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Iron Bars Do Not a Prison Make (for Nazis)

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COMMENT: In recent posts, we have examined indications of collusion between corrections officers in the United States and neo-Nazi/white supremacist prison gangs. We have also highlighted collusion between German intelligence and neo-Nazi networks in that country.

Two recent stories supplement that research, indicating yet again that there are ominous parallels between the relationship joining the “authorities” and the Nazi/white supremacist “underworld” in both countries.

Inmates in one of the growing number of for-profit corporate prisons have charged that an apparent neo-Nazi prison gang has been given authority to supervise that prison, to an extent.

In Germany, neo-Nazis in prisons there have effectively networked, sparking speculation that German officialdom may be colluding with the inmates.

“Inmates Claim Private Prison Falsifies Staffing Levels” [AP]; The Spokesman-Review; 1/22/2013.

EXCERPT: Attorneys for inmates at Idaho’s largest private prison say Corrections Corporation of America is falsifying staff logs to hide chronic understaffing.

The allegation was raised Friday in an amended lawsuit filed in Boise’s U.S. District Court.

Attorneys for the Nashville, Tenn.-based CCA have not yet responded to the amended lawsuit in court, and CCA spokesman Steve Owen said he couldn’t discuss details of the litigation. . . .

. . . . The new lawsuit was filed in November by a group of inmates who contend CCA is working with a few powerful prison gangs to control the facility south of Boise and cut back on staffing. The attorney for the inmates, T.J. Angstman, cited an investigative report from the Idaho Department of Correction that suggested gangs like the Aryan Knights and the Severely Violent Criminals were able to wrest control from staff members after prison officials began housing members of the same gangs together in some cellblocks to reduce violent clashes. . . .

“Neo-Nazis Organizing in Prisons in Germany” by Melissa Eddy; The New York Times; 4/11/2013.

EXCERPT: They called themselves the A.D. Jail Crew and sought to band together “brothers and sisters” in prisons across Germany to “defend loyalty, comradeship and the ‘old’ values.” Their aim, according to an advertisement found by the authorities who broke up the network, was to provide support for neo-Nazis serving time behind bars.

Three prisoners in the state of Hesse are suspected by prosecutors in Frankfurt of forming a criminal organization and trying to reconstitute a banned organization, and the authorities widened their search on Thursday to include penal institutions across the country.

Details about the A.D. Jail Crew emerged days before the trial of the sole survivor of a trio of neo-Nazis who called themselves the National Socialist Underground opens in Munich. The authorities in Hesse said the name of the suspect, Beate Zschäpe, was included on a list of prisoners who were contacted by those trying to set up the far-right organization.

Ms. Zschäpe is charged with playing a role in the killings of eight men of Turkish background, one Greek man and a policewoman in a crime rampage that set off soul-searching in a country that has taken great pains over the years to publicly account for the crimes of its past.

Embarrassed over their failure to detect the National Socialist Underground sooner, the German police and intelligence agencies pledged last year to redouble their efforts to crack down on the far right. But the existence of the prison group and its efforts to organize behind bars raised questions about the seriousness of that commitment. . . .

Discussion

One comment for “Iron Bars Do Not a Prison Make (for Nazis)”

  1. So this happened:

    Idaho agencies refuse to discuss CCA settlement
    By REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press
    Updated 5:24 pm, Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s settlement with private prison company Corrections Corporation of America releases the company from all civil liability connected to the understaffing at the prison south of Boise, as well as any liability stemming from staffing issues not yet discovered.

    But the full scope of the settlement is difficult to determine. The Idaho Attorney General’s office, which reviewed the settlement on behalf of the state, refused to comment on the document, claiming attorney-client privilege.

    Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s office referred all questions to the Idaho Department of Correction, and Division of Purchasing Administrator Bill Burns didn’t return phone messages left by The Associated Press. Idaho Board of Correction members Robin Sandy and David McClusky did not immediately respond to emails from The Associated Press.

    The Idaho Department of Correction refused to comment on the settlement, saying only that it would not affect the Idaho State Police criminal investigation currently underway.

    The settlement says that in exchange for CCA paying $1 million, the Idaho Department of Administration, Division of Purchasing, Department of Correction and Board of Correction agree to release the prison company from all liability arising from the staffing of the Idaho Correctional Center.

    That release of liability lasts forever and is irrevocable and includes but isn’t limited to “any claims under any other federal, state or local statutes or ordinances not referenced above (the “Staffing Damages”)…” according to the document. The settlement also states that it isn’t tied to a forensic audit that found that CCA understaffed the prison by thousands of hours in 2012, and that CCA doesn’t agree with those audit findings.

    CCA has operated Idaho’s largest prison for more than a decade. The Idaho Department of Correction asked the Idaho State Police to launch a criminal investigation into CCA last year after an Associated Press investigation showed that the Nashville, Tenn.-based company’s staffing reports given to the state listed some guards as working 48 hours straight in order to meet minimum staffing requirements. CCA then acknowledged that its employees falsified the documents to hide thousands of hours of understaffing at the prison in violation of the $29 million state contract.

    For the past 12 months, state officials have said that the investigation was underway. But after the AP filed a public-records request for the Idaho State Police investigation documents late last month, the law enforcement agency revealed no investigation ever occurred.

    The release of liability stretches from Dec. 23, 1997 — the day Idaho and CCA first inked a contract — until Feb. 18, 2014 — the day the settlement went into effect. Feb. 18 was the same day that the governor announced he had changed his mind and was directing the Idaho State Police to criminally investigate the matter after all.

    Yep! CCA was given a $1 million fine on its $29 million annual contract and has been released of any liabilities for any past or yet-to-be found violations. Oh, and there was never actually an investigation.

    So anyways, in other no longer very relevant news…look who’s getting investigated!

    APNewsBreak: FBI Investigates Prison Company
    BOISE, Idaho March 7, 2014 (AP)
    By REBECCA BOONE
    Associated Press

    The FBI has launched a criminal investigation into private prison company Corrections Corporation of America which ran what Idaho inmates called “Gladiator School” because of a violent reputation they say understaffing helped create.

    The Nashville, Tenn.-based CCA has operated Idaho’s largest prison for more than a decade, but last year, CCA officials acknowledged it had understaffed the Idaho Correctional Center by thousands of hours in violation of the state contract. CCA also said employees falsified reports to cover up the vacancies. The announcement came after an Associated Press investigation showed CCA sometimes listed guards as working 48 hours straight to meet minimum staffing requirements.

    The Idaho State Police was asked to investigate the company last year but didn’t, until amid increasing political pressure, the governor ordered the agency to do so last month. Democratic state lawmakers asked the FBI to take up the case last month.

    Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray confirmed Friday that the FBI met with department director Brent Reinke on Thursday to inform him about the investigation. Idaho State Police spokeswoman Teresa Baker said her agency was no longer involved with the investigation and the FBI has taken it over entirely.

    “They (the FBI) have other cases that are tied to this one so it worked out better for them to handle it from here,” Baker said.

    CCA spokesman Steve Owen could not be immediately reached, but Owen has previously said that his company would continue to cooperate with any investigation.

    The understaffing has been the subject of federal lawsuits and a contempt of court action against CCA. The ACLU sued on behalf of inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center in 2010, saying the facility was so violent that inmates called it “Gladiator School” and that understaffing contributed to the high levels of violence there.

    In 2012, a Boise law firm sued on behalf of inmates contending that CCA had ceded control to prison gangs so that they could understaff the prison and save money on employee wages, and that the understaffing led to an attack by one prison gang on another group of inmates that left some of them badly injured.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 7, 2014, 12:21 pm

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