 inmates in unconventional housing areas. Officials also need to renovate a unit of Southern Desert Correctional Center north of Las Vegas; that work will necessitate the transfer of about 200 inmates. There is no room to place the inmates elsewhere in the system, so moving them temporarily to a private out-of-state facility is likely, he said. The bill requires any private correctional facility that contracts with Nevada to meet state standards and face biannual compliance audits. That exception in the law would sunset after five years, giving the state Department of Corrections time to complete the renovation. No one spoke in opposition to the bill. The committee did not take immediate action on it Tuesday. Nevada’s experiences with private prisons has been checkered. In 1997, Southern Nevada Women’s Correctional Facility opened under the management of the Corrections Corporation of America. Six years later, the state uncovered numerous problems at the facility, including inappropriate relationships between inmates and staff and substandard medical treatment. In one instance, a male guard impregnated an inmate. The CCA, which last year changed its name to CoreCivic, did not renew its contract to run the facility, citing losses of more than $1 million annually. The Nevada Department of Corrections now runs the facility, which was renamed Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center. “We do not need to repeat the mistakes of our past,” Monroe-Moreno said.

Apr 3, 2017
Lawmakers considering private prison ban for Nevada inmates
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada lawmakers this week will debate issues ranging from private prisons and gift card expiration dates to renewable energy and health care. The prison proposal would prohibit state and local government agencies from incarcerating Nevada offenders in privately operated prisons. No private prisons currently exist in Nevada. But the bill would affect a handful of the 13,300 prisoners overseen by the state because 46 of them are currently in private prisons outside of Nevada. Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed this year to move 200 more people to them to relieve overcrowding. The prison bill will be heard Tuesday.

September 21, 2008 Las Vegas Sun
Some state lawmakers plan to push to end local governments’ hiring of lobbyists to represent them at the Legislature, but the Clark County Commission last week agreed to negotiate a contract with R&R Partners to lobby on behalf of University Medical Center. Is there a particular lobbyist who will be working on the UMC account? Yes, a former assemblyman, Jim Spinello. He has a long history in state politics. The year after he lost a bid for secretary of state in November 1990, he became assistant general manager of the State Industrial Insurance System. Last year, he was appointed chairman of a 60-member committee, Nevada Educators for Edwards, established by then-presidential candidate John Edwards. Didn’t the county select someone else for the lobbying job recently? The county’s choice of R&R represents quite a change from its previous choice of J3, the lobbying firm of Robert Uithoven, a longtime Republican who withdrew his name from consideration in August. Democrats dominate the commission 5-2, with Rory Reid, son of the U.S. Senate majority leader, serving as chairman. Uithoven’s being considered for the job drew many questions. Not only has Uithoven worked on behalf of Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons, he argued last summer that the casino industry should be able to obtain refunds for up to $150 million in state taxes that casinos paid on comped meals. How much is the R&R contract for? The amount is to be negotiated before being brought to the commission for final approval. Who else does R&R represent? Perhaps the better question is: Who doesn’t it represent? During the 2007 session, lobbyists for the firm represented myriad businesses and industries including the Andre Agassi Foundation, the Corrections Corp. of America, the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, Medic West, Las Vegas Monorail, the Nevada Cancer Institute, the Nevada Mining Association, the Nevada Resort Association, Opportunity Village, Planned Parenthood, the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association and US Airways.

Nevada Southern Detention Center
Pahrump, Nevada

Jan 13, 2022

Rosen calls for review of Pahrump ICE detention facility

Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen is calling on Homeland Security to conduct a review of a Pahrump detention center used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying the facility is potentially obstructing detainees' legal rights and their pathways for release. In a letter sent Tuesday to Homeland Security Under Secretary Robert Silvers, Rosen states her office has become aware of reports that detainees at the Nevada Southern Detention Center "lack sufficient access to counsel" and that the facility is not properly notifying attorneys when their clients are transferred to other facilities, including ones in other states. The senator says the issues are "deeply concerning" and is calling on Homeland Security to conduct a "full review" of Nevada's ICE detention facilities. Allegations within the letter include that attorneys have faced "significant communication challenges" with facility staff when attempting to schedule meetings with their clients. Additionally, attorneys have reported the detention center has required them to meet with clients in the facility's front lobby, a public area where attorney client-privilege cannot be maintained, rather than a private space. Detainees have also been denied accommodations for their disabilities, according to the letter. Rosen acknowledged that while COVID-19 safety protocols may affect some operations, "such actions still raise serious concerns and are a potential violation of the fundamental values of our judicial system and basic rights in our country." The letter also states there are reports of the ICE facility transferring detainees without properly notifying their legal counsel. This significantly complicates effective legal representation and creates an undue burden when coordinating support for potential release," adds the letter. ICE maintains an "Online Detainee Locator System" but attorneys have said the system often does not have accurate or up-to-date information. Nevada Southern Detention Center, located in Pahrump roughly 60 miles from Las Vegas, is operated by CoreCivic, a private company formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America that boasts it is "the largest owner of partnership correctional, detention and residential reentry facilities" in the nation. The company also believes it is "the largest private owner of real estate used by government agencies," according to its website. The detention center is designed for approximately 1,000 detainees. In addition to being contracted with ICE, the facility holds a contract with the U.S. Marshall Service. In a statement to the Current, CoreCivic Public Affairs Director Ryan Gustin said the firm "has not received any complaints or grievances from detainees or attorneys about legal access issues" at its Pahrump facility, adding CoreCivic does "not have a role in, nor any influence over, the legal process." "CoreCivic does not have any say whatsoever in an individual's deportation, release, or transfer between facilities," Gustin said, and referred questions to ICE. Tuesday's letter was not the first time Rosen has spoken out about CoreCivic's Pahrump detention center. In January 2020, Rosen and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto sent a joint letter to Homeland Security and the Office of Inspector General asking for an investigation after Vice News reported a senior employee at the facility was active on a neo-Nazi website and expressed interest in starting a white supremacist group. Immigration attorney Dee Sull says she and her clients have "experienced it all - and then some" when it comes to issues described within Rosen's letter. Sull in July 2020 filed a lawsuit alleging inhumane conditions and inadequate medical care at Nevada Southern Detention Center during the pandemic. That suit is currently in the discovery phase. Sull says that throughout the pandemic, and as recently as last week, she has been denied the ability to visit her clients face-to-face and forced to meet via video chat while she sits in the lobby and her client sits in a recreation room. Neither has privacy. Delivery men, other detainees and guards mill about in the background. "They're nice people, some of them, but I don't need them sitting there listening to my conversations," she adds. Sull calls it a due process issue and believes it to be unconstitutional. She blames CoreCivic and ICE for the issues, saying both the corporation and the government agency seem as if they cannot be bothered to do even the bare minimum. "It's the bare minimum," she says. "Nobody is asking for a favor or special treatment." Sull invested in N95 masks for protection. She routinely makes the hour-and-a-half trek to Pahrump from Las Vegas in hopes of meeting face-to-face because in-person meetings lead to more "meaningful conversations." It's a calculated risk and commitment she and other attorneys are willing to make. "And they can't do it?" she asks aloud. "We've all changed (to adapt to the pandemic). Every single one of us did. It's time for them to go ahead and do it." Sull says facility staff will tell attorneys all the meeting rooms are full, yet the visitor log-in book shows few visitors, or they will say the only time for a private meeting is at 7 a.m. on a holiday. "It's all very deliberate and calculated on the part of these industries," she adds. Issues with ICE detention facilities, especially regarding abrupt transfers not being properly disclosed to detainees' legal counsel, were being routinely reported by immigration attorneys long before the pandemic began. But the pandemic has empowered obstruction, Sull and other lawyers believe. "I think covid in general has been weaponized against attorneys," says Sull. "Systemically. Not just here in Nevada but all over the country."

May 29, 2021
US court revives lawsuit against private prison in Nevada
A federal appeals court said Friday the nation's largest private prison corporation can be held liable for negligence by a man who spent almost a year in solitary confinement at a southern Nevada facility without ever seeing a judge on marijuana-related charges. The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said a jury can hear Rudy Rivera's lawsuit claiming that CoreCivic Inc. employees failed to tell the U.S. Marshals Service while Rivera languished in custody from November 2015 to October 2016 at the Nevada Southern Detention Center outside Las Vegas. "A reasonable jury could find that CoreCivic caused plaintiff's prolonged detention by failing to notify the Marshals of his continued detention without a hearing and by discouraging and preventing him from seeking outside help," a panel of three judges said. A CoreCivic official said the company is confident a jury will find CoreCivic wasn't responsible for Rivera's prolonged detention without a court appearance. "CoreCivic does not have legal custody of detainees and is not responsible for the arraignment or tracking the arraignment of detainees," Ryan Gustin, company public affairs manager, said in a statement. Rivera had "numerous resources at his disposal to challenge his legal custody," the statement said, including telephones that he used to call family members, mail, attorney visits and legal reference materials. Rivera also "never submitted any verbal or written grievance about this issue," Gustin said. The resurrected case now returns to U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, where a judge in 2017 dismissed it saying that because Rivera was in U.S. Marshals Service custody, the company wasn't responsible for Rivera's 355-day detention. "They were basically taking the position that, 'Eh, what were we supposed to do? Not our fault,'" said Rivera's attorney, Mitchell Bisson. He said damages for negligence, intentional infliction emotional distress and civil and constitutional rights violations could amount to much more than $1 million. Rivera, 42, lives in Stockton, California. He said the ruling gave him "reason to hope the broken system we are in now will be torn down and that no one else will have to go through what I did."

Jan 11, 2020

Senators call for investigation into Nevada ICE detention center after reports that employee posted on neo-Nazi website

Nevada’s Democratic senators are calling for an investigation into a privately run ICE detention center in Pahrump after reports that an employee was active on a neo-Nazi website and wanted to start a white supremacist group. The letter from Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen comes after VICE News reported this week that Travis Frey, a captain at the Nevada Southern Detention Center run by CoreCivic, posted on the site Iron March while employed by the private prison company. CoreCivic later said Frey was placed on administrative leave pending a review, but the senators said the revelation raises questions about the standards to which the company holds its employees. “It is imperative that any private company contracted with the federal government to operate a detention facility be held to the highest standards of care and management,” the senators wrote in a letter released Friday. “It is also critical that transparency and oversight not be hindered because the facility is operated by a private entity through a federal contract.” Frey didn’t immediately return a voicemail from The Nevada Independent, but CoreCivic provided a statement. “CoreCivic cares deeply about our employees, communities and the individuals in our care, and we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” the company said. “We recognize the inherent dignity of the human person and the need to treat every individual with respect. Our company has a detailed Human Rights Policy here that clearly outlines our commitments regarding resident rights and treatment. We also have strong commitments to promoting and supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce.” VICE News reported that Frey used a screen name on the now-defunct website, which had its online archives leaked in November. The news organization identified Frey by personal information he shared, including his personal email address, phone number, birthday, and place of residence. VICE reported that Frey described himself as a “fascist” on the site and said he was interested in organizing for the Traditionalist Workers Party (TWP) in Indiana, where he worked for CoreCivic in 2016 and 2017. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups, the TWP “is a neo-Nazi group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems.”  In their letter to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, the senators wrote that “with overwhelming evidence that hate crimes are on the rise in the United States, it is critical for our government to take concrete steps to combat them.” Cortez Masto and Rosen also pointed to other issues within the private detention center, including the death of an inmate who was apparently strangled by another inmate and the on-site suicide of an employee. They are asking for an investigation into matters including employee screening and how closely the Pahrump site is monitored for compliance to the terms of its federal contract “to ensure vulnerable immigrants are protected while in the custody of DHS or DHS contractors.” “The federal government has an obligation to ensure that individuals in its care, whether in a federally- or privately-operated facility, are subject to safe and healthy environments,” the senators wrote. CoreCivic’s site describes the Pahrump facility as a medium-security detention center serving ICE and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Jul 17, 2019

Victim, suspect identified in Nye County private prison homicide

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The Nye County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim and suspect in last week's homicide inside a private prison in Pahrump. The sheriff's office said Frank Tocci died from strangulation, and his death has been officially ruled a homicide. The suspect, identified as Wyatt Peterson, is still in custody at CoreCivic's Nevada Southern Detention Center, according to the sheriff's office. A spokesman for CoreCivic said a detainee was found unconscious in his cell the morning of Friday, July 12. He was taken to an outside hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service were responding to help in the investigation because the victim and suspect were both held on federal charges, the sheriff's office said. Nevada Southern Detention is a medium-security facility that contracts with the Marshals Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to CoreCivic's website.

Jul 14, 2019

Southern Nevada inmate dies after ‘incident’ at private prison

A section of a Pahrump private prison was placed on lockdown Friday following an inmate’s death after an “incident that occurred in a secured cell,” according to a prison spokeswoman. The male inmate was found unconscious in his cell at the Nevada Southern Detention Center, about 70 miles west of Las Vegas at 2190 E. Mesquite Ave., according to Kayla Gieni, a spokeswoman for CoreCivic, which has operated the prison since 2010. He was found after an “incident” in a secured cell, Gieni said in an emailed statement Saturday afternoon. Gieni declined to identify the inmate or release further details about his death or the lockdown, due to the open investigation. The inmate was found about 4:05 a.m. Friday during security inspections, she said. Prison staff began “life-saving measures,” and emergency personnel were called. He was taken to an “outside hospital,” where the inmate was pronounced dead about 4:50 a.m., Gieni said. The prison notified the U.S. Marshals Service and the Nye County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the man’s death, Gieni said. At least one unit of the prison was placed on lockdown Friday “until the completion of the investigation,” she said. It was unclear if that unit remained on lockdown Saturday afternoon. According to CoreCivic’s website, the prison is used by the Marshals Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. An ICE spokeswoman on Saturday said the inmate who died was not in ICE custody. The Nye County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to questions on Saturday regarding the investigation. In an interview with the Review-Journal on Saturday morning, Shawn Tocci said his 28-year-old brother, Frank Tocci, was the inmate who died. Shawn Tocci said officials told his mother about Frank Tocci’s death on Friday, but he was still unsure what happened. “All I was told, he was found unresponsive and taken to the hospital,” Shawn Tocci said. “I’ve contacted the detention center and I just keep getting message machines. I tried to contact (CoreCivic) and same thing, nothing but messages.” Efforts to contact Shawn Tocci were unsuccessful Saturday afternoon after the Review-Journal received confirmation about the death at the prison. According to the Nevada Department of Corrections’ website, a 28-year-old Frank Tocci is listed as an inmate in “out of state confinement.” He has active sentences for burglary, attempted coercion and assault with a deadly weapon, and his sentence was set to end on Aug. 3, 2020. The department did not respond to questions regarding the inmate death on Saturday. Shawn Tocci said his brother was in prison in connection with robbery, burglary and drug charges, and had been in the private facility for about a year. “We’re just trying to get some answers,” he said Saturday morning.

Jul 17, 2019

Victim, suspect identified in Nye County private prison homicide

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The Nye County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim and suspect in last week's homicide inside a private prison in Pahrump. The sheriff's office said Frank Tocci died from strangulation, and his death has been officially ruled a homicide. The suspect, identified as Wyatt Peterson, is still in custody at CoreCivic's Nevada Southern Detention Center, according to the sheriff's office. A spokesman for CoreCivic said a detainee was found unconscious in his cell the morning of Friday, July 12. He was taken to an outside hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service were responding to help in the investigation because the victim and suspect were both held on federal charges, the sheriff's office said. Nevada Southern Detention is a medium-security facility that contracts with the Marshals Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to CoreCivic's website.

