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The myth of the magic market

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Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15495
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:48 pm    Post subject: The myth of the magic market Reply with quote

Some on this forum rant about the incompetence of government--while ignoring the incompetence and dishonesty of businesses, especially those contracted by the Trump administration to fill governmental duties. I read about the Mesa Verde ICE facility in this morning's op ed page. This is another case where the Trump administration has contracted with businesses like the GEO Group to run private detention facilities. Judge Chhabria found that the ICE and GEO had "lost the right to be trusted" based on what they had done at the facility. Here's an article with a bit more information.

Federal judge orders weekly COVID-19 tests for immigrants at California detention center

AUGUST 7, 2020, 11:22 AM CDT

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A federal judge has ordered immigration officials to provide rapid-result COVID-19 tests to all detainees at a California facility, where several staff members and detainees have already tested positive for the virus.

In his ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials at the Mesa Verde detention center in Bakersfield, California, have likely violated the due process rights of detainees “through deliberate indifference to the risk of an outbreak.”

“Indeed, the documentary evidence shows that the defendants have avoided widespread testing of staff and detainees at the facility, not for lack of tests but for fear that positive test results would require them to implement safety measures that they apparently felt were not worth the trouble,” Chhabria wrote. “This conduct by the defendants has put the detainees at serious risk of irreparable harm. The defendants have also jeopardized the safety of their own employees. And they have endangered the community at large.”

The San Francisco Chronicle, Courthouse News Service and reported on the decision.

According to the Los Angeles Times, which also has coverage, 14 staff members and nine detainees at the Mesa Verde facility have now contracted COVID-19.

Civil rights attorneys noted in a motion for a temporary restraining order filed Wednesday that ICE and the GEO Group, the private contractor that runs the Mesa Verde facility, have added more detainees to the general population while leaving those with COVID-19 symptoms in their dorms to potentially spread the virus.

Additionally, the motion says, the GEO Group does not require its employees to be tested or quarantine at home if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

In granting the motion, Chhabria ordered the facility to administer the COVID-19 tests weekly, not take in new detainees, separate detainees who test positive for the virus, and file a daily report about the status of efforts to manage the crisis.

The defendants, having responded to the health crisis in such a cavalier fashion (even in the face of litigation and a string of court orders), have lost the credibility to complain that the relief requested by the plaintiffs is too rigid or burdensome,” Chhabria said. “The defendants have also lost the right to be trusted that they will accomplish on their own what the plaintiffs contend requires a court order to ensure.

Chhabria ordered ICE in late April to provide a list of detainees at serious risk of contracting COVID-19 and then ordered the release of nearly 130 of them, according to the Los Angeles Times. He also ordered the agency in June to stop admitting new detainees without putting in place proper testing protocols and a plan to quarantine detainees who tested positive for COVID-19, according to Courthouse News Service.

A bit more on the GEO Group.

March 25, 20111:24 PM ET

Within the $3 billion private prison industry, GEO Group is the nation's second largest for-profit prison operator. One of its prisons, which is the subject of an NPR News investigation, is now being investigated by the Department of Justice, and a civil rights lawsuit alleges that juvenile inmates are being held in "barbaric and unconstitutional conditions."

A Corporate Corrections Giant

On any given day, there are 1.6 million people serving sentences in state and federal prisons. Eight percent of them are in facilities operated by private companies. In the federal detention system, more than 16 percent of detainees are held in private lockups.

NPR News Investigation
Town Relies On Troubled Youth Prison For Profits
Town Relies On Troubled Youth Prison For Profits
This proportion is projected to grow. According to industry leader Corrections Corporation of America, no state has allocated money to build new state-run prisons in the last year because of budget crises. So some state governments are turning to the private sector to house their prisoners. The private corrections industry maintains that it can build and start up prisons faster, and incarcerate inmates more cheaply than state-run facilities.

Based in Boca Raton, Fla., GEO — formerly Wackenhut Corrections -— is competing with CCA for new contracts. Since 2009, GEO has acquired 7,600 new prison beds, a growth of 10 percent, according to a GEO annual report.

Expansion By Diversification

GEO — which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange — is diversifying more than its competitors, seeking international contracts for prisons in Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. At home, it's also following the money into new lines of the corrections business.

The current trend in American criminal justice is to move away from incarceration toward cheaper alternatives like supervised release and treatment. So GEO is buying smaller companies with contracts in psychiatric care, civil immigration detention and electronic ankle monitoring for low-level offenders.

The model for all of this stuff is Russia. Privatize public resources and give sweetheart deals to oligarchs. But if you are determined, you can always ignore the evidence.
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