Tag Archives: GDOC

Prison gang violence

This is what eventually happens in a country with 5% of the world’s population yet 25% of the world’s prisoners, in a state that has 1 in 13 adults in the prison system (jail, prison, probation, or parole): prison violence the prisons can’t deal with, possibly including the mysterious violence at Valdosta State Prison. When we stop locking up so many people by ending the war on drugs, we’ll have plenty of money to adequately secure the few remaining real violent offenders.

Rhonda Cook wrote for the AJC Saturday, Gang violence in prison is increasingly deadly,

In a little more than 10 months, 12 inmates and a guard have been stabbed to death in Georgia prisons, a dramatic uptick in violence that law enforcement officials and human rights advocates agree points to increased gang activity.

“We cannot remember a time like this when we were getting this volume and severity of violence,” said Sara Totonchi, executive director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which monitors prison violence.

People who go into such prisons, if they aren’t already violent, are likely to be taught to be violent, and some just don’t come back out. Yet those that do get out can be bad for the rest of us:

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Well loan and tap fees —Barbara Stratton @ Hahira 2012-08-02

Received yesterday on Hahira approved for water well loan by state. -jsq

It’s nice to know Hahira will get a break in interest, but tax payers will still have to pay back the loan. I missed the council meeting which is unusual for me. Does the video show anything about the fact some council members voted not to raise the tap fees for new construction which would certainly help pay back the loan instead of depending so much on tax monies? Developers should not be allowed to come in and make huge profits from new construction, then take their profits and let the citizens pay the price for increased water demands. Raising the one time tap fees would have distributed some of the costs to the developers who enjoy the profits from increased demands on the infrastructure and water usage.

-Barbara Stratton

Yes, we have video of the entire Hahira City Council meeting, which will be posted soon. LAKE is always happy to accept help in taking or labeling videos.

-jsq

Hahira approved for water well loan by state

Parker Wallace wrote for GPB 1 August 2012, Water Program Awards Loans,

The Governor’s water supply program awarded funding to eight water supply projects across the state.

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and the Georgia Department of Community affairs announced more than 90 million dollars in loans.

They’re aimed at helping finance water supply infrastructure.

The cities of Hahira and Vienna were approved for loans to construct new water supply wells. Newton, Oconee and Walton counties were all awarded 40 year loans to construct new reservoirs.

A bit more detail in the Montgomery Advertiser 2 August 2012, Funding flows to Georgia reservoir, water projects,

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Cook County schools furloughing teachers

Cook county schools have a budget shortfall problem, and they think they can solve it only by furloughing teachers. Remind me again why we're wasting $1 billion a year on prisons, including private prisons for the profit of private prison shareholders and executives (like CCA CEO Damon Hininger's $3 million a year) and we're furloughing teachers instead?

Greg Gullberg wrote for WCTV 10 May 2012, Teachers in Cook County Face Furloughs,

The Cook County School System is facing a $472,352 deficit. Superintendent Lance Heard tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg that the only way out may be to initiate system-wide furlough days and cutting jobs.

"We've done everything we can to maintain the level of education for the students that we've always had and we think we've been able to do that," said Superintendent Heard.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but 488 teachers, staff and administrators, may be facing furlough days next school year. Superintendent Heard hopes to limit them to three to five per employee.

"I would like to say also that when we do take furlough days, they are always none instructional days. The students do not miss any school," said Superintendent Heard.

Yet. Keep on in this direction and the students will be missing school. As it is, they just get less-prepared teachers, for less-effective teaching. But this is not Supt. Heard's fault.

Do we in Georgia want to prepare students for jail, or to succeed in life? Prisons cost we the taxpayers lots of money. Successful young people help pay for everything. Maybe we should choose successful young people, starting with education.

-jsq

Ocilla prison nearly sold at auction: better due diligence would be a good idea

A business our Industrial Authority wanted to get us into still risks bankrupting Irwin County: a private prison. Maybe we should do better due diligence around here and invest in better business ventures.

AP reported 23 April 2012, South Ga. detention center nearly sold at auction,

A privately owned detention center that houses hundreds of illegal immigrants in south Georgia is struggling with finances, and narrowly avoided being auctioned this year.

How bad is it?

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Private prison is like biomass —Ashley Paulk

A deep silence came from the Industrial Authority yesterday, but GDOC board member Ashley Paulk compared the private prison to the biomass project.

I asked Lowndes County Commission Chair and Georgia Department of Corrections (GDOC) board member Ashley Paulk if he had heard whether the private prison contract had been extended past yesterday’s deadline. He had not. However, he did volunteer that he had asked the GDOC board whether they had had any discussion about such a prison and they had not. Further, GDOC just last year approved a CCA prison in Jenkins County, Georgia, so why would another one be built here? Prison populations are decreasing in Georgia, Paulk said. He even said, “It’s like the biomass situation,” in that there’s no business model. It was Ashley Paulk who signaled the end of the biomass project. And he already signaled the end of the private prison project on the front page of the VDT and he told Eames Yates of WCTV 29 Feb 2012,

Until you have a customer, you won’t see a prison, and they don’t have a customer.
He said several times yesterday he did not expect the private prison to be built. And he went beyond what he had said before in explicitly likening the private prison project to the biomass project.

After last Thursday’s Valdosta City Council meeting, two different Valdosta City Council members and Mayor John Gayle all told me they had talked to various people and they didn’t expect CCA’s private prison to be built.

I hope they’re all correct about that.

But we all still wait for the Industrial Authority to tell us. They’re missing a huge potential positive PR opportunity by not holding a big press conference and taking credit for ending the private prison. They still could do that this morning.

Or they could keep claiming that community activism has no effect, even though it is activism that got both of those projects in the news and got people like Ashley Paulk to speak out. Maybe the Industrial Authority likes people to laugh at them. Me, I’d prefer an Industrial Authority that stood up for the people of this community.

-jsq