If you find our website useful, please consider sending us a contribution!!!
PCI, 1114 Brandt Drive, Tallahassee FL 32308


Charleston County Detention Center
Charleston, South Carolina
Prison Health Services

March 15, 2004
Leon Jones was an inmate inside Charleston County's Detention Center for about two months before he suffered a diabetic episode in March 2002. Those caring for him tried to give him milk while he was unconscious. Four months later, Jones died at a local hospital. That is what's alleged in a civil lawsuit filed recently by Jones' sister, Garetha Bell, who is suing the county and Prison Health Services, Inc., a private health care company that helps handle medical care at the jail.  Bell's lawyers John Crumrine and Keith Bolus declined to elaborate on their lawsuit Friday, and Sheriff's spokeswoman Dana Valentine said she could not comment on pending litigation.  The lawsuit says Jones was booked on Jan. 8, and that he had a severe form of diabetes and other medical complications.  "Despite the notice ... (of Jones') severe diabetes, the defendants all acted negligently and failed to reasonably provide a sufficient regiment of nutrition, observation, medication, testing and other medical treatment," the suit says.  On March 2, the lawsuit says Jones suffered a diabetic episode and became unconscious and unresponsive. The lawsuit also says the defendants acted recklessly and failed to provide proper emergency care.  Someone attempted to give Jones milk "despite his unconscious state," the lawsuit says. He later inhaled the milk, suffered cardiac arrest and was taken to St. Francis Hospital.  Jones died at the hospital on July 14 as a result of the March 2 episode, the lawsuit says.  The lawsuit claims that the defendants did at least 16 things wrong, from failing to follow the state's minimum standards for local jails to not properly training its employees in CPR to giving Jones milk while he was unconscious.  (

Columbia Training Center
Columbia, South Carolina

December 15, 2000
A federal grand jury Friday awarded more than $3 million to a Charleston teen-ager who was hog-tied, maced and thrown against a wall by Corrections Corporation of America guards three years ago.  The verdict could open the door for 21 other teens who have filled lawsuits against the Tennessee-based CCA.  The teens claim that guards at a privately run juvenile prison that CCA operated in Columbia assaulted and improperly punished them.  "It's a case where a corporation had a policy of using abuse." said Gaston Fairey, the teens lawyer.  The jury decided Thursday that CCA had a corporate policy of using excessive force to control teens sent to its facility on Farrow Road in Northeast Richland.  They awarded Pacetti, now 18, $125,000 in "actual damages," compensating him for his pain suffering.  Cooper acknowledged in court that the company made "big mistakes," but added, "CCA is not an evil empire."  The state decided not to renew the contract after the first year. (Tennessean, Dec. 16, 2000)

The state took over CTC in 1996 after numerous problems. A class-action lawsuit has been filed alleging abuse by CCA's Special Operation Response Team. Videotapes of incidents are missing.

North Augusta, North Carolina
Wackenhut (Group 4)
November 2, 2007 WRDW News 12
The family of Alecia and Jade Arangelin say the man who killed them, Robert Herring, was a monster. The family says there were signs of abuse against Alecia at Robert's hands. By why he killed her daughter too, is a thought that will haunt them forever. "He was insane. He was a psycho. He was a monster. I don't want anybody saying nice things about him because he murdered my sister and my niece. He was an evil person and that's what I want everybody to know," says Alecia's sister and Jade's aunt, Tanya Sullivan. She's talking about her brother-in-law Robert Herring, a former Wackenhut employee, who police say murdered his wife and stepdaughter before turning the gun on himself. "I want people to know what kind of a person he was. I don't want them to think he just snapped in the moment, he didn't just snap, he planned this. He assaulted my sister many times," adds Sullivan. But why the attack happened now, when there weren't any recent signs of trouble, baffles this grieving family. "We were all on vacation this past weekend. I stayed in the same room with him up in Blue Ridge. Everything seemed okay." "So no sign of why right now?" we asked. "No, no," Sullivan said. "So why Jade?" we asked. "We don't know why he did this to Jade," Sullivan said. "She was asleep in her bed. He shot her first they said. My sister, they said she sat up in bed so she had heard the gun shots but they said it probably all happened within a minute, and then he went and shot my sister. Jade was asleep in her bed. Why would he do this to my niece? My innocent 17-year-old niece?" Haunting questions with no answer, but they believe this could have been avoided. "Back in December of last year, my sister was assaulted, severely assaulted...I'm surprised she didn't die at that time," explains Sullivan. At the time, Alecia had been married to Robert Herring for less than one month. "She was so traumatized. She was bleeding out of her eyes, her nose, her ears." But Alecia stayed and escaped another close call in May. "He called me and said 'Tanya, I'm out at this house and I'm drunk. I've got a gun and I'm going to kill her.'" That's the night Tanya says Robert was cited for public disorderly conduct. If more had been done then, she says Alecia and Jade would still be here today. The public viewing is scheduled for tonight at Rowland Funeral Home on Martintown Road in North Augusta from 6 pm until 8 pm. The funeral is tomorrow (Saturday, November 3) at Big Stevens Baptist Church in North Augusta at 2 pm. The family is asking that friends and family who come, don't wear black and white. They feel colors would be more appropriate for the upbeat ceremony planned to celebrate the lives of Alecia Arangelin and Jade Arangelin.