Jul 14, 2019

Southern Nevada inmate dies after ‘incident’ at private prison
A section of a Pahrump private prison was placed on lockdown Friday following an inmate’s death after an “incident that occurred in a secured cell,” according to a prison spokeswoman. The male inmate was found unconscious in his cell at the Nevada Southern Detention Center, about 70 miles west of Las Vegas at 2190 E. Mesquite Ave., according to Kayla Gieni, a spokeswoman for CoreCivic, which has operated the prison since 2010. He was found after an “incident” in a secured cell, Gieni said in an emailed statement Saturday afternoon. Gieni declined to identify the inmate or release further details about his death or the lockdown, due to the open investigation. The inmate was found about 4:05 a.m. Friday during security inspections, she said. Prison staff began “life-saving measures,” and emergency personnel were called. He was taken to an “outside hospital,” where the inmate was pronounced dead about 4:50 a.m., Gieni said. The prison notified the U.S. Marshals Service and the Nye County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the man’s death, Gieni said. At least one unit of the prison was placed on lockdown Friday “until the completion of the investigation,” she said. It was unclear if that unit remained on lockdown Saturday afternoon. According to CoreCivic’s website, the prison is used by the Marshals Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. An ICE spokeswoman on Saturday said the inmate who died was not in ICE custody. The Nye County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to questions on Saturday regarding the investigation. In an interview with the Review-Journal on Saturday morning, Shawn Tocci said his 28-year-old brother, Frank Tocci, was the inmate who died. Shawn Tocci said officials told his mother about Frank Tocci’s death on Friday, but he was still unsure what happened. “All I was told, he was found unresponsive and taken to the hospital,” Shawn Tocci said. “I’ve contacted the detention center and I just keep getting message machines. I tried to contact (CoreCivic) and same thing, nothing but messages.” Efforts to contact Shawn Tocci were unsuccessful Saturday afternoon after the Review-Journal received confirmation about the death at the prison. According to the Nevada Department of Corrections’ website, a 28-year-old Frank Tocci is listed as an inmate in “out of state confinement.” He has active sentences for burglary, attempted coercion and assault with a deadly weapon, and his sentence was set to end on Aug. 3, 2020. The department did not respond to questions regarding the inmate death on Saturday. Shawn Tocci said his brother was in prison in connection with robbery, burglary and drug charges, and had been in the private facility for about a year. “We’re just trying to get some answers,” he said Saturday morning.

Jun 14, 2017
Corrections employee commits suicide at Pahrump federal detention facility
A corrections employee committed suicide Tuesday at the Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump. The private detention facility, which houses federal inmates awaiting trial, disclosed the suicide in a statement Wednesday that said the employee “sadly took his own life.” The employee’s name and position have not been released to the public. Detention center staff members found his body after responding to a fire alarm that went off around 6 p.m. No fire was discovered. Staff contacted emergency medical services, who pronounced the employee dead at the scene. A source with knowledge of the investigation said tear gas or some other chemical irritant was set off in the room before the suicide. The death was the result of a gunshot wound, the source said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of our fellow CoreCivic colleague, as well as with the extended family of Nevada Southern Detention Center staff,” Nevada Southern Detention Center spokeswoman Kayla Gieni said in the statement. “Resources are being made available to impacted employees at the facility as they cope with the loss of a colleague.” CoreCivic, formerly the Corrections Corporation of America, is a company that owns and manages private prisons and detention centers throughout the country, including the Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump. The facility currently is housing notorious anti-federalist rancher Cliven Bundy and his band of more than a dozen like-minded supporters who are awaiting trial on charges resulting from the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville. The corrections company said it is cooperating fully with local law enforcement as it investigates the suicide. The Nye County Sheriff’s Office, whose jurisdiction includes Pahrump, is investigating. The Clark County coroner’s office will determine the official cause of death.

December 21, 2011 Pahrump Valley Times
Nye County Public Works Director Dave Fanning expected to be able to go to contract on repairing Blagg Road by the end of this year or the start of 2012; that date has now been extended to March 1, 2012. “We had a few things to address legally with the utility company that have actually come to light. We’ve done that,” Fanning told the Board of Road Commissioners Tuesday. The road commission is made up of county commissioners. Fanning said he obtained written permission in mid-November from a group that originally drew up plans for that job site. Fanning told Commissioner Butch Borasky he hoped to go out for bids the second or third week of January. It then has to go through the district attorney’s office for review and go to the county purchasing department. Commissioners approved a $25,000 work order with Pezonella Associates Inc. Tuesday to perform geotechnical forensic testing of the sewer line trench for the entire section installed by Corrections Corporation of America along Mesquite Road, Blagg Road, Wilson Road and Big Five Road. Pezonella Associates was already paid $125,000 by county commissioners to prepare a report on who is at fault for the sinkholes that opened up on Blagg Road after heavy rain last December and the collapse of two sewer lift stations.

September 20, 2010 KLAS TV
There will be dozens more looking for work in North Las Vegas after the city hands out layoff notices. Forty-two detention center employees and corrections officers are being cut after the city lost a large contract. The North Las Vegas Detention Center will see 300 of its 800 inmates transferred to a brand new privately-run jail in Pahrump. The U.S. Marshals Service says the Pahrump facility met their future expansion needs better, leaving North Las Vegas without federal money to pay for local jobs. "The reduction in population at the jail will result in about $9.7 million annually for that facility," said North Las Vegas officer Chrissie Coon. "We're actually looking at layoff notifications going out to 19 corrections officers and 23 civilian personnel."

April 30, 2010 Pahrump Valley Times
While Corrections Corporation of America is close to opening an $80 million federal detention center in Pahrump, the company chose an early termination of their contract to operate the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Center in North Las Vegas in 2004 due to the high cost of medical care. The Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump, scheduled to begin accepting inmates in October, is a male-only facility. CCA was awarded a 20-year contract by the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee to build and operate the Pahrump facility, which is up for renewal every five years. At a Jan. 28, 2004 meeting of the State Interim Finance Committee, the Nevada Department of Corrections considered taking over inmate medical care at the women's prison from CCA March 1 that year. But talk then expanded to the state taking over the facility completely. Senate Bill 278, approved by the 1995 Nevada Legislature, allocated $44 million to construct a new women's correctional center in southern Nevada. CCA constructed a correctional facility for 550 inmates and began housing the female prisoners. The state purchased the land, buildings and equipment from CCA on Oct. 3, 2001, with an operating contract to remain in effect through June 30, 2015, according to minutes provided by the research division of the Legislative Counsel Bureau. CCA was given a per diem rate of $40.03 per inmate, which was to increase by 3 percent per year. By 2004 that rate increased to $47.79. The contract provided for automatic renewals every three years, with a renewal scheduled Oct. 3, 2004. CCA and the state DOC had been in discussions over the per diem rate and the provision of health care to the facility for three years. Nevada DOC Medical Administrator Chuck Schardin reported CCA health care costs increased 21 percent from $2.4 million in 2002 to almost $3 million in 2003. Off-site expenses alone nearly doubled from $589,840 to $1.06 million. The minutes show a dramatic reduction of inmates from projected numbers also caused difficulties. While the women's correctional facility held 550 inmates at one time, there was a population of only 445 inmates in early 2003. In spring 2002, CCA alleged inmates from honor camps with medical problems were being dumped at the women's prison. In excerpts of the minutes from the Jan. 28, 2004, meeting, Tony Grande, CCA vice-president for state relations, said, "Continuing the contract would be exceedingly difficult if CCA was not able to remedy the costs related to medical services being provided at SNWCF." Dr. Ted D'Amico, medical director for the state DOC, is quoted in March 31, 2004, as saying: "CCA had struggled with the medical care of inmates from the start because of their inability to hire good administrators." The intake process at the correctional facility required assistance from the Nevada DOC during a year in which the medical director's budget absorbed nearly $300,000 of medical care costs, D'Amico said. CCA had problems providing timely dental care to inmates, who had to be incarcerated for six months before dental care was provided, D'Amico said. The company provided a half-time dentist, he said. There were also concerns about psychotropic medications and HIV program standards. John Tighe, CCA vice president of health services, was quoted as saying bluntly, "Operating an institution housing female inmates was not an easy task." CCA was committed to providing quality care at the women's prison and had to fill in employment gaps, flying in staff from other areas using temporary and agency personnel, which wasn't cost effective, Tighe said. State Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, suggested the state assume operation of the entire facility, instead of just the medical care. Following that discussion, CCA provided a notice of contract termination Feb. 23, 2004, effective Oct. 1, 2004. D'Amico "commended CCA's expertise and hard work during the length of their contract with the state." The facility, now under state management, is now known as the Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center.

March 3, 2010 Pahrump Valley Times
U.S. District Judge Philip Pro Monday ordered federal judges in the Nevada district to recuse themselves from hearing a case filed by Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community against the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee over the detention center in Pahrump. Attorney Nancy Lord filed a motion for a change of venue on the grounds federal judges in Nevada were kept posted on developments of the federal detention center being built by Corrections Corporation of America. She wanted the case moved to U.S. District Court in California. "How would that justify change of venue to the Central District of California? Wouldn't the sensible resolution be to assign a judge outside the district to hear the case?" Pro asked. "We do this all the time when we have a conflict." Lord replied, "I didn't know that could be done, that another judge could be brought in." She said the entire federal bench in Nevada was poisoned by receiving information on the detention center six months before the public knew. She cited a comment by U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson, in a hearing over her federal suit against CCA and Nye County, in which Dawson said the community desperately needed this detention center. "The word poisoned is too strong," Pro said. Pro said he would recuse all the federal judges in the Nevada district and direct the clerk to refer the suit to a visiting judge. But Pro said, "I'm not suggesting that the judges of the District of Nevada should be viewed as holding any bias, or they were somewhat individually or collectively contaminated by the knowledge and placement of a facility."

December 9, 2009 Pahrump Valley Times
The litany of lawsuits filed by the Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community and Chairman Donna Cox could come with a hefty price tag. Corrections Corporation of America and Nye County have both filed claims against CCSC for court costs totaling over $7,500 in the wake of the unsuccessful federal suit brought against them in an attempt to block the federal detention center project. U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson dismissed the case Sept. 30. A suit by CCSC against the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee is still proceeding in U.S. District Court. There is also a newly-filed case in state court against Nye County over alleged Open Meetings Act violations. CCA submitted a bill for $4,446.66 that included $3,996 for printed transcripts by the court reporter. Nye County submitted a bill of $3,098.65 for court reporters for transcripts. Much of the transcript costs involved depositions by Donna Cox, chairman of Concerned Citizens. The county bill also includes a 226-page deposition of Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo, for $650.15. The CCSC attorney, Nancy Lord, filed a motion asking the court to review the request for court costs as inappropriate. "The objection here is to the taxation of these costs to these plaintiffs, who everyone involves known [sic] are without funds, have paid their attorney by passing the hat at meetings," the motion reads. The motion adds: "CCA is a multi-million dollar corporation who could afford to pay nearly $7 million for land before its deal was final and Nye County is a county government. The $7,000 in costs will mean little to either of them, but it [sic] the taxing of costs will devastate plaintiff Cox." The motion claims the recovery of costs is an attempt to frighten CCSC into giving up its case against the federal detention trustee. "Donna Cox has neither income nor assets and both defendants are well aware of this," the motion said. "She stated that the organization keeps its money in a paper bag at the home of Ms. Stern and that it is never more than $100. Counsel is paid her very discounted fees by passing the hat at some of the meetings," Lord's motion said. There is no mention of recovering legal fees. The motion claims that while the CCA attorney was paid by the hour and Nye County legal counsel was on a salary, Lord was working nearly pro bono, or for free. Lord makes mention of a 9th Circuit Court case that district courts should consider the financial resources of the plaintiffs in awarding fees to a prevailing defendant. "In this case the costs are more than this plaintiff could ever hope to pay and will only result in an uncollectible judgment on her credit report. In contrast, the awards of a few thousand dollars will mean nothing to the wealth of CCA and Nye County except a mean-spirited victory," the CCSC motion said. In a letter to CCA attorneys, Lord said Cox lives on her husband's disability which can't be the subject of a lien. Lord claims CCSC members Christina Stern and Jeff Wiest weren't listed as plaintiffs during a scheduling conference and shouldn't be subject to paying court costs. She also attempts to resolve Judith Holmgren from paying court costs. CCSC doesn't object to the fact the defendants spent those costs. But the motion claims, "The costs incurred in this case were the direct result of defendant CCA's deliberate efforts to increase the amount of time spent on collateral matters, lengthy objections during plaintiff's deposition of Sheriff DeMeo and the like." The motion criticizes CCA attorney Paul Shpirt for running up the clock on the court reporters time during the depositions. Costs for depositions should be split between both parties, Lord's motion said, adding both Nye County and CCA could have shared copies of depositions. CCSC held a good faith belief there was desert tortoise habitat on the proposed site, the motion said, the basis for the federal case, which alleged violations of the National Environmental Policy Act. The suit wasn't frivolous, CCSC claims. If Nye County allowed the plaintiffs the chance to redress their grievances against the detention center by public objection, there would be no need for litigation. Lord refers to CCSC as "a rag tag citizens' rights group." The motion also makes reference to the request for a change of venue in the case against the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee by CCSC, which claims the Nevada federal bench had a great need for the federal detention center in Pahrump, which would no longer require attorneys to travel as far as Safford, Ariz., to meet with their clients. In their opposition, CCA attorneys said the time for the concerned citizens group to file objections court costs lapsed Oct. 23. The response by CCA said the concerned citizens group cited the court's inefficiency as the reason costs had to be incurred as well as attacks against the defendant's litigation strategies. But an objection to the costs must be grounded on clerical or calculation error, CCA said. "Nowhere in plaintiff's motion is there an argument that the costs are inaccurate or miscalculated," CCA said. Nye County's opposing motion makes the same point. Accusations the entire Nevada federal bench is biased, based on a declaration by Frank Smith of the Private Corrections Institute, an anti-prison privatization group, are baseless and have no factual support, CCA claims. "Plaintiffs' argument appears to be that because this court did not rule on plaintiff's numerous frivolous motions to correct a multitude of mistakes made in their pleadings and complaints in an expedited fashion, it contributed to the costs of the litigation," the CCA response said. At the same time, CCA points out a contradiction by the Concerned Citizens who go on to claim the depositions and discovery will aid them in their subsequent case. Neither Cox nor CCSC filed for pauper status with the court, CCA said. "In fact, in her deposition, Donna Cox testified she owned a new truck and a large motor home." The company requests the court disregard the claims by CCSC until a debtor's examination is scheduled by the court, at which time assets owned or controlled by the plaintiffs can be identified to satisfy the judgment. Lord threatened to seek sanctions against the CCA attorney if there is a debtor's exam. Nye County claims Lord intended to mislead the federal court by being intentionally ambiguous about whose interests she represented. She asserted in a hearing on discovery that CCSC had no members, the county said. "Nonetheless," the county said, "several persons have put themselves out in the public as members of this association and parties to this litigation on their own weekly television show."

