Private Corrections Institute, Inc.

Puerto Rico prisons

Aug 11, 2018
Prisoner Transport Deal Could Cost Puerto Rico Over $10 Million: Report
The island is still reeling from an estimated $95 billion in damage caused by Hurricane Maria last year. Photo by Roosevelt Skerrit via Flickr The transport by a private corrections company of more than 1,000 prisoners to the U.S. could cost the beleaguered island of Puerto Rico over $10 million, according to the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo (CPI). During contract negotiations with CoreCivic, one of the leading private corrections firms in the U.S., the government tried to lower the company’s proposed daily fee of between $63 and $67 per inmate. But the final agreement, not yet signed, has remained more or less the same, Puerto Rico Corrections Secretary Erik Rolón told the CPI, a nonprofit news outlet partnered with the Law Faculty of the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico. The contract is still pending review by Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Control Board. “This is a contract that will probably exceed $10 million,” Rolón told CPI. Transport flights to Arizona could begin as early as Aug. 15, CPI reported. Authorities said as many as 1,200 prisoners would be sent to Arizona. The island plans to transport a total of 3,200 prisoners, representing 30 percent of the total incarcerated population on the island, to private prisons in the U.S. over the next five years. Rolón told CPI that the usual regulations governing prisoner transport to the U.S. won’t apply to those inmates in Puerto Rico’s “Out of State” program. Inmates slated for departure still haven’t been given an orientation on their new destination, La Palma Correctional facility in Arizona. “In the past, what has happened is that [prisoners] were transported to the United States, and when they said—’look, the conditions here are not what you offered, we want to be brought back to Puerto Rico,’ nothing happened,” Thalia Méndez, Corrections Advisor for Puerto Rico’s Legal Aid Society, told CPI. “The regulation [standards] were never met. Imagine how much worse it will be if those regulations are created after they are already transferred.” “Our primary concern is that there has not been transparency with regards to which prisoners will ultimately be moved,” said Yahaira Colón, a Legal Aid attorney, in and interview with CPI. Colón also questioned what will happen to those inmates who have matters still pending before the courts, if the first flight is already scheduled to leave on August 15—and whether they will receive legal representation.
Earlier stories in mainland media said the island was considering “offloading” up to 3,200 prisoners to U.S. private facilities as part of a money-saving plan to close up to one-third of its jails and prisons. The plan has met with fierce opposition from civil rights groups. In April, more than 50 lawyers, academics and representatives of international human rights groups signed a declaration opposing the transfer, saying it will cause additional hardship to families of prisoners, who will find it difficult to visit them. “Rehabilitation (of prisoners) should not be subject to an economic rationale,” the declaration said. The island’s already troubled economy took a severe hit last year from Hurricane Maria. Many of the island’s detention facilities were rendered unusable by the September 20, 2017 storm. On Wednesday, in a report to Congress, Puerto Rican authorities released figures showing that 1,427 people more people died in the four months following the hurricane than in the similar period a year earlier—effectively the first concrete acknowledgement of Maria’s death toll. Reports also suggested an upsurge in crime and domestic violence following the storm. In May 2017, the Commonwealth declared what was essentially a form of bankruptcy in order to cope with an estimated $123 billion in debt and pension obligations, The New York Times reported. Adding to the island’s financial burden, addressing the effects of the storm and its aftermath, which left most of the inhabitants without power for weeks and months, will cost up to $95 billion, according to Gov.Ricardo Rosselló—making it one of the five costliest storms in U.S. history.

August 27, 2004
Case name:Feliciano, et al. v. Rullan, et al., No. 04-1300 (1st Cir. 08/06/04).  Ruling: Although an appeals court characterized the denial of medical and mental health services in Puerto Rico's prisons as massive and systematic, it refused to derail court-mandated improvements that have failed for more than 30 years.  When a new secretary of health, John A. Rullan, was appointed over the prison system in 2003, he appealed to the court to discontinue the injunctive orders and fines and void a 10-year-old contract held with a private prison health care company. Rullan said the company has yet to see a single patient, although it has worked for a decade to put in place the necessary infrastructure to clean up the system.  (Corrections Professional)

Judge under federal investigation

August 4, 2004
At a time when Secretary of Justice Anabelle Rodriguez was confirmed by the Senate to the post of Associate Judge to Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court, the Federal Prosecutor Office received an official request from Judge Juan Perez Gimenez for an investigation of Rodriguez. 
On Wednesday Perez Gimenez said that he would seek federal determination as to whether Rodriguez, confirmed on Monday to the island’s highest court, engaged in criminal acts when she refused to follow a federal court order related to the Morales Feliciano prison overcrowding case. 
According to published reports, the document in which Judge Perez Gimenez orders Chief Federal Prosecutor in San Juan, Humberto Garcia, to investigate and notify the courts of possible criminal violations allegedly incurred by Rodriguez, was received only hours after the confirmation of the Secretary to the Supreme Court.  Judge Perez Gimenez requested the investigation after a hearing in which a letter written by Rodriguez was presented, the letter instructed Corrections Secretary Miguel Pereira and Secretary of Health Johnny Rullan to follow interagency guidelines and not federal mandates regarding prison medical services.  Department of Justice attorney Carlos del Valle accused Perez Gimenez of punishing and persecuting Rodriguez because she challenged constitutional matters in the Federal Court, while challenging his ruling in the Boston Circuit Court of Appeals.  The ruling in question regard the jurisdiction in the administration of correctional medical services, which transferred authority from the local government to a private provider contracted by Department of Correction.  Rodriguez immediately rejected the allegations because his ruling on the Morales Feliciano case is under appeal in Boston.  (Puerto Rico Wow)

Guayama Correctional Center
Guayama, Puerto Rico
May 9, 2002
Corrections Corporation of America yesterday said Puerto Rico planned to end a third contract under which the company manages a prison for the commonwealth.  Officials of the commonwealth believe they can run the prisons more cheaply.  (  

CSC Maximum Security Juvenile Detnetion and Treatment Facility
Salinas, Puerto Rico
December 2, 2002
CSC today announced the sale of its 132 bed maximum security juvenile dentention and treatment facility in Salinas, Puerto Rico to the Juvenile Institutions Administration of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ("AIJ") for $15 million.  The facility was built as the result of a contract award to CSC by AIJ, which required the company to design, build and operate the facility.  Although construction was completed in January 2001, the facility was never occupied by AIJ.  At the time the facility was ready to receive juveniles, the Commonwealth requested CSC negotiate the sale of the facility to AIJ.  James F. Slattery, president and CEO stated.  Mr. Slattery further stated, "The sale of the Salinas facility is a significant milestone for our company.  For two years we have been attempting to find a way to free up the capital invested in this family which was not providing us with any return.  The situation has been a major distraction for upper management and has stifled our ability to execute on certain aspects of our strategic plan.  (Yahoo Finance)

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