Richland County Jail
Richland County, South Carolina
Prison Health Services

March 15, 2006 The State
Richland County officials plan to nearly double medical staffing and increase spending by 42 percent to help prevent inmate suicides and other problems that plagued the jail in recent years. The county is negotiating a $2.7 million annual contract with Tennessee-based Correct Care Solutions to provide medical and mental health services to the jail. "It's unfortunate that it took the deaths of three people to come to this position," said Dave Almeida, executive director of the state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who lobbied the council to fire the old company. "Hopefully, this is the end of a very sad chapter." The county's previous contract with Prison Health Services Inc., also of Tennessee, was for $1.9 million. In September, the council fired the company following concerns about the deaths of three mentally ill inmates. Prison Health Services was given six months to pull out. Its last day is Friday. Correct Care Solutions is scheduled to start at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. From July 1, 2001, through Feb. 28, the county paid Prison Health Services $7.5 million for medical and mental health services. During that time, seven inmates died under questionable circumstances, including a mentally ill inmate who died of complications from hypothermia and two other mentally ill inmates who hanged themselves. Another inmate hanged himself in January, though investigators said he had no known history of mental illness. The families of the three mentally ill inmates -- Bobby Mott, Marc Washington and Antonio Richburg -- sued Prison Health Services. Mott and Washington's lawsuits were settled last year for a total of more than $600,000. Richburg's lawsuit has been partially settled for $500,000, court records show. An update on lawsuits filed by the families of three mentally ill Richland County jail inmates who died in custody: • Bobby Mott, whose age was listed as 58 or 61, died Jan. 22, 2003, at Palmetto Health Richland of complications from hypothermia he suffered a week earlier in his cell. Mott had been jailed on assault charges. Prison Health Services last year agreed to settle its part of the lawsuit for $375,000; the county agreed to pay another $50,000, court records show.

September 9, 2005 AP
The Richland County Council has voted to terminate a contract with Prison Health Services, the largest U.S. provider of health care to inmates, following the deaths of three mentally ill inmates during the past three years. The company, which has been paid more than $6.5 million by the county since 2001, has come under fire for services in other parts of the country recently. The council voted unanimously this week to end the contract. Council member Val Hutchinson said the service was "unacceptable and inhumane" and chairman Tony Mizzell added the county was "terribly dissatisfied." Mizzell said the county wanted to act on the contract after a coroner's inquest into the May suicide of inmate Antonio Richburg. A special jury found that jail workers contributed to Richburg's death by not providing him with his prescribed medications. The inquest found the company was under a court order to follow a treatment plan for Richburg, who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Two other mentally ill inmates died in 2003 while under the company's care. The inmates' estates settled lawsuits against the company and the county earlier this year for more than $600,000.

August 31, 2005 The State
The widow of a Richland County jail inmate who hanged himself in May has sued the company hired by the county to provide mental health services to her husband. In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in circuit court in Richland County, Tiffany Richburg claims Prison Health Services Inc. failed to give prescribed medications to her husband, Antonio Richburg, for his schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages, is at least the seventh Richland County lawsuit against the Tennessee-based company since 2003, including two other wrongful death cases that settled for a total of more than $600,000. A state mental health advocate Tuesday called on the county, which was not named as a defendant in the latest lawsuit, to cancel its contract with the company. “This is the third death of an inmate during the time Prison Health Services was responsible for mental health treatment,” said Dave Almeida, executive director of the S.C. chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. “Three deaths later, it just defies explanation as to why those gaps were not addressed the first time.”
A special jury during a Richland County coroner’s inquest last month found that jail workers contributed to Richburg’s death. Coroner Gary Watts said the jury’s verdict gave him the go-ahead to pursue possible criminal charges. Richburg, 29, of Columbia, was found hanging in his cell May 20. In a letter to his wife the day before Richburg complained he had not received his medications for seven days. A copy of the letter was obtained by The State newspaper. The coroner’s inquest revealed that jail staff were under a Richland County probate court order to follow a treatment plan for Richburg. Besides Prison Health Services, Adriane Gillespie, a licensed practical nurse with Prison Health Services, is named as a defendant in the latest lawsuit.