November 27, 2009 Pahrump Valley Times
Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community, or CCSC, has filed a motion for a change of venue in U.S. District Court in their case against the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee over the siting of the proposed federal detention center in Pahrump. "The entire Nevada bench has a direct, vested interest in the construction of this detention center," the motion, filed by CCSC attorney Nancy Lord, said. The complaint said the purpose of the detention center is to serve the federal courthouse in Las Vegas, where the trial would be held. The motion alleges "the entire scheme was hatched in secrecy within its walls." CCSC had filed a lawsuit against Corrections Corporation of America and Nye County in an attempt to halt the project, which was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson Oct. 1. Dawson had dismissed a request by CCSC for a temporary restraining order and later an injunction early this year. But a suit against the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee, who issued a record of decision to allow the detention center in Pahrump in May 2008, is still ongoing. "Plaintiffs, and with deep regrets, must respectfully request that the entire bench of the District of Nevada recuse themselves and the case be transferred," the motion said. Lord suggested holding the trial in the Central District of California in Los Angeles. Lord charged the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee provided information to the federal bench that was prejudicial. "Defendant OFDT and the U.S. Marshals have poisoned the bench with information as to the need for the detention center that is at issue and the progress of its plans," Lord said. She cited an April 30, 2008, e-mail obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from Federal Detention Trustee Scott Stuermer to Gary Orton of the U.S. Marshal's Service that noted, "Since the federal judges from Nevada have been closely monitoring our progress, would they want to be formally briefed by our contractor on the schedule?" The CCSC group claims there were violations of the National Environmental Protection Act and administrative procedures in approving the project. Lord claims the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee held "secret scoping meetings with paltry and vague public notice." U.S. District Chief Judge Roger L. Hunt received a briefing after a "kickoff meeting" May 21, 2008, between the detention trustee, the U.S. Marshal's Service and CCA, Lord said. Lord faults the federal detention trustee for sending copies of the final environmental impact statement to the Las Vegas federal bench but not some Pahrump churches, physicians, only one Pahrump attorney, one Pahrump Realtor, not "The Flagman" Ray "Mallow" Mielzynski nor former television talk show host Harley Kulkin. Lord claims Nye County Commission Chairman Joni Eastley remarked "it's a done deal" during a Sept. 16, 2008, commission meeting in which a date was set for a public hearing on a development agreement with Corrections Corporation of America. "Now, with construction well under way, and the related case dismissed because this one was filed, it was learned that there was regular communication between OFDT, the U.S. Marshals and the Nevada bench during the planning of this center," Lord's motion said. CCA officials last week said the federal detention center is on schedule to be completed next August and accept its first inmate Oct. 1, 2010. If a contract was rescinded between the federal detention trustee and CCA to build the center, the federal courthouse will be lacking a detention center until an alternate location is found, which could take several years, the CCSC petition said. The group doesn't fault U.S. District Judge Philip Pro, who was assigned the case against the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee. Lord said Judge Pro "has timely and fairly ruled on both of the motions placed before him" regarding the case. Lord cites as precedent a previous case involving a plot to destroy the Dirksen Courthouse in Chicago in which a circuit court granted motions to recuse judges from the entire federal judicial district. When it comes to the Pahrump federal detention center, Lord said, "Judge Dawson noted in open court that it was needed because attorneys were traveling to Safford, Ariz., to see their clients." Attorneys for the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee fly in from Washington, D.C., and could just as easily fly into Los Angeles International Airport for a hearing, Lord said.

October 21, 2009 Pahrump Valley Times
A handful of union protesters picketed at each entrance to the federal detention center job site this week, focusing on prevailing wage disputes and the hiring of non-union labor. "They're just paying some standard wages for the area. That's cut and dry," said Darrell Fagg, representative of Iron Workers Local 433. "They're breaking down the standard of living for us out here." Union picketers said fellow union workers installing rebar walked off the job in sympathy Monday. They said a concrete pour had to be stopped. But otherwise, construction seemed to be going full steam ahead as tilt-up concrete walls were largely in place and a building was taking shape in the rear of the property. Signs carried by picketers mentioned Blanchard Hoffman Construction, a subcontractor hired by DCK Worldwide, the general contractor, to supply and erect metal buildings on the site. "They're non-union. We live here, we want to work here," said protestor Bryan Rowe, a member of Iron Workers Local 433. "We spent $300 a week going into Vegas, why not spend $300 a week here at the house?" Rowe said he spent eight years commuting to Las Vegas, another union worker said he spent 15 years commuting. "They don't have union, structural iron workers here. They have union rod busters, but non-union structural hands. All the iron going up there is going up non-union," said Ed Williamson, a member of the local. "These guys, most of their hands are from out-of-state." "There's non-union pipe fitters in there too," Williamson said. "There's quite a few iron workers out of work, union iron workers." A man with another group of protesters said a non-union backhoe driver for a plumbing company was making $23.50 per hour with no benefits. One protestor, bundled up wearing a hood against the early morning cold Tuesday, said he underwent four years of training and has 12 years of experience as an iron worker. "There's tons of guys out of work and we don't really see anything coming up. That's the bad part," Williamson said. Protestors said the federal detention center isn't considered a federal job, which would require paying construction workers prevailing wage. "If this was a federal job, we wouldn't be out here -- we'd be out here working. Then they've got to pay prevailing wage to what we make anyway," Williamson said. Other union representatives have weighed in with their concerns over the project. While a carpenters union representative said last week four companies they have under contract would have to pay a $4.50 per hour differential for Las Vegas workers -- an incentive to hire Pahrump workers -- Scott Wichael, business agent for the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 797, said his union waived the differential for concrete subcontractor Luccero Construction, who was merely asked to hire local labor. But Wichael said Lucero is is actually only employing one member of their union from Pahrump. Wichael also had a concern over two companies working on the job he couldn't find on a list of companies licensed in the state of Nevada. "It is not a federal project, there's not federal dollars in the construction activity, therefore we're not governed by prevailing wage." said Buddy Johns, senior director of project development for Corrections Corporation of America. If it was a federal job, Johns said companies wouldn't have to be licensed in Nevada but they would have to pay prevailing wage.

October 14, 2009 Pahrump Valley Times
The construction trailer sits near the entrance to the job site at the federal detention center on East Mesquite Avenue, along with a water tank advertising a local subcontractor, Wulfenstein Construction. The fact only one subcontractor headquartered in Pahrump got a contract to help build the federal detention center doesn't mean the $80 million project won't put to work many local construction workers. "Right now on the job site, there's approximately 105 employees of which 30 are Pahrump residents," said Buddy Johns, Corrections Corporation of America senior director for project development. "Overall, the project is going to have about 30 percent local labor." CCA expects a maximum of 175 to 190 construction workers at the peak. That would mean 52 to 57 local workers based on 30-70 ratio. Wulfenstein Construction was the only subcontractor on the list headquartered in Pahrump. Wulfenstein did the foundation work, the pad and the on-site utilities. "When we investigated the local contractor pool, what we found is they didn't have enough manpower or they didn't have enough financial strength to back the project, meaning bonding, or they were not going to be able to meet our schedule demands," Johns said.

September 11, 2009 Pahrump Valley Times
Wulfenstein Construction Co. is the only Pahrump-based firm so far on a list of subcontractors building the federal detention center supplied by Corrections Corporation of America. Wulfenstein has been doing site work and installing on-site utilities at the Nevada Southern Detention Center at 2250 E. Mesquite Ave. Construction crews are working on underground utilities and pouring concrete footings, slabs and tiltwall, according to an update by Chris Murphree, CCA director of construction management. Metal building erection is scheduled to begin about the middle of this month, precast housing units are supposed to begin arriving around Oct. 1, Murphree said. CCA hopes to have the $80 million detention center completed by the end of 2010 for the housing of up to 1,072 inmates awaiting trial in the federal courts or illegal aliens awaiting deportation. Company officials said the detention center will provide 231 jobs with a $12 million to $15 million annual payroll. Regarding the construction, Buddy Johns, CCA senior director of project development, told an audience during a public hearing at the Bob Ruud Community Center in August 2008, a general contractor from Pennyslvania would be used for the project but as many local subcontractors will be hired as possible. The subcontractor list released last week includes mostly firms from the Las Vegas area. The project is taking place at a time when Las Vegas shed 32,200 construction jobs from July 2008 to July 2009, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. That's 25.7 percent of the construction industry workforce.

June 10, 2009 Pahrump Valley Times
A notice of intent to recall Nye County District 4 Commissioner Butch Borasky and town board members Nicole Shupp and Bill Dolan was filed with the county clerk's office Friday. The notice was signed by Larky White, Geneil White and Jack Jordan. Larky White ran unsuccessfully for the Pahrump Town Board last year, finishing sixth in the August primary with 781 votes. The filing gives recall supporters 90 days to produce petitions with 652 valid signatures, 25 percent of the people in District 4 who voted in the 2006 election. That deadline falls on Sept. 2, according to the county clerk's office. An effort to recall Borasky had been threatened for some months now, since the signing of a development agreement between Nye County and Corrections Corporation of America to build a federal detention center Dec. 16. "Under the NRS (Nevada Revised Statutes) law people have the right to try to do a recall. I would not try to interfere in any way and respect their right to do so. I have all the confidence in the world that the voters who elected me to office to represent them will continue to support me in the future," Borasky said. "It is sad that people who can't get elected themselves will resort to a back door approach to recall someone who is already doing a good job, to force another election with a cost to the taxpayers of approximately $30,000," he said. Borasky confirmed he will be a candidate for re-election in District 4 in the November 2010 election. He accused Harley Kulkin of being behind the recall. A companion petition is being circulated to nominate Donna Cox as the replacement candidate, if Borasky's opponents collect enough valid signatures to call for a recall election and he is voted out of office. Cox is the president of Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community, the group fighting the proposed federal detention center and the plaintiff on a suit seeking to stop it. So why is Borasky being singled out? The county commission unanimously passed the development agreement with CCA. "Because from what we could find out, he was the main person behind pushing for the prison. His name is on all the documents for the county that have anything to do with the prison and he's the only one now that's eligible to be recalled," Cox said. Cox predicted that as soon as Nye County District 3 Commissioner Gary Hollis and Nye County District 2 Commissioner Joni Eastley are six months into their current terms, recall petitions will be circulated against them. Cox said Commissioner Fely Quitevis and Lorinda Wichman weren't in office at the time the county approved agreements with the federal detention center, commonly referred to as a prison. Quitevis is also an opponent of the project, she said. Cox was optimistic the recall will pass. "People are really upset over the prison. I think it's the biggest issue we've ever had," Cox said.

January 23, 2009 Pahrump Valley Times
A film crew from Dan Rather Reports, a program aired on HD Net, a subscriber network available on high-definition TV, was on hand to tape about 80 opponents of the Corrections Corporation of America project crammed into a strategy meeting in a back room at the Pahrump Community Library last Thursday night. Cameraman Derek Reich is from Park City, Utah. Reporter Kim Balin is based in New York. Balin said she didn't want to be quoted but said for publication they were researching how prisons affect towns on a national level. There is no guarantee the excerpt will be aired on Dan Rather's show, she said. Opponents of the proposed 1,500-bed facility for inmates awaiting trial in federal court or deportation, however, made their presence visible during a hearing in federal court Wednesday and plan to bring the fight to state district court and hearings before the Public Utilities Commission on water and sewer service. "We're going to continue to fight this thing. We're going to fight it in state court. We're going to fight it in the Public Utilities Commission. It isn't a done deal. Don't get discouraged," Jeff Wiest told the crowd at the library. Field organizer Frank Smith, from the Private Corrections Institute, which opposes the privatization of prisons, said Utilities Inc. of Central Nevada has yet to receive permission to annex the site into their service area. Smith urged the crowd to "raise holy heck" at PUC meetings. He suggested they find out the addresses of PUC members and write letters to newspapers in their home towns. The PUC "isn't four or five stiffs that live in Pahrump or Tonopah," he said. Smith said each inmate needs 150 gallons of water per day. He appealed to fears over the sinking water table adding, "CCA is going to be sucking that with the biggest straw you've ever seen ... They've come here and sold this proposal to a county commission that doesn't know any better, that should know better. "They came to a little town like Pahrump and they said, 'We're going to bring development to you, we're going to bring jobs to you, money will rain from the sky.'" Smith said the plans were originally for a facility with 350 beds, then 500 beds, then 1,072 beds, now 1,500 beds. He claimed CCA actually wants to house 3,000 prisoners here. Smith also claimed there aren't enough federal prisoners from Nevada to fill the detention center. He added, the purpose of the facility will change from just housing federal inmates. Smith exhorted the crowd with an impassioned speech. "They are going to fill this up with gangbangers from California because California has three people to a cell. They have them sleeping in gymnasiums. They don't know what to do with them all and CCA is looking at that market. This federal detention center is just BS. It's a pretense. It's a charade, and if the county commissioners didn't know that, they deserve to be recalled for stupidity if nothing else." Smith repeated accusations CCA will buy their products nationally, not from local vendors. When CCA Marketing Manager Louise Grant told Storey County Commissioners in Virginia City last week there were only a few residents in Pahrump opposed to their project, Smith jokingly remarked she was using "new math." Smith said 1,500 people signed a petition against the project in Pahrump. Smith charged Pahrump residents were kept in the dark about the project until CCA "had all their ducks in a row" with county commissioners, the planning department and others in approval. In fact, discussions with CCA were outlined in some detail in the PVT. Hector Velarde, one of four residents who showed up to protest the rezoning of the East Mesquite Avenue property in front of the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission in July 2007, said he was one of only two people who received notice of the proposed zone change.

January 14, 2009 Pahrump Valley Times
U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson issued a ruling Friday stating Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community and its president, Donna Cox, failed to meet the burden of proof necessary for the issuance of a temporary restraining order against the proposed Pahrump federal detention center. While the request for the temporary restraining order was thrown out, a hearing is still pending at 9 a.m., Jan. 21, at federal court in Las Vegas on a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the project. Nancy Lord, attorney for CCSC, argued for the order in federal court Dec. 23 against Josh Aicklen, attorney for Corrections Corporation of America, and Nye County Chief Civil Deputy District Attorney Ron Kent. CCA was awarded a development agreement by county commissioners Dec. 16, to build a federal detention center to house up to 1,500 inmates awaiting trail in federal court or deportation at 2250 E. Mesquite Ave. While CCSC cited the final environmental impact statement, which states the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is concerned about the potential impacts of the proposed project and the uncertainty of the water supply, Dawson said the same EIS replies to those issues. He said the development agreement addresses impacts of lighting, visibility, emergency services, public safety and water and sewer requirements. Paul Burris, regional manager of Utilities Inc. of Central Nevada, said last week no agreement has yet been signed to provide water and sewer service to the federal detention center and no hearings have been scheduled before the Public Utilities Commission.

