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PLN and Texas Civil Rights Project file public records suit against CCA

Prison Legal News, Jan. 1, 2013.
Press release - PLN and Texas Civil Rights Project file public records suit against CCA 2013


May 1, 2013

Civil Rights Groups Sue Corrections Corporation of America

CCA Is Illegally Withholding Evidence of Grisly Deaths at Dawson State Jail

AUSTIN – In a lawsuit filed today, the Texas Civil Rights Project and Prison Legal News allege Corrections Corporation of America is covering up the deaths of seven people at the Dawson State Jail while denying hundreds of women access to medical care. TCRP and PLN are suing CCA, a Tennessee profit-making corporation for illegally withholding evidence of past and current wrongdoing.

"Private prisons siphon public taxpayer dollars into corporate profit," said Alex Friedmann, managing editor of Prison Legal News. "They slash services to funnel money to their shareholders and executives, and people die. Even when we don’t need these for-profit prisons, they are rarely shuttered until the scandals reach critical mass."

Demands to close the Dawson State Jail recently erupted after a four-day-old premature baby died there. "The baby was born premature and without any medical personnel present because of CCA’s gross mismanagement," said TCRP attorney Brian McGiverin. "Their indifference was horrifying."

"Prisons and jails operated by CCA and other profit-making corporations have been responsible for dozens of scandals around Texas," said Bob Libal, Director of Grassroots Leadership. "In the last ten years alone, there have been instances of medical neglect, sexual abuse, and preventable suicide in private facilities in Austin, Bartlett, Beaumont, Big Spring, Bronte, Dallas, Del Rio, Eden, Encinal, Falfurrias, Fort Worth, Henderson, Liberty, Littlefield, Pearsall, Pecos, Raymondville, Spur, Taylor, Texarkana, and Waco."

"The Dawson State Jail is a heinous example," said Libal. "Its management is unprofessional and dangerous to the community. It is a death-trap for its occupants."

"CCA hides the truth about its management because it knows the truth is horrific," said McGiverin. "But they won’t get away with it. Texans know how to keep government accountable. Our laws entitle us to check its homework and keep it honest. At Dawson State Jail and beyond, we intend to show CCA it is not above the law."

For further information about the suit, please contact:

Brian McGiverin, 512-474-5073 ext. 118,

Alex Friedmann, (615) 495-6568,