U.S. Army’s Management of the Heavy Lift VII Commercial Transportation Contract Requirements in the Middle East
We determined whether the Army properly managed the requirements of the Heavy Lift VII (HL7) commercial transportation contracts. Continue reading
Frontier Services Group (FSG) , co-founded by Erik Prince who created the U.S. security firm Blackwater, said on Thursday it would provide logistics, aviation and security services for a regional development project in Somalia. Hong Kong-listed FSG said the deal was signed with the Free Zone Investment Authority of the South West State of Somalia, one of the federal regions set up under efforts in the Horn of Africa nation to rebuild its political structures and economy.
The president of the South West State region, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, said in a statement that the project was part of the region’s move to attract local and foreign investors. Continue reading
Private military and security companies, contract structure, market competition, and violence in Iraq
Boca Raton-based prison operator Geo said Friday it has been awarded renewals on two more federal prison contracts — further illustration of Geo’s reversal of fate under the Trump Administration.
The 10-year contracts from the Bureau of Prisons for prisons in Big Spring, Texas, are worth $664 million. The two prisons, which have more than 3,500 beds, house illegal immigrants with criminal records.
Previously, The Geo Group was awarded a two-year renewal of its contract at a Georgia federal prison. Continue reading
For the country’s largest private prison corporation, the last six months at the stock market have been wilder than the prison fight scene in Face/Off.
Last year, on August 17th, stock prices in CoreCivic—previously known as the Corrections Corporation of America—were steady at 27.22 a share. The next day, after former president Barack Obama’s attorney general issued a memo directing the Department of Justice to phase out its use of private prisons, stocks plummeted 10 points. When Donald Trump won the presidency, stocks jumped six points and continued an upward trajectory, topping out at 35.03 on February 24th, the day after new Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the 2016 directive. Continue reading
May 31 2017, 2:57pm
An inmate in a GEO-run prison in California in 2013. Photo byJohn Moore/Getty Images
Detaining immigrants has turned into a very lucrative growth industry
Earlier this month, Daniel Ragsdale, the second-in-command at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), confirmed he will be leaving his position to work at GEO Group, the nation’s second-largest private prison company.
“While you may be losing me as a colleague, please know that I will continue to be a strong advocate for you and your mission,” said Ragsdale in a farewell email to his ICE colleagues.
He’s certainly not going far—GEO operates immigrant detention centers and will likely compete for a contract to run a new facility that will house up to 9,500 undocumented immigrants. (It was just given renewals on two existing contracts, to the tune of $664 million.) Ragsdale isn’t the first to go from ICE to GEO, but his move underscored the close relationship between the federal agency tasked with detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants and the private prison industry that helps house those detained immigrants. As of last year, more than two-thirds of immigrant detainees were housed in private facilities. Continue reading
The governor did not say, “Dammit … I’m getting to the bottom of this money-sucking private prison mess.”
Rick Scott’s reticence might seem a bit out of character, given his self-crafted persona as Florida’s cold-blooded budget-cutting crusader. Here’s a guy who over the years has vetoed state allocations for Special Olympics, Goodwill Industries, United Cerebral Palsy, the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach, not to mention dozens of state grants to colleges, libraries, ferries, sewer projects, museums, industrial parks, after-school programs, healthcare for the homeless and raises for state firefighters.
“I go through the budget and I try to find out what’s best for citizens. This is their money. It’s not government money,” Gov. Scott declared a couple of years ago, as he whacked $461.4 million from the budget. “They’re paying taxes, and I’m going to do my best to make sure that money is spent wisely.”
Except when that taxpayer money is ladled out to the private-prison industry. Continue reading
To make their Syria intervention work Russia had had to resort to Russian private security companies. About half these private security firms are believed to have organized combat units that are reliable enough to be used in place of scarce army special operations troops. By monitoring Russian language social media activity (which anyone can do) it has been noted that recent military veterans working for several of these private security companies have been in Syria and Ukraine. Casualties were suffered in both places although the duties of the contractors were different. In Syria the security contractors mainly guarded Russian bases but were also used in combat when they provided security for Russian artillery units supporting Syrian Army troops. In a few cases the contractors were sent in to assist Syrian troops who got themselves in trouble. Russia described these men as special operations troops, because outside Russia the security contractors often wear Russian military uniforms. But social media revealed that many of these dead Russians in Syria (about 32 so far) were actually contractors. In Ukraine at least one private security company has been used as “enforcers” to punish troublesome pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels. Often this just meant arranging an accidental death for a disobedient rebel leader but in a few cases a larger number of rebels had to disappear. The Russian supported rebels came to call these contractors “cleaners” and were justifiably terrorized and impressed. Continue reading