January 9, 2009 Pahrump Daily Times
Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community has asked the Nye County commissioners for an appeal of the approval of the development agreement for the federal detention center to be placed on the next agenda Jan. 20 "I submitted a letter to each one of the commissioners yesterday in regard to the reconsideration of the vote," said Donna Cox, president of Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community Tuesday. "We did that based on all the verbal changes to the agreement approved on Dec. 16." County commissioners voted 5-0 on Dec. 16 to approve a 20-year development agreement with CCA, the final approval to building the facility that will house up to 1,500 prisoners at 2250 E. Mesquite Ave. Committee member Judith Holmgren said the group learned later this week they have to fill out a form to submit a request for an agenda item. They were too late for the Jan. 20 agenda and now may have to wait until the Feb. 17 meeting, Holmgren said. CCSC claims the county commission hasn't followed Nye County Code 16.32.080, which requires the scheduling of a public hearing within 120 days of a "complete" application for a development agreement. A subsection states the county commissioners may approve the development agreement if it finds issues identified in the application relating to the project have been adequately addressed. The agreement has to be in conformity with the public convenience, general welfare and good land use practices; will not be detrimental to public health, safety and general welfare; and will not adversely affect the orderly development of property or the preservation of property values. The six-page letter to the commission objects to removing a restriction on accepting only federal detainees apprehended in Nevada. The agreement doesn't address having to treat effluent at Utilities Inc. sewer plant No. 3 at Willow Creek golf course, the group states. CCSC said the agreement was also modified to ban lighting outside the detention center perimeter.

December 19, 2008 Pahrump Valley Times
Nye County Commission Chairman Joni Eastley admonished Tuesday's crowd with a seasonal greeting: "Peace on earth and good will toward men." But the Christmas-time advice wasn't heeded by most speakers, who had some harsh words, including a threat to recall commissioners who voted for the project. "More lies and incompetent opinions have floated around this issue than anything we have witnessed lately. For a well-respected company with over 17,000 employees to be subjected to the kind of abuse that has been proclaimed here cannot be ignored," said Mary Swadell, speaking for her husband, Bob Swadell. Swadell asked for a show of hands of project proponents, many wearing "yes" stickers sitting in the audience. She said 1,000 letters, e-mails and phone calls were turned in supporting the agreement. "This project deserves your support. A small but noisy group tried to sabotage it and the development agreement. Where were these people when the issues were being discussed and approved?" Swadell asked. But critics of the project conjured up a wide range of possible negative scenarios that might arise. Mary Czajkowski said she used to live across the road from a prison in Michigan City, Ind. "There was a prisoner that got out. He went down the road to one of the farm houses, raped and murdered a woman and her three daughters," Czajkowski said. "I don't want to see that happen here, and I moved here to retire." Donna Como said she worked for the Colorado and Montana Department of Corrections and CCA. "I was the person who doctored the ACA accreditation reports for this company," she said, referring to the American Correctional Association. Como said commissioners need to investigate how many family members of inmates will come to Pahrump. She added no amount of landscaping will hide a full-scale riot like the one on July 20, 2004, at the Crowley County Correctional Facility, a CCA institution 40 miles west of Pueblo, Colo. Julie Griffith presented commissioners with a copy of an injunction filed to halt the project. Assistant Sheriff Rick Marshall determined it wasn't an official service of a lawsuit. Bob Howard was worried about the water and power use. He said the detention center would require 230 acre feet of water rights. An acre-foot is over 320,000 gallons, enough for two families of five for a year. J.D. Cox asked about requirements to install a traffic light at Highway 160 and Mesquite Avenue. Mike Darby, newly-elected to the Pahrump Town Board, wanted the company to provide money for scholarships at Great Basin College in general. The agreement provides for a $10,000 annual contribution if the college has a criminal justice associate degree program. Katrice Romanoff said she had concerns over the safety of children and the elderly. She said a number of schools as well as the Evergreen at Pahrump Health and Rehabilitation Center are within 9.5 miles of the detention center -- the initial bufffer zone required from residences to a correctional center before commissioners amended the county code last year. "Attention will have to be given to building fences and locked gates. What about indemnification for businesses and residents also in case of any mishaps?" Romanoff asked. Tony Lloyd felt the county should determine the best route for transporting inmates between the detention center and the federal courthouse in Las Vegas. He felt a better route would be to go the northern route around the Spring Mountains, via Highway 160 through Johnnie to Highway 95, then south to Las Vegas. Lloyd added a new commissioner will take office in January representing that district, who should have a vote on the agreement. He was referring to Lorinda Wichman who replaces Roberta "Midge" Carver. "We're doing a recall and it's not going to be just on you Mr. (Commissioner Butch) Borasky, you guys in six months and some other elected officials," said Don Cox, pointing his finger at the board. "We don't like being walked on." An elected official has to serve six months in office before being recalled, but it's unsure whether that time delay pertains to Commissioners Gary Hollis and Eastley, who were re-elected. Nov. 4. Cox said commissioners ignored 25 pages of comments from Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community. Christina Stern said, "We do not want that prison over in the middle of town. I have done extensive research on this corporation. I've seen what it's done to other rural communities and small towns. It destroys the community we were trying to build here." "We're all sitting here assuming there will never be an incident. The assumption seems to be made. I have a problem with the road access availability to our emergency vehicles that might be needed in the event there is an unfortunate event," said Realtor Norma Jean Opatik. Mike Scaccia charged the county's consultant on correctional facilities, Ira Cotler, was a prison industry financier, not a lawyer. "This alleged development agreement clearly is incomplete. It's friendly to privatization," Scaccia said. "Water is not guaranteed. Sewer is not guaranteed. The Fish and Wildlife final biological opinion is not conferred." He added, "Airport park demands are not mentioned, and only a few, at the most, if any of the 54 citizen amendments are mentioned in the development agreement." But others came to the company's defense, like Lucy Ivins, Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce executive director. She said approving the development agreement will encourage businesses to come to Nye County.

19, 2008 Pahrump Valley Times
The handshakes, pats on the back and hugs were abundant between some local officials and Corrections Corporation of America executives after Nye County commissioners voted 5-0 late Tuesday afternoon to approve a 20-year development agreement for a federal detention center, culminating a negotiating process that lasted almost two years. A few seconds passed when Nye County Commission Chairman Joni Eastley asked for a motion, about 6:30 p.m., at the end of a public hearing that began just before 2 p.m. Commissioner Gary Hollis made the motion. Commissioner Peter Liakopoulos, who hasn't participated in any county commission meetings since his resignation letter was read Nov. 24, didn't take part in the discussion but seconded the motion as he voted from a remote, undisclosed location. Commissioner Butch Borasky had some last-minute reservations about approving the agreement before the town board had approved a memorandum of understanding with the company for fire and ambulance service. Pahrump Town Manager Bill Kohbarger said he supports the MOU along with Pahrump Fire Chief Scott Lewis. Lucibeth Nave Mayberry, CCA vice president and deputy chief development officer, said agreements with providers of emergency services are normally not approved until a warden has been selected. She added, "We are contractually bound by our contract with the federal government to enter into that." One possible final obstacle is a hearing for a temporary restraining order scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday in federal court in Las Vegas, requested by attorney Nancy Lord on behalf of Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community. Assistant Sheriff Rick Marshall said county officials weren't properly served notice of the hearing at the commission meeting. Company and county officials didn't seem concerned after the vote. Attorney Tom Driggs said CCA is negotiating with Utilities Inc. of Central Nevada, which has put together an annexation plan for the federal detention center which will be filed with the Public Utilities Commission soon. Water rights have already been dedicated to Utilities Inc. for its use as a water and sewer provider and will be assigned to CCA, he said. "There is no additional draw from the Pahrump basin that will be caused by that facility," Driggs said. Commissioner Roberta "Midge" Carver thought the commissioners "may be putting the cart before the horse," approving a development agreement before the company has guaranteed water and sewer service. "If they cannot serve you, will those water rights be returned?" Carver asked. "I think those water rights would stay with Utilities Inc.," Driggs replied. "Well, I guess I'm having some problems with that," Carver said. Mayberry said a lot of issues like providing utilities were due diligence items CCA looked at when they first picked the site. She said private correctional companies like CCA were asked to submit a list of possible sites for a detention center to the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee; the federal government didn't pick them out. Problems providing utilities to the site were a major factor, she said. "The timing of the signing of this development agreement is absolutely crucial to the project going forward at all," Mayberry said. "The project is being delayed past the viability of the project. We don't want to risk the project on things that at the end of the day are CCA's risk. We impress upon you the urgency of the project." Brad Higgins, CCA director of site acquisition, said if negotiations with Utilities Inc. fail, the company has a backup plan to build on-site water and sewer facilities. Mayberry, at the start of the company's presentation, said CCA will contribute, at a minimum, $1.2 million in grants to the community the first year, then at least $860,000 in payments annually. That will amount to $17.53 million in contributions over the 20-year life of the federal contract, she said.

December 17, 2008 Pahrump Valley Times
Petitioners have applied for a temporary injunction to slow or possibly halt progress toward a 20-year agreement between Corrections Corporation of America and Nye County on development of a federal detention center at the east end of Mesquite Avenue. The petition and supporting material was filed Dec. 15-16 by Nancy Lord. A hearing has reportedly been scheduled in the courtroom of Judge Kent J. Dawson in Las Vegas at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23. Lord is representing a group calling itself Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community and Donna Cox, who has filed as an individual. The petition cites the county, the county commissioners and Commissioners Butch Borasky, Gary Hollis, Peter Liakopoulos and Midge Carver. At the same time, county commissioners were conducting a lengthy hearing on the proposed development agreement yesterday afternoon in Pahrump. Results were not available at press time. The petitioners, according to Lord, all live near the proposed detention center site, and they all "use nearby national forests for a variety of purposes" and "derive recreational, spiritual, professional, aesthetic, educational and other benefits and enjoyment from these activities." They also, Lord wrote, "enjoy the benefits of dark stars [sic] at night and a peaceful and safe rural community." Lord's pleading outlines, in some detail, the history of the CCA's efforts to come into Pahrump and build and operate a detention center for the federal government. It also details CCA's alleged failures in some regards, such as not informing the county commission whether it will drill a well or use municipal water. "Pahrump is a country town," Lord wrote. "The citizens enjoy the starlight and the moon rising." She said the detention center, which she refers to as a "prison," "will be seen by almost every home in the valley. And the lights at night will be unbearable for residents and the stars will no longer by visible to area residents." Lord also outlined safety concerns once a detention center is in operation. "The area is close enough to local residences," she wrote, "and even a private airport, that it could facilitate the escape of prisoners, allegedly detainees to be deported, with little incentive to proceed through their deportation proceedings." CCA has consistently noted the inmates will include both potential deportees as well as federal suspects waiting to be taken to trial. Additionally, said Lord, "There has been no public hearing for a Conditional Use Permit, There has been no Conditional Use Permit issued." Lord said CCA should be held to this requirement of the county code since the conditional use permit addresses, in her words, "many more issues than are addressed in the Development Agreement, especially in the areas of health, safety and welfare." Lord asks for both a temporary and a permanent injunction against the agreement. Her petition also refers, at some length, to county height restrictions and notes that "it is not certain whether the CCA facility will be 40 feet or higher." Zoning districts are established by structure height, she wrote, and added that for sites of five or more acres, the code calls for light fixtures no higher than 30 feet. "The Development Agreement calls for lighting at 35 feet." In addition, she said, "The Nye County Fire Department is not prepared to fight a fire in a 40' structure. They have no equipment that will reach that high." The surrounding area includes, said Lord, the county landfill, where it is possible spills of hazardous material could occur. She said the operators have not been required to acknowledge in writing the status of any hazardous spills prior to the signing of the agreement "because it may affect the Development Agreement and the construction schedule." Heavy equipment at the landfill, she said, "could easily be stolen and driven into the prison fences." Desert tortoises, burrowing owls and Yucca plants are also issues that have not been properly addressed, Lord wrote. She also said the county commission has ignored "considerable research of which it is aware, that indicates that the presence of a prison in this rural area will actually contribute to economic stagnation." Assumptions about employment opportunities should have been better addressed by officials. Prisoners could, Lord said, endanger residents "with chemicals and equipment taken from the nearby town dump and even flying in aircraft stolen from the airport that is also near the proposed facility."

December 12, 2008 Pahrump Valley News
Corrections Corporation of America officials hope Nye County commissioners will approve a development agreement for the federal detention center after a public hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, at the Bob Ruud Community Center. "We have been very, very diligently working with all of the parties in regard to the development agreement and certainly our anticipation is that we will end the meeting with an approved development agreement so we can move forward and relay that information to our customer, who is eager as well to have that finalized," CCA Vice-President of Marketing and Communications Louise Grant said. "That customer" is the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee which has given CCA 18 months to have the detention center constructed and ready to begin accepting inmates. "We have been told time and again by our customer, the expectation is we are still on the same time frame," Grant said. Natasha Metcalf, who manages CCA contract negotiations, has been in frequent discussions with Nye County representatives since the Sept. 16 tabling of the agreement, Grant said. "We want it to be a positive win-win," she said. When asked whether her company came to agreement on some points raised by Nye County consultant Ira Cotler back in September, she said, "I believe there has been a lot of resolution." Frank Smith, a field organizer for the Private Corrections Institute, a group opposed to the privatization of correctional facilities, said he will arrive in the area on Saturday. He has arranged to have Donna Como visit Pahrump. She was in charge of determining American Correctional Association accreditation for CCA when the company had a contract to operate the state women's prison. During the 8:30 a.m. session commissioners will consider approving 20 contracts totaling $2.9 million to support the county Yucca Mountain oversight program, under the consent agenda in which numerous items can be approved with one motion. A $42,950 change order in the contract with Mills Construction for the abatement of asbestos pipes in the demolition of the Calvada Eye building is up for approval and an asbestos monitoring agreement with SCS Engineers. Owners of Paddy's Pub are scheduled to reappear before the Nye County licensing and liquor board at 9 a.m. on a show cause hearing over their liquor license, in a case continued from Feb. 5.