July 16, 2005 The State
A special Richland County jury ruled Friday that county jail workers contributed to the May suicide of a mentally ill inmate. The six-member jury found after the coroner’s inquest that Antonio Richburg died “due to a lack of standard of care by providers” at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.  The verdict did not identify specific individuals.  Coroner Gary Watts, who presided over the rarely used court proceeding, said afterward the ruling gives him the go-ahead to meet with Solicitor Barney Giese’s office to pursue possible criminal charges through the county grand jury.  Asked who might be targeted, Watts replied, “I think it’s fairly obvious that the whole issue is about medical care, so it falls back on Prison Health Services.  “If it hadn’t been for the inaction of other people, he would still be alive,” Watts said.  The county has contracted with Prison Health Services since 2001 to provide medical services to inmates and has paid the Tennessee-based company a total of more than $5 million.  Critics nationally have accused the company, which serves about 270,000 jail and prison inmates in 38 states, of providing poor — sometimes fatal — medical care.  Testimony during Friday’s hearing revealed there were no jail records indicating Richburg, 29, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, had received any anti-psychotic or antidepressant medications for seven days before he hanged himself in his cell May 20.  Harpootlian represented the families of Bobby Mott, who suffered hypothermia in his cell in January 2003 and died a week later; and Marc Washington Sr., who hanged himself in his cell in October 2003.  Prison Health Services and the county have faced at least six lawsuits since 2003 that contend jail inmates didn’t receive proper medical care, a State newspaper investigation found earlier. County attorney Larry Smith, who attended Friday’s hearing, declined comment on the verdict. He said he didn’t know whether Prison Health Services’ contract would be renewed, noting, “The whole situation needs to be shared with administration and (County) Council.” Efforts to reach Prison Health Services officials afterward were unsuccessful.  Watts engaged in a tense exchange with Adriane Gillespie, a licensed practical nurse who testified she made a “grammatical error” when she noted in Richburg’s medical records that she had received a prescription order for him on May 11, though she acknowledged the order wasn’t actually given until nearly a week later.  “Miss Gillespie, we’ve had nothing but misdocumentations,” Watts said. “It seems very strange to me that when the only time something is documented, it is the wrong date and the wrong time.”  Chief Deputy Coroner Ted Kennedy testified Gillespie told him that she and other staff nurses didn’t always follow protocols in administering medications, though he added she refused to admit to that in writing.  Watts would not let Gillespie’s lawyer, Kana Rahman, ask questions during the hearing.   Kennedy testified that another nurse, Vera Hanna, told him she had “never seen anything like the medical department at the jail,” and that she “knows a lot of information that could get a lot people in trouble.”  Hanna, a registered nurse who no longer works at the jail, testified that understaffing was a problem in the eight months she worked at the jail. She said she often was the only nurse on her shift for the entire jail, which she noted had an inmate population then of up to 1,100. But Hanna could not say how many inmates needed medication.  “When you have one medical staff (worker) for the whole facility, you can’t follow protocol,” she told jurors.

June 23, 2005 The State
The day before he hanged himself in his Richland County jail cell, Antonio Richburg said in a letter that he had gone seven days without his medication and that he was stabbing himself in the arm.  “I need for you to call down here and get on them for me,” the 29-year-old Columbia man wrote in the May 19 letter to his wife. The handwritten note, a copy of which was obtained Wednesday by The State newspaper, provides a stark glimpse into Richburg’s mental state before he killed himself. Advocates for the mentally ill want answers from county officials.  Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, who with the county Sheriff’s Department is conducting a joint investigation into Richburg’s death, said Wednesday he would hold a coroner’s inquest July 15 at the county courthouse.  The inquest is a rarely used proceeding the coroner presides over and in which he questions witnesses under oath. He can issue an arrest warrant if the six-member jury determines it is necessary.  The jail contracts with a Tennessee-based company, Prison Health Services Inc., to provide medical services, including mental health treatment, to inmates. Snowden said Wednesday she didn’t know how many Prison Health Services workers are at the jail. It is unclear what role, if any, the company had in Richburg’s death, though the firm has been named as defendant in at least six lawsuits in the county — three of which involved inmate deaths — since 2003. Six inmates have died under questionable circumstances since 2000, three of whom, including Richburg, hanged themselves.

June 10, 2005 AP
Richland County has been sued at least six times in the past two years by people who say the jail did not provide proper medical care. The county and the Tennessee-based private company that provides health care to inmates have settled at least two of the suits that involved mentally ill inmates, paying more than $600,000. "We have a lot of concerns about the types of treatment people with mental illnesses are receiving at the detention center," said Dave Almeida, executive director of the state chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Health care at Richland County's jail has been provided since 2001 by Prison Health Services Inc., a Brentwood, Tenn., company. Almeida sent a letter this week to county officials seeking more information about the deaths of three inmates, including Antonio Clarence Richburg, who was found hanging in his cell May 20 in what authorities say was a suicide. The other four lawsuits involve claims the jail didn't provide proper care to inmates with existing illnesses or injuries sustained behind bars, including a suit over inmate George King. The suit says King died from complications from pneumonia and renal failure after he wasn't properly treated for his injuries from a fight with another inmate.

Savannah River Nuclear Site
Aiken South Carolina

October 11, 2013

COLUMBIA — The company that provides security to the Savannah River Site said Friday it will furlough 270 of its 706 employees at the nuclear site near Aiken. Wackenhut Services will begin furloughing the workers this week. The process will take about a week, said spokesman Rob Davis. The company had not been impacted by the federal government’s partial shutdown until this week, Davis said. “We still have a mission here – to protect the interests at the site – and we will continue to do that.” The U.S. Department of Energy directed the company to limit its SRS activities only to those necessary to protect the site based on its reduced operations, said Bill Taylor with the Energy Department’s external affairs office. No furloughs have been announced for Energy Department employees at the site, Taylor said.