Private Correctional Institutions

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2013

    Republican senators question prison pay -- and rattle some cages

    It's no secret that private, for-profit prison operators such as Corrections Corporation of America pay their employees far less than what correctional officers earn in the public sector. But Republican state senators have managed to put thousands of state workers on their guard, as it were, by sugg ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2013

    Crowley inmates settle riot lawsuit for $600,000

    On the eve of a 25-week trial that promised to focus on claims of poor training and worse management, the nation's largest private prison company has reached a settlement with nearly 200 former inmates over a 2004 riot at the Crowley County Correctional Facility in southeastern Colorado. The uprisin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2013

    Terrell Griswold: State reprimands prison doctor David Oba over inmate's death

    Most physicians go through their entire careers without ever running afoul of state regulators. But two years after a 26-year-old inmate with chronic kidney problems died while under his care, prison doctor David M. Oba has received a sharply worded letter of admonition from the Colorado Department ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2012

    Thomas Wierdsma, GEO prison exec, on losing end of civil suit by abused daughter in law

    Back in February, our Alan Prendergast reported about allegations of intimidation and harassment against Thomas Wierdsma, a senior vice president for The GEO Group, which operates more than one-hundred prisons around the world. including the ICE detention center in Aurora. The accuser: Wierdsma's d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2012

    ACLU, faith groups urge governors not to sell out to private prison giant

    A broad proposal by the country's largest private prison company to buy up and privatize state prisons has been met with a stiff rebuke from the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of justice policy and religious groups, who are urging all fifty state governors to reject the company's "in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2012

    Thomas Wierdsma, private prison exec, accused of seeking to deport daughter-in-law

    T. Wierdsma.​A high-ranking official at one of the nation's largest private prison operators has been accused by his daughter-in-law of intimidation and harassment in a Boulder domestic dispute -- including threatening to initiate a federal inquiry into her legal status by Immigration and Cust ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2012

    Private prisons' blueprint for success: more lobbying, less security

    The use of private prisons by states and the federal government continues to increase, yielding billions in annual revenues for two dominant companies in the industry -- despite a lack of solid research that America's experiment with for-profit incarceration actually saves taxpayers money in the lon ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2012

    Terrell Griswold: Mother questions inmate's "natural" death in private prison

    On October 28, 2010, a 26-year-old inmate named Terrell Griswold was found slumped over and unresponsive in his cell in the Bent County Correctional Facility, a private prison in southeastern Colorado. The official cause of death is listed as cardiac hypertrophy, or an enlarged heart. But Lagalia Af ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2011

    Crowley prison riot: New details of unheeded warnings emerge in epic lawsuit

    After the riot, 2004. ​Seven years ago inmates at a private prison in southeastern Colorado went on an all-night rampage, chasing the shorthanded staff from the premises, attacking suspected snitches, setting fires and causing millions of dollars in damages. Now documents filed in a long-runni ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2011

    Wells Fargo to be targeted by Denver protesters in week of actions "to restructure Wall Street"

    ​Update, below: Wells Fargo will be the target of several actions this week by the Colorado Progressive Coalition, including plans to "move in" to a branch on Thursday with lamps, pillows and coffee pots to protest the bank's high number of foreclosures. Dubbed the Mile High Showdown, the acti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2011

    Immigrant activist groups protest Wells Fargo and its investment in private prisons (PHOTOS)

    Jeanette Vizguerra.​Many people Wells Fargo claims to serve gathered to protest its investment in private prison companies such as GEO, Inc., which owns an Aurora detention center. Protesters marched on an East Colfax branch as part of a national day of action to educate people about the hypoc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2011

    Private prisons thrive on greed and bad policy, new report says

    ​Back in the lock-em-up frenzy of the 1990s, overcrowded state prison systems relied heavily on the emerging private prison industry to handle their excess inmates. Now that state prison populations are falling, you might expect the private sector to be taking a few hits, too -- but guess agai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2011

    Harley Lappin: Private prison industry woos another top public official

    ​There are two revolving doors in every prison system. One is for the inmates, many of whom fail on parole and keep coming back. The other is reserved for top administrators who, even amid scandal, move easily from high-powered positions of public trust to high-paid jobs in the private prison ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2008

    Swapping One McPrison for Another

    On May 14 the Colorado Department of Corrections announced that it would be bringing nearly 500 state prisoners back from Sayre, Oklahoma, where they'd been stored in a private lockup like so much toxic waste for months because of a lack of bedspace in Colorado prisons. At first glance, this is goo ... More >>

  • News

    August 25, 2005

    "What You Deserve"

    A lawsuit claims brutal treatment of prisoners after last year's riot.

  • News

    January 13, 2005

    Letters to the Editor

    From the week of January 13, 2005

  • News

    December 23, 2004

    Maxed Out

    Shipping inmates to private prisons is Colorado's cheap solution to overcrowding and violence. But so far, it's cost plenty.

  • News

    February 3, 2000

    Off Limits

    Prison nation...

  • News

    September 30, 1999


    How a private prison brought jobs-and violence, corruption and scandal-to Burlington.

  • News

    August 26, 1999

    Captive Market

    Jobs. Gadgets. Profits. Crime pays big-time for the prison-industrial complex.

  • News

    August 8, 1996

    This Jail for Hire

    Colorado's cheap solution to prison overcrowding has cost inmates plenty. It could cost the state millions.