October 29, 2008 Pahrump Valley Times
United Holdings Corp. turned almost a $5.8 million profit on the sale of land for the proposed federal detention center, county records show. United Holdings, which lists an address of 5560 S. Fort Apache St. in Las Vegas, purchased the 160-acre plot from David Patterson of San Juan Capistrano, Calif. for $1.2 million on July 15, 2004, according to the county assessor's office. The company then sold 120 acres of it to Corrections Corporation of America Western Properties Inc. for $6.9 million on June 30, 2008. The property is located at 2250 E. Mesquite Ave. on the corner of Powerline Road. The registered agent for United Holdings is listed as Bill Blackwell. The president, secretary and treasurer is John Hui. United Holdings Corp. retained a 40-acre chunk of the 160 acres. The taxable value of the 160 acres was $62,714 in the 1996-97 fiscal year, rising to $100,660 in the 2007-08 year. After the county commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the nonconforming zone change from open use to the new community facilities zone for the federal detention center effective July 18, 2007, the taxable value increased to $18.2 million before the split into 120- and 40-acre parcels, according to records at the Nye County recorder's office. That is an increase of roughly 180 times. Nye County commissioners voted on the zoning change without the minutes of the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission in their backup file, since the application was on a fast track from the July 13 RPC meeting. The Mesquite Avenue site was one of five non-conforming zone changes approved by county commissioners at that July 18, 2007, meeting for potential federal detention center sites. The 160 acres had been rezoned from open use to a combination of general commercial, mixed-use and medium-density residential in the comprehensive zoning map approved for the entire Pahrump Valley on June 20, 2007. The other four properties rezoned to the community facilities zone at that meeting included a 40-acre town of Pahrump property at 630 E. Parque Ave., rezoned from a rural homestead zone, and a 30-acre town property at 1690 E. Mike Road, rezoned from the village-residential zone. A 30-acre parcel at 6871 N. Blagg Road belonging to Citizens for Affordable Housing Inc. and a tract at 8500 E. Huxley Ave. / 8251 E. Panaca Ave., belonging to the Roland Karl Wiley Trust, were both rezoned from village residential. Nye County Commissioner Butch Borasky made the motion to approve the master plan amendment and zoning change for the 160-acre property, overturning a recommendation by the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission against it. Commissioner Joni Eastley cast the sole vote against the zoning change, citing the previous county commissioner's repeal of a county code requiring a 9.5-mile minimum distance to nearby residences from correctional facilities. The RPC on July 13, 2007, had voted 4-2 to recommend denial of the rezoning of the 160-acre site at 2250 E. Mesquite Ave. RPC member Nevada Tolladay made the motion to deny the rezoning, stating it would be not be desirable given the location of adjacent, developed commercial property, according to minutes of the meeting. Pahrump Town Board representative Laurayne Murray joined RPC member Bat Masterson in voting against the motion to deny the rezoning. Masterson said some homes were in the area, but they weren't located right next door and buffering could be required around the detention center. RPC member Norma Jean Opatik felt the site wasn't far enough north. The RPC voted unanimously to support the Parque Avenue location. Al Balloqui, the town of Pahrump economic development director, argued so hard for the rezoning of the town site on Parque Avenue he was chastised by Borasky, who said he was displaying an unprofessional attitude in criticizing county staff. Balloqui charged there was "serious inconsistency in the evaluations of the proposed sites and they are tilted toward some sites over others." RPC Chairman Mark Kimball was initially in favor of rezoning the 160 acres, but voted against recommending approval in light of opposition voiced from four neighbors at the public hearing: Hector Velarde, Luella Davis, Julius McKay and James Davis. No phone number was listed in the Las Vegas telephone directory for United Holdings Corp.

October 24, 2008 Pahrump Valley Times
Action on a proposed development agreement with Corrections Corporation of America for a federal detention center was postponed another two months until Dec. 16 by Nye County commissioners Tuesday. A crowd of bystanders showed up anyway to voice comments about the project, though it was reported there wouldn't be any action taken. That delays a vote on the agreement until well after the election. CCA Senior Director of Site Acquisition and Development Brad Wiggins, said when the project was tabled last month commissioners made a critical timeline even more critical. Consultant Ira Cotler, managing director of Correctional Finance and Consulting Solutions, just gave his comments on the development agreement back to CCA officials Monday. The two sides are said to be far apart on the conditions. Cotler, who was given a $50,000 contract by county commissioners to work on the development agreement, said he drafted an outline with all the issues that were raised in the past. "We've had two meetings with CCA, going through that outline in very general terms, just to throw out the topics on the table," Cotler told commissioners. Cotler also gave his input to Mark White, the attorney who represents Nye County on the drafting of development agreements, for inclusion in the agreement. More meetings between Cotler and CCA were scheduled Wednesday. "Our goal has been to expand the original development agreement to more than just a development agreement to any other style of project and address the thoughts and concerns associated with a correctional facility," Cotler said. Nye County Commission Chairman Joni Eastley said commissioners didn't have a copy of the revised development agreement as CCA hasn't had time to reply to Cotler's remarks. She proposed tabling the discussion until Dec. 16, as there will only be one regular commission meeting in November due to the election and the Thanksgiving holiday. Nye County Manager Rick Osborne asked about scheduling a special meeting. Eastley said her schedule was totally booked the rest of this month and the first week or two in November. She said a second public hearing would have to be scheduled during a regular commission meeting with adequate public notice. When Judith Holmgren asked for a copy of the revised development agreement, Osborne replied, "It's all confidential negotiations at this point until we get a draft that we feel is suitable to present to the board, and at that point it becomes a public document." The crowd booed. Asked for a comment after the delay was announced, Louise Grant, CCA's vice-president of marketing, said, "CCA is disappointed that the development agreement is not yet finalized. Assuredly, our government partners are eager for us to have that last component of the plan final and secure so we can move forward with this exciting project. We trust that the commission will work to help us make final arrangements by the date they'd just indicated. CCA will continue to operate in good faith to move forward this very important agreement." Eastley ran a tightly-controlled public comment period, with two minutes allowed for each speaker. They were restricted to commenting on suggestions to be included in the development agreement, not whether they liked the project or not. Eastley indicated her exhaustion at being bombarded with comments about the detention center, asking speakers not to talk about things like a "60 Minutes" news special on CCA or similar topics. The crowd spilled into Room B, where a television monitor was installed. Frank Smith, representing the Private Corrections Institute, was cut short after two minutes. "Nobody did the most basic research on this," Smith said. "The development agreement is predicated on certain premises. One is that somehow this would be an economic benefit to the community. We found no evidence the prison has stimulated growth. In fact, we found evidence the prison has impeded economic growth." County commission candidate Harley Kulkin wanted a public hearing where the public isn't limited to two minutes. Jeff Wiiest asked commissioners to table action until January, so the new board can take responsibility for their actions. Numerous suggestions were made by Pahrump residents.

October 22, 2008 Pahrump Valley Times
A crowd of more than 50 people, energized by a "60 Minutes" video blasting Corrections Corporation of America's operation of a private prison in Youngstown, Ohio, had finished two hours of heated rhetoric against the proposed federal detention center in Pahrump at the Hafen Elementary School multipurpose room Saturday afternoon. It had escalated into an atmosphere of cries to vote all the incumbent politicians out of office when Nye County District 4 Commissioner Butch Borasky walked in. "I just spent two and a half days with a couple of other folks in Eloy and Florence," he said of two communities in Arizona where CCA runs prisons. "We visited eight facilities. I talked to as many people as I could in those communities. I'll tell you right now, I didn't get one negative comment from anybody." That comment drew boos from the crowd. Former Nye County sheriff's candidate Ted Holmes remarked about his fear gang members and possible drug cartel members would be housed at the proposed center. Holmes said he wouldn't have any concerns if the detention center was at Cold Creek, where the present Indian Springs state prison is located, just over Wheeler Pass from Pahrump. But he said with the proposed location on 2250 E. Mesquite Ave., "the quickest house is less than six minutes walking distance." Holmes then remarked he was so mad he wanted to punch a politician about it. Borasky then walked up to Holmes, where they stood nose-to-nose before Holmes backed down on his threat and Borasky walked out of the room. It was probably the climax of a crescendo of angry comments directed at the federal detention center by people who complained they weren't aware of the project. Judith Holmgren read transcripts from a public hearing on the detention center by the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee in June 2007 in which Borasky, commenting as a private citizen, said "I wholeheartedly support the idea of bringing the detention center here." The 60 Minutes excerpt concerned a prison break in Youngstown that the mayor said could've been the country's largest prison break. Show co-host, the late Ed Bradley, announced hard-core inmates were transferred from Washington, D.C., into what was supposed to be a medium-security prison. Frank Smith, of the anti-privatization Private Corrections Institute, who hosted the informational meeting, noted other prison breaks, including one in Oklahoma that involved two elderly women hostages, invoking the worst case nightmare. He told about prison riots, like one at the Crowley County Correctional Facility in Olney Springs, Colo. Smith charged CCA would use out-of-town labor to build the facility, as evidenced by his conversation with roofers at a restaurant in Olney Springs, Colo., who admitted they had worked on a detention center in California City, Calif. "No matter what the chamber of commerce may want to believe, they don't leave money in town, they don't leave a penny more than they have to," he said. Smith said the presence of detention facilities, even where there are good paying jobs, chases away other industries and residents. "They go to towns that are desperate, that are easily convinced they are going to be some kind of godsend, there's going to be money raining from the sky," Smith said. Steve Holbo, a retired California correctional officer, said the majority of correctional officers initially will probably be imported from other states as a job promotion. "You cannot open your facility with 240 green people trying to work at the facility. The probability of the fact is that the Pahrump area is only going to see possibly 10 correctional officers hired initially out of the valley during the first year of operation," Holbo said. He said being this close to California could be a temptation for CCA to house some of its 5,000 inmates in that state in the Nevada Southern Detention Center. Kenny Bent said he was a general engineering contractor for over 21 years, putting in treatment plants and pump stations. He claimed the project, which would use 130,000 gallons per day, would drop water levels in wells. Pat Kerby said the development agreement should require CCA to dig wells deeper, if it impacts the water supply. "We need to pressure the county commission to alter this development agreement so it's more favorable to Pahrump and make the decision before the election," Kerby said. An angry Butch Clendenen, who recently bought a home on nearby Kitty Hawk Drive, went a step further. "You can vote in this election, and the incumbents have to be voted out now. That's the only way this agreement isn't going to happen. Face it, they had 17 supposed meetings where they notified the public that nobody knew about," Clendenen said. County commission candidate Harley Kulkin said the development agreement was spearheaded by outgoing County Manager Ron Williams behind closed doors. "We need to push so that the public is part of this development agreement and then we need to come up with some ideas of how we can make this development agreement fair to protect a community, and then I believe CCA will back out of the agreement and go somewhere else," Kulkin said. "They're only here for one reason, they want to house prisoners and the cheapest place to do business, and they found this is the most naive place and they'll get away with plenty here." Town board candidate Mike Darby said he has a history in the construction industry as a heavy equipment operator. "The agreements that I've read that they have put out there, I would love to have that agreement because it basically gives you a wide open contract to do anything and everything you want," Darby said. Jeff Bobeck, who ran unsuccessfully for Nye County Commission District 1, said he's a flight instructor at Calvada Airpark, located near the detention center site. Bobeck said he requested an opinion from the Federal Aviation Administration about including the private airport in the development agreement. "If I were going to try to escape from this prison -- and we have learned it is possible -- I would be headed straight for there," Bobeck said. "Within 100 feet of each airplane is the owner with keys who knows how to fly it and many of them also have enough fuel to make it to Mexico." Robert Smith, no relation to Frank Smith, asked for a recall "on all the corrupt politicians in this town." Bent criticized an alleged e-mail from Commissioner Joni Eastley in which he quoted the commissioner as saying, "This is a done deal there's no turning back, there's nothing left but signing the development agreement." "It could be easily stopped right there, right now," Bent said. Robin Lloyd urged attendees to flood commissioners with e-mails, phone calls and letters. She urged them to sign a petition asking commissioners to reinstate the 9.5 mile minimum distance to correctional facilities in the county code.

October 15, 2008 Pahrump Valley Times
Officials from Corrections Corporation of America don't plan to be in attendance when the Private Corrections Institute hosts a meeting on the pros and cons of a federal detention center in Pahrump at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hafen Elementary School Auditorium. Frank Smith, field organizer for the Private Corrections Institute will be the featured speaker. He invited prominent local opponents of the project to join him on a panel. A biography on the Private Corrections Institute Web site states Smith has been a social justice activist for four decades, involved in criminal justice research, worked on a medical marijuana initiative in Alaska, labor organization, moratoriums on prison construction, restoring civl rights, alternatives to incarceration and programs offering substance abuse treatment. If his resume looks as if he's committed to finding alternatives to incarceration, that's a correct assumption. "That makes sense to the taxpayer," Smith said in a telephone interview. "We have way too many people in jail for way too long." During comments at the public hearing on the development agreement for the federal detention center at the Nye County Commission meeting Sept. 16, Smith said the new president inaugurated Jan. 20, 2009, could change the country's immigration policy. The CCA facility would house prisoners awaiting a hearing in federal court and illegal immigrants awaiting deportation. "There will be an enormous surplus of beds which the (private prison) industry tends to ignore," Smith predicted. Smith said he has dealt with CCA, the nation's largest private prison operator, for 12 years and warned, "A deal is never a deal." "If you look at a town like Shelby, Mont., you'll find out how many times a deal gets negotiated in CCA's favor," he said at the public hearing. Smith said CCA uses a central purchasing system, which means they don't spend as much money in town. Smith and CCA Vice-President of Marketing and Communications Louise Grant exchanged words at the conclusion of the public hearing. Grant said the Private Corrections Institute was founded by the Florida Police Benevolent Association, a union representing prison workers. "They're completely opposed to privatization because unions are (opposed)," Grant said. She charged the organization receives funding from the American Federation of State, Federal, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). "They are paid or they volunteered to come into communities specifically to go against privatization. That's their sole purpose," Grant said. Smith, who is from Love City, Kan., denied Grant's accusations. He said the Private Corrections Institute was formed by several people active in the area of private prisons. He downplayed executive director Ken Kopczynski's role with the Florida Police Benevolent Association, though his resume on the institute's Web site states Kopczynski has been a legislative and political affairs assistant for the FPBA since 1993, the largest collective bargaining agent for law enforcement, correctional and probation officers in Florida. "I can assure you that we won't be there," Grant said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "We have stated publicly what the agenda of the Private Corrections Institute is, and certainly our relationship is with the county and we are continuing to very proactively work on the development agreement. That's where our focus is today." Grant said the company has held numerous public hearings, spoke at length at two recent town hall type meetings, posted information on its Web site and had community officials visit their facilities in other communities. Smith will provide extensive data regarding the harmful consequences for host communities of detention centers, the advertisement states. He will discuss media, political and legal strategies to keep Pahrump from being victimized by CCA.

September 19, 2008 Pahrump Valley Times
When Nye County commissioners postponed consideration of a development agreement for the proposed federal detention center until Oct. 21, they put Corrections Corporation of America in a tight spot. County commissioners heard almost two hours of testimony on the proposed development agreement Tuesday, which mostly involved listening to the public air their opinions. Commissioners didn't get into negotiating specific items of the agreement with the company. "A critical time line has just become even more critical," Brad Wiggins, CCA's site acquisition manager, said. The development agreement was made a condition of the rezoning before CCA can obtain the building permit to begin construction. The company also expects a biological opinion today on what mitigation measures should be taken to protect the desert tortoise, which isn't expected to be a deal-breaker. CCA is expected to have the detention center ready within a number of months after the biological opinion, Wiggins said. The record of decision issued in May, identifying the site at 2250 E. Mesquite Ave. as the preferred location, stated development of the proposed detention facility is expected to be accomplished within approximately 12 to 15 months following the award of the contract. Louise Grant, CCA vice-president of marketing and communications, said, "The federal government has not changed its expectations for when we would accept the first prisoners." Grant said the turnout and reaction from many Pahrump residents was typical of the reaction in other communities unfamiliar with private correctional facilities. Wiggins said Pahrump opponents may think CCA isn't being honest. But Wiggins, a former Federal Bureau of Prisons official, added, "They don't know after all those hundreds of thousands of hours of working in those facilities, I have to go to sleep at night knowing that I haven't said anything that's not true." Grant said groups that oppose privatization of prisons in general, like the Private Corrections Institute, had "their hired guns" at the hearing. She said the corrections institute was founded by prison union workers from Florida. Frank Smith, of Love City, Kan., representing the Private Corrections Institute, cautioned commissioners that after 12 years of dealing with CCA, he has found that "a deal is never a deal.' Steve Holbo, a retired lieutenant with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said. "It's really difficult for me to believe you have to accept the fact the federal government is going to put a federal pen right in the middle of your town. This is just not happening in California when we build state pens." Holbo said two prisons were built 20 miles outside of Blythe, Calif. He previously had promoted research prepared by the American Correctional Officer Intelligence Network critical of private prisons.

