The Human Rights Defense Center, a nonprofit advocating for prisoners' rights, is calling on Corrections Corp. of America to find ways to lower the phone rates inmates pay, even if it means giving up some of its revenues. The group has filed a resolution for next spring's shareholder meeting asking CCA, among other things, to put in place a policy saying it won't accept commissions from prison phone operators, noting that eight states have passed laws banning such payments.
In a short response, CCA officials said the company's board is still evaluating the shareholder proposals in front of it and will comment soon. But they did note that "inmate telephone services are not comparable with the landline and mobile telephone services available to members of the public" and that CCA is required to build in security features such as monitoring and recording.
Here's the resolution in full.
Local Avondale Partners analyst Kevin Campbell has downgraded shares of Corrections Corp. of America to 'market perform' from 'market outperform' and trimmed his target to $36 from $38. Campbell says the move, which leaves less than 5 percent of upside for CCA (Ticker: CXW), is predicated on a lack of catalysts — specifically that California officials appear unlikely to pick up many more CCA beds. That leaves the company fairly valued at 14 times its next-year adjusted funds from operations. CCA shares are down about 2 percent this morning and off some 5 percent year to date.
Minnesota Department of Corrections officials said last week they have contracted with Centurion Managed Care, a division of Centene Corp. out of St. Louis, to take "to the next level" the inmate health care services that had been provided by Brentwood-based Corizon since the late 1990s. Beth Kutscher at Modern Healthcare has more on the move, which will cost Corizon almost $34 million per year.
SEE ALSO: Centene's press release on the contract
Corrections Corp. of America officials have told the Idaho Department of Correction they will not submit a bid to continue their work at the Idaho Correctional Center after their contract expires in June. The company has been under the microscope in Boise for a number of years after inmates and the ACLU sued over living conditions there and state officials found that the facility was understaffed. Idaho authorities told CCA in June they would not extend the current $29-million-per-year contract past next spring.
Idaho District Judge David Carter ruled on Monday that Corrections Corp. of America is in contempt of court for violating the terms of an agreement governing staffing at the Idaho Correctional Center. Nashville-based CCA won't face any penalties now, though. Carter said he will appoint an independent monitor to check on the company's staffing levels and impose a $100-per-hour fine if those numbers fall short again. The company said it is working to remedy the staffing shortfalls.
"It is clear that the non-compliance was far worse than the report of about 4,800 hours would lead one to believe," Carter wrote. "... There is also no reason to believe the problem only began in April 2012 and was solved after October 2012. Indeed, even in the weeks prior to the contempt hearings, mandatory posts were still going unfilled — thus there remains persistent staffing pressure that is the backdrop to prison employees fabricating records. The difference today is that CCA may finally be presenting an accurate picture of its inability to fully staff its prison."
An Idaho District Court judge has rebuked the attorneys representing Corrections Corp. of America as well as a group of inmates that sued the Nashville-based company over prison conditions they say led to an attack on them. The message from Judge Edward Lodge to both groups of lawyers: Play nice.
"Many of the motions and briefs filed by both parties are full of hyperbole and include unfounded accusations against opposing counsel," Lodge wrote in his order sending the sides to mediation. "... In participating in the conference, all counsel shall act reasonably."
California lawmakers have approved Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to rent prison beds from private operators Corrections Corp. of America and GEO Group in order to comply with a court order aiming to alleviate overcrowding. An analyst said earlier this week the move could boost Nashville-based CCA's funds from operations by 8 percent.