Saguaro Correctional Center, Arizona
Aug 23, 2018
Nevada inmates held in Arizona private prison go on hunger strike, allege subpar conditions
A group of Nevada inmates who are being housed in a private prison in Arizona have gone on a hunger strike, although prison officials say it’s not clear that it’s directly rooted in a nationwide prison strike happening in protest of laws and conditions in America’s prisons. Nevada Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda said the strike began Tuesday, when 18 inmates who are being housed at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona skipped a meal. He said several had resumed eating by Wednesday, and that no force-feeding was happening because they hadn’t missed very many meals. NDOC spokeswoman Brooke Santina added that her agency is in regular contact with the private prison, which is run by CoreCivic. The state has a contract with the company to house 200 prisoners because Nevada facilities have run out of room. “Medical staff are aware of the inmates who are choosing to miss meals, however, inmates fast periodically for health or religious reasons. It is an inmate’s right to choose not to eat for whatever reason. We do not force-feed individuals,” Santina said. “There are a certain number of meals that must be missed before we begin a hunger protocol.” American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada Policy Director Holly Welborn said that in the past week or two, her organization had received more than a dozen complaints from Nevada inmates at the private prison, and about half of those who submitted complaints said they would be participating in the strike.  While the ACLU of Nevada declined to release direct copies of the complaints, they shared a summary of the correspondence. The inmates have alleged that CoreCivic is not following Nevada regulations related to inmate funds, is failing to follow through with medical plans established before they were transferred to Arizona and is reducing good time credits (sentence reductions for good behavior) that the inmates previously earned. The prisoners also allege that there’s an inappropriate use of “segregation” (inmates separated from the general population), that staff is retaliating against inmates for submitting complaints and that they’re being restricted from or denied access to the commissary, religious services, educational programming, medical care and visitation. Dzurenda said he’s aware of the complaints and is looking into the situation. “We had an agreement with [CoreCivic] that services and conditions of confinement were supposed to be nothing less than what we have in Nevada,” he said. “So we’re beginning to make sure they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to.” But he said he believes the complaints are originating from members of a single prison gang who have been harassed by another gang and want to leave. “They’ve been having constant problems for the last month and they’re trying to find any way possible to get out,” he said. Organizers of the nationwide prison strike, set to run from August 21 to Sept. 9, are making ten demands for reform. They include a call for standard wages for their labor, an end to sentences without parole, access to rehabilitation programs even for violent offenders and voting rights for inmates. The ACLU said it supports the demands of the prisoners on strike. “Our country is stronger when people most marginalized and directly impacted by unjust policies raise their voices in protest and demand a different future,” the national organization said in a statement. “We urge corrections officials not to respond with retaliation. Peaceful demonstrations challenging unjust conditions and practices do not merit placing participants into solitary confinement or adding time to their sentences.”

Southern Nevada Womens Correctional Facility
North Las Vegas, Nevada

July 8, 2010 AP
A federal appeals court Thursday struck down a Nevada prison policy imposed to crack down on sex between inmates and correctional officers at a women’s prison that was described as an “uninhibited sexual environment.” The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said requiring supervisory positions be held only by female correctional officers discriminates against male employees. “Precluding men from serving in supervisory positions in women’s prisons is not a substitute for effective leadership and enforcement of workplace rules,” Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon wrote for the three-judge panel. Howard Skolnik, director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, said Thursday the policy no longer exists. “We have male lieutenants at that facility,” he told The Associated Press. “It’s been like that since I’ve been director.” Skolnik was appointed director in February 2007. The policy was imposed at the Southern Nevada Women’s Correctional Facility after an inmate was impregnated by a male guard in 2003. The prison at the time was run by a private company, Corrections Corp. of America, which pulled out of its contract after the scandal. An investigation by the inspector general uncovered “widespread knowledge” that inmates traded sex with guards for favors and privileges. The inspector general interviewed about 200 inmates and noted “frequent instances of inappropriate staff/inmate interaction,” and that in exchange for sex, prison staff “routinely” supplied inmates with alcohol, drugs, cosmetics and jewelry, court documents said. Jackie Crawford, former state corrections director, imposed the policy after the state took back operation of the prison.

April 30, 2010 Pahrump Valley Times
While Corrections Corporation of America is close to opening an $80 million federal detention center in Pahrump, the company chose an early termination of their contract to operate the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Center in North Las Vegas in 2004 due to the high cost of medical care. The Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump, scheduled to begin accepting inmates in October, is a male-only facility. CCA was awarded a 20-year contract by the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee to build and operate the Pahrump facility, which is up for renewal every five years. At a Jan. 28, 2004 meeting of the State Interim Finance Committee, the Nevada Department of Corrections considered taking over inmate medical care at the women's prison from CCA March 1 that year. But talk then expanded to the state taking over the facility completely. Senate Bill 278, approved by the 1995 Nevada Legislature, allocated $44 million to construct a new women's correctional center in southern Nevada. CCA constructed a correctional facility for 550 inmates and began housing the female prisoners. The state purchased the land, buildings and equipment from CCA on Oct. 3, 2001, with an operating contract to remain in effect through June 30, 2015, according to minutes provided by the research division of the Legislative Counsel Bureau. CCA was given a per diem rate of $40.03 per inmate, which was to increase by 3 percent per year. By 2004 that rate increased to $47.79. The contract provided for automatic renewals every three years, with a renewal scheduled Oct. 3, 2004. CCA and the state DOC had been in discussions over the per diem rate and the provision of health care to the facility for three years. Nevada DOC Medical Administrator Chuck Schardin reported CCA health care costs increased 21 percent from $2.4 million in 2002 to almost $3 million in 2003. Off-site expenses alone nearly doubled from $589,840 to $1.06 million. The minutes show a dramatic reduction of inmates from projected numbers also caused difficulties. While the women's correctional facility held 550 inmates at one time, there was a population of only 445 inmates in early 2003. In spring 2002, CCA alleged inmates from honor camps with medical problems were being dumped at the women's prison. In excerpts of the minutes from the Jan. 28, 2004, meeting, Tony Grande, CCA vice-president for state relations, said, "Continuing the contract would be exceedingly difficult if CCA was not able to remedy the costs related to medical services being provided at SNWCF." Dr. Ted D'Amico, medical director for the state DOC, is quoted in March 31, 2004, as saying: "CCA had struggled with the medical care of inmates from the start because of their inability to hire good administrators." The intake process at the correctional facility required assistance from the Nevada DOC during a year in which the medical director's budget absorbed nearly $300,000 of medical care costs, D'Amico said. CCA had problems providing timely dental care to inmates, who had to be incarcerated for six months before dental care was provided, D'Amico said. The company provided a half-time dentist, he said. There were also concerns about psychotropic medications and HIV program standards. John Tighe, CCA vice president of health services, was quoted as saying bluntly, "Operating an institution housing female inmates was not an easy task." CCA was committed to providing quality care at the women's prison and had to fill in employment gaps, flying in staff from other areas using temporary and agency personnel, which wasn't cost effective, Tighe said. State Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, suggested the state assume operation of the entire facility, instead of just the medical care. Following that discussion, CCA provided a notice of contract termination Feb. 23, 2004, effective Oct. 1, 2004. D'Amico "commended CCA's expertise and hard work during the length of their contract with the state." The facility, now under state management, is now known as the Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center.

July 12, 2005 Las Vegas Sun
A federal judge on Monday dismissed a suit against the Corrections Corporation of America brought by a female inmate who had sex with a former prison guard, according to attorneys on both sides of the case. The judge, Robert Jones, also ordered that transcripts of Monday's hearing be sent to the Nevada State Bar because the case against the corporation may have violated rules on frivolous lawsuits, attorneys said.  The original suit, brought by Korinda Martin, alleged that the Corrections Corporation was negligent and did not properly hire and train staff at Southern Nevada Women's Facility, among other complaints.  While serving time at the facility, Martin had sex with a guard, Randy Easter, and was impregnated. She later gave birth to a boy.  Martin and Easter pleaded guilty to having sexual relations, and a state judge sentenced them both to probation. He stated during the sentencing that the sex between the two was consensual.  The judge essentially felt that Martin schemed to get pregnant and then sue, lawyers said. They said that Jones believed Martin's suit may have violated rules on frivolous lawsuits and rules dictating that an attorney make accurate representation of a case as an officer of the court.  

April 20, 2005 AP
A former Nevada state prison inmate and the former guard who fathered her child have been sentenced to probation by a judge who decided the relationship was consensual. Clark County District Court Judge Donald Mosley said Tuesday that love notes and photos Korinda Martin, 25, gave to Randy Easter, 46, showed she was not a victim. Martin maintains she was forced into sex by Easter when she became pregnant in 2003 at the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Center in North Las Vegas. Easter pleaded guilty in January to voluntary sexual conduct with a prisoner, a felony. Martin pleaded the equivalent of no contest to conspiracy to commit a crime, a gross misdemeanor. The two had been indicted on one count each of voluntary sexual conduct between an inmate and another person. Martin has filed a federal lawsuit against Easter and Corrections Corporation of America, which ran the women's prison until the state took control last October. Martin's lawyer, Scott Olifant, said Tuesday that Martin could not have consented to sex because of Easter's position of authority.

August 2, 2004
Leaders of Corrections Corporation of America, the private prison operator that built and has run the state women's prison in North Las Vegas since 1997, complain the company has unfairly criticized for its treatment of inmates.  John Tighe, vice president of health services for Corrections Corporation of America, says the company has lost $1 million a year, mainly from supplying quality health and mental health services to the 464 inmates at the Southern Nevada Women's Correction Facility.  Tighe and CCA spokesman Steve Owens said they wanted to correct "inappropriate and misinformed allegations" against the company. They said the company deals humanely with the inmates and will continue to do so until Oct. 1, when the state takes over the prison.  Dr. Ted D'Amico, director of medical services for the state Department of Corrections, said the company focused on its profit margin and "the mental health and health care were not as good as we thought it should be."  (AP)

June 21, 2004
The Nevada Corrections Department says it could do a better job of running a women's prison in North Las Vegas than a private company - but costs would go up by at least $1 million a year.  The department said it would have a better-qualified staff and provide "superior programming" for the prison, which houses about 460 inmates.  "Under a private vendor, the women's correctional system would continue to be fragmented from the rest of Nevada's correctional operations and remain subject to the allegation that Nevada's female offenders are  denied equal protection or treated like 'second-class citizens,"' the department said.  The prison has had problems in the past year that included an inmate becoming pregnant. DNA testing showed a guard was the father. In addition, inmates signed a petition that complained of poor food quality and medical care, among other things.  Corrections Corporation of America, which built and has operated the prison since 1997, is pulling out on Sept. 30 at the end of its contract.  (AP)

April 12, 2004
Nearly half of the 464 inmates at a privately run state women's prison in North Las Vegas have signed a petition stating conditions at the prison are unacceptable and the state should take over.  The 215 inmates are complaining about poor food and medical care, staffers who aren't properly trained, inadequate grievance procedure and missing personal items at the prison now run by Corrections Corporation of America.  The petition was sent to Governor Guinn, members of the Legislature and the state Department of Corrections.  (

February 26, 2004
Gov. Kenny Guinn's administration is going to try to find another private company to run the state women's prison in North Las Vegas, but the state may eventually become the operator.  Jackie Crawford, director of the state Department of Corrections, said Tuesday she intends to compete with private companies in the bidding process for control of the 550-bed Southern Nevada Women's Facility. Crawford's proposal has the support of Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas, vice chairwoman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, which helps shape the state's budget.  Giunchigliani, a supporter of state operation of the prison, said the Department of Corrections should be allowed in the competition.  Corrections Corporation of America, the company that built and operated the prison since 1997, has given notice it will not renew its contract effective Oct. 1. The company said it is pulling out because it has lost money on the operation.  Keith Munro, Guinn's legal counsel and assistant chief of staff, said Tuesday the administration would put out a request for proposals for a private company to continue to operate the prison. He said the Legislature fashioned the biennial budget to have a private company in charge.  But Giunchigliani said the state could take it over with approval of the Legislative Interim Finance Committee, which meets several times before the Legislature opens in February 2005.  Munro said it "won't take long" to put together a request for proposals and the evaluation process would require 90 to 120 days  Corrections Corporation of America is the largest operator of private prisons in the nation. Steve Owen, a company spokesman, said the company would have an interest in submitting a bid to win back a new version of the Nevada contract about he emphasized it would have to be a "viable" contract to allow the company to earn a profit.  Crawford said any bid proposal should require a company to pay it worker as much as the state would. She said that was "fair and equitable."  Crawford said the security and the rehabilitation programs of CCA at the North Las Vegas prison were good. She said there were no escapes and no major disturbances.  Crawford said CCA was "very cooperative" when she had to pare down her budget because of the tough financial times being experienced by the state.  Crawford said, "I'm not blaming (CCA)" for canceling the contract. She said she understood the company is out to make a profit.  The only issue was medical care for the women inmates, she said. CCA had complained that the state would dump sick inmates from other prison conservation camps into the North Las Vegas prison.  The prison and CCA reached an agreement for the state to assume the medical care for the inmates. Dr. Ted D'Amico, director of the medical program for the prison, said he could provide better care for the female inmates if the state assumed control of that phase.  CCA would have paid the state $14.71 per inmate each month this fiscal year and $15.15 next fiscal year to cover the health care. That would have reduced the state's payment per inmate to CCA to $33 per inmate a month this fiscal year and $34.08 next fiscal year.  The Legislative Interim Finance Committee, however, balked at the suggestion and appointed a study committee headed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, to examine the deal.  Raggio, a strong proponent of private companies running prisons, said the budget staff of the Legislature felt the prison would end up spending more money on this medical care than CCA was allocating.  Raggio, whose son died in the last week, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.  The state went out to bid in 2002 for other private companies to run the prison. It was looking for a better and more economical deal than CCA of Tennessee. CCA wound up being one of the five bidders. The others were Cornell Companies of Houston, Texas; Correctional Medical Services of St. Louis, Mo.; Prison Health Services of Brentwood, Tenn.; and Civigenics of Marlborough, Ma.  Munro said an evaluation showed the existing CCA contract was still the best.  Giunchigliani said legislators "always anticipate the state running the prison." She said the state does the best job in this area. "Hopefully Jackie (Crawford) will staff up and make a bid," she said.  Giunchigliani said, however, that she would like to see a nonprofit company run the drug rehabilitation program at the women's prison. And she wants to make sure the women are trained for jobs, not just for cooking, sewing and housekeeping.  The Oct. 1 pullout by CCA will give the chance for the state corrections department to approach the Interim Finance Committee for some extra money and then come to the session that starts in February for a full budget presentation, said Giunchigliani.  Giunchigliani said she pushed for a new women's prison in 1991 but some lawmakers wanted to put it in Lincoln County as a form of economic development. She said she had to agree to allow a private company to operate it so it could be built in Clark County where there are more services and the inmates are closer to their families.  The contract between the state and CCA runs until June 2015 with an automatic renewal every three years. CCA took the option of notifying the state now so it would have plenty of time to find an alternative operator.  CCA is the latest private company to pull out of a contract with the state in a penal institution. The state ended its contract with a private company to provide medical care at the state prison in Ely last year. Munro said that contract lasted seven to eight years.  Summit View, the male juvenile detention center in North Las Vegas, was operated by the private Correctional Services Corp. But there were problems there including escapes and staff having sexual relations with the inmates.  Correctional Services ended its contract, claiming it could not make money.  State Human Resources Director Mike Willden blamed part of the problem on the low pay at Summit View that attracted some unqualified staff. Willden advocated and finally got approval for the state to re-open the center with state employees.  Willden argued that state operation of the facility would allow for better control of security and better control of the programs being offered to the inmates.  Crawford said one of the problems both she and CCA faced in Clark County was hiring employees. She said Clark County pays higher wages and the state prison and the privately owned prison lost workers to the county.  She said the turnover rate of correctional officers at the Southern Nevada Women's Facility was high.  CCA built the North Las Vegas prison but the state eventually bought the buildings and the equipment from the private company.  The most recent controversy at the prison involved an inmate who became pregnant. DNA testing indicated the father of the baby was a former guard at the prison, authorities said.  (Sun Capital Bureau)

February 4, 2004
An investigation and DNA testing have identified former prison guard Randy Easter as the father of a baby boy born to Nevada prison inmate Korinda Martin on Jan. 12, a state Department of Prisons official said Tuesday.  Assistant Director Glen Whorton added the department’s inspector general has turned over its information on the case to the state attorney general’s office for review.  Criminal charges could be brought against Martin and Easter for violating a law that prohibits sex in the prisons.  The law says a prisoner who voluntarily engages in sexual conduct with another person is guilty of a felony. So is anyone else who has sex with a prisoner.  Martin said she was impregnated by Easter at the women’s prison in North Las Vegas. The prison is run by Corrections Corp. of America.  The baby was born after Martin was transferred from the prison system’s regional medical center in Carson City to Carson-Tahoe Hospital.  In a lawsuit she filed, Martin named Easter as the father and sued him, Corrections Corp. of America, the Department of Corrections and Gov. Kenny Guinn.  (Reno Gazette-Journal)

January 31, 2004
The private company that has a state contract to run the women's prison in North Las Vegas wants to jettison the expensive part of its job. The Corrections Corporation of America has asked the state to take over medical care of the inmates at the 550-bed prison. In exchange, it has proposed that its per-inmate rate of pay be lowered by $14 -- from $47 a day to $33. This sounds like a fabulous deal -- for the private company.  Even Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, a supporter of privatization, seemed to be thinking the same thing when he blocked the offer this week after it came before the Legislative Interim Finance Committee. Intuition alone tells us that $14 a day per inmate -- $7,700 a day if the prison was full -- would not likely cover the medical costs the state would be assuming. Just one major medical procedure, let alone the actual number that might occur every day among more than 500 inmates, could top that amount.  Although a CCA representative said the deal would be a "wash," the committee was right to order a thorough financial analysis of the proposal -- even though there is an urgent aspect to this issue. Dr. Ted D'Amico, medical director for the state's prison system, was not considering finances when he urged the committee to approve the proposal. His issue was the quality of care the women are receiving. The care is "not up to standard," he said, adding that "it's dangerous to wait."  In our view, this statement alone should be enough for the state to end its experiment with privatization of vital services. The profit motive, so productive in private industry, is simply not compatible with the mission of government, which is to provide efficient, quality service in all of its areas of responsibility. The state should cancel its contract with this private company and assume its proper role in running the prison.  (Las Vegas Sun)

January 30, 2004
Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, on Wednesday blocked a state takeover of the medical care of female inmates at the state's women's prison in North Las Vegas because, he said, he wanted to make sure the state didn't shortchange taxpayers.  Raggio convinced other members of the Legislative Interim Finance Committee to appoint a subcommittee to determine how much it will cost the state to assume responsibility for the health of the inmates.  The Corrections Corporation of America runs the prison under contract with the state and is paid $47 per day per inmate in the 550-bed prison. Under the proposal, CCA would reduce its per diem rate by $14 with the state taking over health care.  Raggio said the fiscal staff of the Legislature believes it is going to cost the state more than $14 per prisoner per day.  Dr. Ted D'Amico, medical director for the prison system, urged the committee to approve the contract revision. He said the medical care at the North Las Vegas prison was "not up to standard."  He said his state staff has "better capability" than CCA. "It is dangerous to wait," he said. The takeover was scheduled for March 1.  Raggio said he wanted more time to study the deal. He said CCA was getting rid of the troublesome program and keeping the easier one -- security at the prison. But John Tighe, vice president for health care of CCA, said security "is not easy."  (Sun Capital Bureau)

January 29, 2004
A legislative panel delayed action Wednesday on a plan to have the state take over medical care of inmates at a women's prison in North Las Vegas.   Instead, the lawmakers'Interim Finance Committee formed a subcommittee to meet with officials from Corrections Corporation of America and the Department of Corrections to discuss the state's proposed takeover of the medical care from CCA.  Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, pressed for the delay, despite a plea from Dr. Ted D'Amico, medical director for the Department of Corrections, to approve a shift in medical care by March 1. The subcommittee will report back to IFC in March.  The state has been paying CCA, which operates the women's prison, $47.79 per day per inmate. The prison currently has 452 inmates. Under the proposed contract change, the cost would drop to $33.08 per day, with the state assuming the medical care.  D'Amico said the difference in payments would more than cover the state's costs for providing medical and mental health care for the inmates. He also said the women inmates at the North Las Vegas prison get substandard care and could sue if the care doesn't improve.  CCA officials said they wanted out of the prison contract unless the state takes over the medical care because they've been losing money running the women's prison.  (AP)

January 9, 2004
A Nevada inmate who became pregnant at a women's prison in North Las Vegas has sued a guard who allegedly impregnated her, the state Corrections Department, Gov. Kenny Guinn and Correction Corp. of America which runs the prison.  The U.S. District Court suit filed by Korina Martin, due to deliver her baby in late January, names Randy Easter as the father. Easter was fired from the prison after the pregnancy was discovered.  According to the lawsuit, filed by Las Vegas attorney Scott Olifant, sex between Martin and Easter took place at the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Facility. The state pays CCA to run the prison.  The suit says guards hired by that company are less qualified and get less training than guards at state prisons, and the lack of training led to violations of Martin's constitutional rights.  Howard Skolnik, assistant director of the department of corrections who oversees the women's prison, said Thursday training for guards at the women's prison equals that of guards at the state prisons, except for firearms instruction.  Besides asking for unspecified general, special and special damages, the suit also seeks to require the state to provide medical care to Martin and her child until the youngster is 18 years old.  The suit also calls for an injunction to prevent the prison from removing the baby from Martin when it is born. The state has a policy of separating a newborn child from an incarcerated mother soon after birth, Olifant said.  "We are not equipped to keep infants in the institution," Skolnik said. "We can't raise children in prison."  After the pregnancy was discovered, Martin was transferred to a prison in Carson City where she now confined.  Prison officials said a DNA test will be conducted when the baby is born to determine the father, and criminal charges may be filed because it's a felony for a prison staffer to have sex with an inmate.  Easter couldn't be reached immediately for comment. Donna Nolan, a spokeswoman for Corrections Corporation of America, said the company had no comment on the matter.  Attorney General Brian Sandoval's office is representing the prison department and Guinn. A spokesman for Sandoval said the lawsuit will be opposed and the state would soon file an answer.  Martin was convicted of robbery and coercion in Clark County and was sentenced in September 2001 to two to 10 years for robbery and consecutive one to four for coercion.  (AP)

September 19, 2003
A yearlong drug smuggling operation at the Southern Nevada Women's Prison in North Las Vegas has been broken up with the arrest of a guard and another woman, the state Department of Public Safety said Wednesday.  The department said it arrested Constance Edwards, 33, a correctional officer at the prison, as she was trying to bring two balloons of heroin into the center, which is managed by the private Corrections Corp. of America.  This was the second time in recent months a corrections officer at the prison has been under suspicion. A female prison inmate became pregnant during the summer and identified a corrections officer as the father. The case is still under investigation and no charges have been filed. The staff member resigned.  In the drug smuggling case, Corrections Corp. officials notified the state Department of Corrections, which began looking into the allegation with the state Division of Investigations a month ago.  The department said inmate Valerie Moore was receiving heroin and cocaine from Edwards, who was getting the drugs from former inmate Karen Matthews.  According to investigators, Matthews arranged to supply the drugs to Edwards, who would then get them into the prison and provide them to Moore. Howard Skolnik, assistant director of the state Department of Corrections, said the investigation is continuing whether Moore distributed the drugs to other inmates.  The department said Edwards, a prison employee for about two years, received between $50 and $200 per delivery and she was involved in the operation for a year.  After the arrest, investigators gained a search warrant for the home of Matthews, who also used the name Karen Davis, on Jennydiane Drive near Lamb Boulevard and Vegas Valley Drive, and they said they discovered evidence of the conspiracy.  Edwards and Matthews were charged with introducing a controlled substance into a correctional center and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Edwards was also charged with possession of a controlled substance.  Moore will face disciplinary charges at the prison for her alleged part in the operation. Moore, 44, is serving a life term with the possibility of parole for a conviction of second-degree murder. She has been in prison since June 1996 and is eligible for parole in June 2005.  Lt. Matthew Alberto of the state Investigations Division is continuing to try to determine whether other people in the prison were involved in the smuggling.  So far, he said, there is no evidence that money was paid by inmates inside the prison to finance the drug trafficking. He said Matthews "had another source of income to purchase the drugs for the prison and for herself."  Matthews has an extensive criminal background and was a cellmate of Moore before Matthews was released. Alberto said Matthews was in prison the last time for a drug offense.  Evidence seized at Matthews' residence included drug paraphernalia and documents showing when the correctional officer got paid, Alberto said.  Skolnik said this was the first case in a number of years of a correctional officer in Southern Nevada being arrested for smuggling drugs into the prison. He said there have been more of these incidents in Northern Nevada than in Clark County.  (Las Vegas Sun)

September 4, 2003
No more pregnancies were discovered among 535 female inmates in the state prison who were tested for pregnancy after one convict reported that a prison employee impregnated her, the state Department of Corrections announced Tuesday.  The inspector general's office is continuing its investigation of possible sex between prisoners and staff throughout the system.  The testing began after an inmate at the women's prison in North Las Vegas was found to be pregnant and she identified a correctional officer as the father.  The inmate, whose baby is due in January, was moved to the prison medical center in Carson City. DNA testing will be done after the birth to determine who the father is.  The prison is operated by Corrections Corp. of America, a private company under contract with the state.  Howard Skolnik, assistant director of the department, said Corrections Corp. fully cooperated in the testing.  Sex between an inmate and a staff member is a felony. The staff member accused of having sex with the inmate at the North Las Vegas prison has resigned.  About 750 women prisoners were given blood tests; those of child-bearing age who had not had hysterectomies were tested.  Scott Olifant, the attorney for the inmate who became pregnant, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. He has said that a lawsuit will be filed.  The inmate pregnancy was the first in the state since 1975, Skolnik said.  (Las Vegas Sun)

January 30, 2003
A new inmate transitional center, a programming division and staff cuts were outlined Wednesday as lawmakers reviewed the Nevada Department of Correction's $431 million budget.  One of those shifts coincides with the opening of the Casa Grande transitional center in Las Vegas.  The  facility, being constructed and operated by a not-for-profit organization, would open this fall with 200 beds.  Guinn budgeted more than $2 million to pay for the contract.  Another issue is the possible expiration of a state contract with Corrections Corporation of America to run the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Center.  Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, asked what would happen if the company declined to renew its contract in the fall of 2004.  "We are very capable of moving in and taking over that facility immediately," Crawford responded.  (AP)

September 30, 2002
The Southern Nevada Women's Prison has been run by Corrections Corp. of America since opening in 1997. But now the state, hoping to save money, is looking for a better deal.   Darrel J. Rexwinkel, deputy director in charge of finances for the Department of Corrections, said the state now pays $46.60 a day per inmate but wants a lower rate.   Renny Ashleman, an attorney for Corrections Corp., has said his company has lost money on the current deal - but intends to submit a new bid.   The women's prison is the only full-service prison operated by a private company in Nevada. The contract for Corrections Corporation expires in October 2004.  (AP)

January 2, 2002
Financial trouble has developed at the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Facility, which is run by a private company whose contract doesn't expire until 2004.  The state Department of Corrections has a three-year contract with Corrections Corporation of America, which says it's losing money on the prison in North Las Vegas that houses more than 500 inmates.  Renny Ashleman, a Las Vegas lawyer representing CCA, said CCA welcomes the state's move to look for additional operators, as it will probably confirm that it costs more to run the prison than the state is now paying.  News accounts say CCA may have lost about $1.5 million on medical treatment alone.  The state had a lease-option to buy the prison after 20 years, but it purchased the center in August for $24.1 million.  Because of IRS rules, the CCA contract had to be trimmed after the purchase from 20 years to three years, with an automatic renewal if both sides agree.  (AP)

Storey County, Nevada

January 8, 2009 Nevada Appeal
An industrial park in Storey County is preparing land and paperwork for a private prison. The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center will seek a zoning change on about 550 acres of the park, according to its broker, Lance Gilman. Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in the country, has said the 107,000-acre industrial park that takes up over half of Storey County is one the places it is considering for a new private prison. It would hold up to 3,000 inmates and employ about 600 workers, according to the company. The Storey County Planning Commission will not consider a permit for a private prison at its Jan. 15 meeting as was tentatively scheduled, according to the planning department. The item was taken off the agenda because an application for the permit was not finished. Gilman said the industrial park is a great place for a private prison. It is home to large distribution centers for Walmart and others and has an open 160 square miles. “Don’t you think I can find a really nice canyon or meadow that won’t interfere with anyone?” he said. “Hell, yes, I can.” Gilman said he can’t say anything about Corrections Corp. under an agreement with the company, but the industrial park will be ready for a private prison as soon as possible. The Corrections Corp. prison would be built in two phases on the southeast side of the industrial park near the corner of Portofino and Malta drives, according to paperwork filed with Storey County by the industrial park. The buildings will be less than 35 feet tall and “similar in scale and appearance to a light industrial park or secondary school,” according to the county records. A minimum 100-foot buffer zone would surround the patrolled prison along with double 12-foot security fences, records say. Corrections Corp. would get inmates through a state or federal contract, said Louise Grant, a company representative. The company has no contract and no definite schedule to start building the prison, however, she said. Corrections Corp. managed the Southern Nevada Women’s Correctional Facility in North Las Vegas from 1997 to 2004. It was the first private company to manage a Nevada prison. The company did not renew a contract to continue managing the prison, saying medical care and other costs made it too expensive. Nye County in December approved a federal detention center that the company will build and run in Pahrump. Some residents and the Florida-based Private Corrections Institute criticized the plan during the company’s two-year negotiations with the county. Frank Smith of the institute said in an e-mail that the detention center will lack oversight and hurt Nye County. But the project is supported by the county government and the “vast majority” of residents, according to Grant. She said the institute rallied a few people to spread “misinformation” about the company.

Summit View Youth Correctional Facility
Las Vegas, Nevada
Correctional Services Corporation

January 27, 2004
A youth corrections facility where inmates staged a rooftop revolt two years ago when the place was privately run was expected to reopen today under state control, officials said.  Summit View Youth Correctional Center closed in March 2002 after numerous complaints about suicide attempts, escapes, unchecked drug use and sexual and physical abuse of inmates by guards. Those problems came to light after 20 inmates, fed up with the prison conditions, took to the rooftop of the facility and had a 90-minute standoff with police.  Now under the control of the state, Summit View will become a place where the young prisoners can be properly rehabilitated because the facility has better staff that is prepared to deal with their charges, newly appointed Summit View Superintendent Robert McLellan said.  (Las Vegas Sun)

January 23, 2004
Pizza parties. Movie nights. Staff who smoke weed with inmates and ignore tips about riots. And blow jobs. Blow jobs!  What disrespecting, young male scofflaw wouldn't beat down a warden's door to serve time in this teenage Club Fed?  Juxtaposed against Summit View Youth Correctional Center's ascetic veneer—a fortress of steel and thick brick circled by barbed wire; to the north lies restricted Nellis Air Force Base land—is the reality of its past: Inmates, with the help of complicit staff, ran the asylum. And not just any inmates—Nevada's most violent and dangerous male juveniles. Three years ago, 19 of them led a rooftop uprising that trained global attention on the privately-run, 96-bed facility in a cul-de-sac in a desert patch of northeast North Las Vegas.  Months of feverish work by state officials to close wide-ranging gaps in Youth Services International's program, from tracking allegations of mistreatment to escape procedures to staff training, the Florida-based company opted out of its $4.3 million annual contract in September 2001, closing the facility and displacing an already hard-to-place population.  Two months later, before District Judge Joseph Bonaventure, Gloria Kim—one of two female employees given probation for performing oral sex on inmates—explained why so much went unchecked at Summit View: "It was poorly run."  On Monday, the prison is slated to reopen. This time, under state rule (all state juvenile correctional centers are under the auspices of the state Department of Human Resources' Division of Child and Family Services). At the helm will be Superintendent Robert McLellan, tapped from the Montana Department of Corrections, who's indicated he'll not use the past as a guide. He neither knows much about the riots and oral sex, nor does he care.  "I'm not familiar with what occurred down to the details," says McLellan. Prior to becoming assistant superintendent at the Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility in Miles City, Montana, he worked in enforcement. "This is an entire new operation. It'll be completely different."  The first 24 inmates are scheduled to arrive on Monday, with the facility expected to be fully operational, all 96 beds filled and 86 staffers hired, by year's end.  Big Difference No. 1 between YSI and McLellan: Under YSI, employees routinely took on assignments without being properly trained. McLellan's workforce will undergo 160 to 170 hours of instruction set to American Correctional Association Standards. "You absolutely have to screen and hire the best staff to supervise the youth."  Big Difference No. 2: Inmates' entire days will be structured, from wake-up to bedtime, chow time to exercise—the facility's central portion has soccer fields, volleyball and basketball courts and a gym.  Also in place will be a "cognitive behavioral restructuring model." It delineates levels of behavior and rewards inmates for obeying rules. Via the Clark County School District, inmates can take continuing education courses, vocational and GED classes or, McLellan says, sign up for life-skills programs.  McLellan is in the process of identifying the inmates; there's no plan to accept youth from other states. The typical stay will range from nine to 12 months. Given the caliber of his future clientele—chronic offenders (they've committed large number of crimes), serious offenders convicted of assault, weapons and drug-related crimes) and parole violators—McLellan doesn't expect a trouble-free ride.  "Every juvenile facility has the potential to have problems. We have already planned for a variety of things," he notes, neglecting to say if that includes weed-smoking parties between inmates and staff and the occasional act of oral sex meant to deflate an unruly prisoner. "We're prepared for problems if they do happen."  (Scope

January 5, 2004
After being closed for nearly two years, the state-owned Summit View male juvenile detention center in North Las Vegas will be reopened Jan. 26 and will take in 24 boys the first week.  "We intend to keep (the inmates) engaged and busy," newly hired superintendent Robert W. McLellan said. "There will be little unstructured time."  From 6:15 a.m. until lights-out at 10 p.m. there will be schooling and a variety of programs with only a minimum of free time, he said.  Classes at the facility will begin Jan. 29.  The $14 million, 96-bed center originally opened in June 2000 with Correctional Services Corp. hired by the state to operate the facility. But there were problems, including escapes and sex between female staff and inmates. The private company pulled out of the contract in January 2002, complaining it could not make money. Except for a maintenance staff, Summit View has been vacant since March 2002.  The 2003 Legislature approved the recommendation of Gov. Kenny Guinn that Summit View should be run by the state, rather than a private company.  State Human Resources Director Mike Willden said the first group of inmates will come from county juvenile facilities, mostly in Clark County. He said Nevada delinquents placed in out-of-state facilities would not be brought back immediately unless their treatment programs are completed.  McLellan, who comes from Montana, has hired Audrey Fetters from Washington state as his assistant superintendent.  McLellan is a former chief of police in two cities in Montana, a deputy sheriff in Colorado and was deputy director of care and custody of Pine Hills Youth Correction Facility in Miles City, Mont., before taking the Nevada job.  Before coming to Nevada, Fetters was juvenile court administrator and administrator of the juvenile detention center in Yakima, Wash. She has a background in clinical social work.  The typical length of stay for a juvenile at the facility is expected to be nine to 12 months, though chronic offenders may stay longer, McLellan said. Inmates can be held at the facility until they turn 20.  The center has an authorized staff of 85 and McLellan said he will have 44 on board when it opens next month. The staff will be augmented as more youths are accepted.  Willden said he intends to follow the guidelines of the American Corrections Association, which call for one staff member for every eight inmates during the day and a 1-16 ratio at night.  The Clark County School District will provide the schooling. Willden said the state has hired nurses, mental health counselors, security staff, cooks and others.  Reveille is planned for 6:15 a.m. for the inmates, who will do calisthenics, shower and clean their individual rooms before going to breakfast. School starts at 8:50 a.m. and goes until 11:30 a.m. when there is a break for lunch. The boys are back in class from 12:30 to 3:10 p.m.  After school there will be group sessions aimed at changing the behavior of the inmates and recreation. McLellan said there will be at least an hour of "large muscle exercise" that will include such sports as football and soccer.  The inmates will use a gymnasium that has never been used. It was completed after the private company pulled out and the center was put in mothballs. There will be a new soccer field and weight room, Willden said.  After dinner the boys will have one to two hours of leisure time to write letters, work on their school courses or do other activities. There will also be mental health counseling. A "wrap-up" session will follow to allow inmates to talk about the day's activities.  At 7 p.m. there are more group sessions for counseling on drug, alcohol and health problems. And at 9 p.m. the juveniles are put in their rooms and the lights are turned out at 10 p.m.  Willden said the inmates will be serious offenders, many of whom "flunked out of Elko and Caliente," the other two state-operated training centers for delinquents.  Willden said Summit View "gives us another tool" in the placement of youngsters but the state may still contract with private companies for some. After closure in 2002, the state sent the youths to Rite of Passage in Northern Nevada or to a facility in Tennessee.  "This is high security -- high fences and razor wire. And there will be lockdown," he said. Willden said he doesn't want to see the security lapses that plagued the center when a private company operated it.  The facility is scheduled to be in full operation by August 2004. Its budget for next fiscal year is $5.2 million.  (Sun Capital Bureau)

December 5, 2002
Gov. Kenny Guinn wants to reopen Summit View Youth Correctional Center, the prison for serious juvenile offenders in North Las Vegas, with the state -- instead of a private company -- running it. Guinn said Tuesday he would include money in his next budget to reopen the 96-bed center in July.   From the time Summit View opened in 2000 to its closure on Jan. 31, 2002, it was run by Correctional Services Corp. But that private contractor pulled out, complaining that the state never put enough inmates in the facility to enable it to make a profit. The state had paid Correctional Services $122 per day per inmate.   Guinn and state Human Resources Director Mike Willden said the state can operate the center at a rate competitive with private companies and would provide better accountability. A state-run center would be a stable work environment for employees, who must be trained to handle violent youth, gang members and drug offenders, state officials said.   A number of problems were documented when Correctional Services ran the center, including escapes and sexual contact between female staff members and male inmates. There also were allegations that Correctional Services didn't hire qualified guards and didn't pay adequate wages, Willden said.   After Correctional Services announced it would pull out, Guinn and Willden proposed the state reopen the facility. They estimated the state could run the center for $155 per day per inmate.   But the Legislative Interim Finance Committee nixed that plan and told the administration to find a private contractor. In the meantime, the inmates were placed in other facilities at a cost of $113 to $126 a day. Bids were solicited and Securicor New Century of Richmond, Va., was selected as the operator. But before a contract could be signed, the state's budget crisis worsened.   Instead of going with Securicor, the state decided to ship the inmates to other places.   Willden said the bids from the two private companies that sought the contract ranged from $149 to $160 per day for each inmate. Guinn suggested the state's initial $155 per inmate estimate could be knocked down to $145 or $150.  (Las Vegas SUN)

August 19, 2002
The director of the state Department of Human Resources says he wasn't aware of allegations that a Georgia company that wants to operate the Summit View detention center may have had past problems in running similar youth programs in Florida.   But that doesn't mean the company will lose the contract, said Mike Willden, whose department oversees Summit View near North Las Vegas.   Willden said Monday that an evaluation committee in the state Purchasing Division, not his department, issued the "intent to award" the contract to Securicor New Century.   Willden said he intends to meet this week with the evaluation committee to talk about the allegations. He said, however, he doesn't know if this will change the decision to go forward with negotiations with Securicor.   The real issues, Willden said, are whether the problem at three youth centers in Florida were "pervasive and continuing" and if there were no efforts to correct the deficiencies.   Willden said every company that runs detention centers for hard-core juveniles has problems of "uprisings, runaways and improper relations" between staff and the inmates.   Ernie Adler, attorney for Rite of Passage of Minden, which came in second in the bidding for the state contract, said the company would file an appeal in the next week.   Adler said many of the problems that occurred in Florida were similar to the ones Summit View had when it was operated by Correctional Services Corp., which ended its contract in January.   The $14 million Summit View, with 96 beds for serious male juvenile offenders, opened in 2000 and closed on Jan. 31.   Rite of Passage President Lawrence Howell also complained that the company's parent is based in Great Britain.   William Florence, president of Diversified Business Vision of Las Vegas, a third company that submitted a bid, said Monday he was also concerned how the bid was awarded. State Purchasing Officer Colleen Janes could not be reached for comment on whether the evaluation team knew about the past problems of Securicor, which runs three centers in Florida for the state.   Securicor President Gail Browne said there has been one escape in the past year. That came at a center where the least restrictive inmates are allowed to go into the nearby town.   She said in the three years Securicor has been operating in Florida, there have been two incidents of improper sexual relationships between staff and an inmate. In one case the employee was fired within 24 hours and in the second, the worker quit, Browne said.  (The Las Vegas Sun)

June 20, 2002
Nevada is looking again at leasing the mothballed state prison at Jean.   The state also has narrowed the list of private bidders to reopen the Summit View juvenile detention center in southern Nevada from three to two.   The $14 million center is a 96-bed facility for serious male juvenile offenders. It opened in 2000 and was run under contract by Correctional Services Corp.   But after a number of problems, including attempted escapes and sexual contact between female staff and inmates, the private company ended its contract, saying it was losing money. The facility closed earlier this year.  (Las Vegas Sun)

November 26, 2001
Lawmakers balked Monday at a Guinn administration plan to have the state take over Nevada's first privately run youth prison, where inmates took over a rooftop last summer.   The state Child and Family Services Division wanted a go-ahead from the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee to run the Summit View Youth Correctional Center, but failed to get a majority of either the Assembly or Senate members of the panel.  The state decided to take over Summit View, subject to IFC approval, after Florida-based YSI recently decided to end its $4.3 million annual contract two years early.  Last summer, 20 inmates climbed onto a Summit View rooftop and had an hours-long standoff with police - on the first anniversary of the prison's opening. The inmates caused more than $12,000 in damage before giving up.   In August, two former employees were arrested on charges of having sex with two inmates, ages 17 and 18. The women pleaded guilty and will likely receive probation when they are sentenced next month, prosecutors said.  (AP)

October 11, 2001
Gov. Kenny Guinn says plans for the state to operate the troubled Summit View Youth Correction Center in North Las Vegas are moving ahead.  But Guinn said the center's current private operator, Youth Services International, will first have to make some repairs before it pulls out.  "They've got to clean up the place and leave it like it was," Guinn said.  "It has not been taken care of."  YSI in September gave six months' notice that it was pulling out of the operation, which has had a number of problems.  (AP) 

September 24, 2001
The private company that operates the youth prison where inmates took over a rooftop in June is pulling out of its contract with the state - two years before it expires.  Youth Services International, which operates Summit View Youth Correctional center, notified the state earlier this month that it wants out of its $4.3 million annual contract.  YSI officials said the company is pulling out of Nevada because the prison never reached 95 percent capacity and administrators had trouble hiring staff in Las Vegas' highly competitive market.  The facility's problems were revealed after 20 inmates escaped onto a rooftop and had an hours-long standoff with police on the first anniversary of the prison's opening.  In August, two former employees were arrested on charges of having sex with two inmates, age 17 and 18.  The women pleaded guilty and will likely receive probation when they are sentenced next month, prosecutors said.  The company pulled out of a similar contract in Florida after problems surfaced and has been under fire in Maryland after a state audit found problems at two YSI facilities there.  (AP) 

June 26, 2001
Two teen-agers accused of trying to escape during a detention center disturbance have agreed to plea bargains.  They were among 20 teen inmates accused of climbing onto the roof of the state-owned and privately run Summit View Youth Correctional Center on June 1.  (AP)

June 02, 2001
The uprising ended peacefully after about three hours, with the last two of about 20 inmates surrendering to authorities on the roof of the facility.  Earlier, aerial video footage from a local news helicopter showed about 20 young men on the roof of one building at the facility, some carrying large pieces of wood and metal parts from air conditioning ducts.  Police and prison guards surrounded them on the ground in the 104-degree heat.  Military police from nearby Nellis Air Force Base were also on the property, aiding local authorities.  The 13-acre, 96-bed facility, which opened one year ago today, houses male juvenile offenders aged 13-18.  It's the state's first secure juvenile facility, built for chronic offenders, many of whom have been convicted of felonies.  The center was paid for by the state of Nevada, but is operated by Youth Services International, a private company based in Sarasota, Fla.  (

June 01, 2001
Teen-age inmates surrendered Friday after a disturbance at a maximum security youth correctional facility outside Las Vegas.  Some of the inmates took to a rooftop and could be seen brandishing sticks or clubs before the standoff ended without further incident.  The uprising by at least 15 teens came on the first anniversary of the opening of the Summit View Youth Correctional Center, a privately managed 96-bed state prison for the most serious teen-age offenders.  (FOX News)