Update: NPR Sets the Record Straight

NPR issues correction clarifying that CCA did not write Arizona SB 1070.

Following an extensive internal investigation by its news department, NPR corrected two reports broadcast in 2010 that inaccurately reported a role by CCA in the drafting, lobbying and support for Arizona’s immigration enforcement law (SB1070). Those reports, cited by numerous media and privatization critics, have been the basis for an ongoing sequence of false allegations about CCA’s role in the development, lobbying and support for immigration laws. CCA has consistently and unequivocally refuted these allegations. We are pleased to see that NPR, the source of the original inaccuracies, has corrected them. Under longstanding company policy, CCA takes no role in the drafting, lobbying or support for immigration or crime/sentencing laws.

The first correction, which can be found at the top of the original report here, states:

As we reported, Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce was the originator of the draft legislation that later became Arizona SB 1070. This story did not mean to suggest that the Corrections Corporation of America was the catalyst behind the law or that it took a corporate position in favor of the legislation.

In our 2010 broadcast piece we said: “Last December Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce sat in a hotel conference room with representatives from the Corrections Corporation of America and several dozen others. Together they drafted model legislation that was introduced into the Arizona Legislature two months later, almost word for word.”

Although CCA did have a representative at the ALEC meeting where model legislation similar to 1070 was drafted, we didn’t mean to suggest that CCA wrote the language.

NPR issued a second correction to a related report, which can be found at the top of that report here. That correction states as follows:

Laura Sullivan’s use of the phrase “an end run” in the second reference during the live broadcast was imprecise. She did not mean to suggest that CCA violated lobbying law.

Previous postings by CCA refuting the original report and updating efforts to set the record state can be read here and here.

Categories: Arizona Immigration Law


CCA’s Response to Flawed CNBC Documentary

CNBC’s recent documentary failed to present a fair, balanced and accurate report about partnership corrections, despite the Corrections Corporation of America’s (CCA) repeated and good faith efforts to provide in-depth information and credible third-parties that could have provided sorely needed context.  CNBC chose instead to rehash old issues that have been resolved or widely discredited. In fact, the network was so determined in its bias that it relied heavily on sources with criminal backgrounds, which it failed to disclose accurately to viewers.

Whether it’s overcrowding, soaring costs or high recidivism rates, governments all across America are looking for solutions to their complex corrections challenges.  We are very proud of the work that we do to offer our government partners secure facilities and the flexibility to help manage inmate populations at the lowest cost to taxpayers.  We want to share with you some relevant facts about the benefits of partnership corrections, bring to light specific issues that were not covered in the documentary and correct some important misrepresentations:

CNBC Relied Heavily On Sources With Criminal Backgrounds

  • Todd Goertzen, a former employee who appeared in the documentary as a critic of partnership corrections, was not terminated by CCA, as CNBC claimed, for failing to report to work.
  • Goertzen was terminated for violating our code of conduct by lying to his supervisors. Rather than disclose that he had not reported to work after becoming intoxicated with a former inmate who was later arrested for a DUI while driving Goertzen’s vehicle, which had his uniforms in it, he instead told his supervisor that his daughter was sick.  Goertzen has been arrested or detained multiple times for alcohol-related infractions.
  • Alex Friedmann, who also appeared in the documentary as a critic of partnership corrections, was not convicted solely for armed robbery, as CNBC claimed.
  • Friedmann is a violent, convicted felon who served 10 years for attempted murder, assault and armed robbery, and who has worked in recent years as a professional critic waging a union-funded campaign against partnership corrections.


CCA’s Top Priority Is Facility Security and Community Safety

  • CCA’s escape rate has been shown to be 10 times lower than the escape rate in comparable prisons.
  • CCA employs innovative processes and state-of-the art technology to manage facilities and the inmates within them.
  • The Idaho Correctional Center’s new warden has added measures beyond requirements to improve safety.
  • ICC officers have at least 315 hours of training and certification by the independent Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.
  • Proper staffing is key to CCA’s gold-plate industry accreditation, which averaged scores of 99-plus percent in 2011.
  • CCA meets and exceeds industry standards set by the independent American Corrections Association (ACA).


CCA Strictly Prohibits Lobbying For Or Against Sentencing And Detention Policies

  • CNBC carried a false, inaccurate and totally unsubstantiated statement by an individual claiming that CCA was involved with the passage of Arizona immigration law.
  • It is CCA’s policy and practice not to engage in legislation involving crime or sentencing policies.  CCA has never lobbied or had any role in passage of immigration laws in Arizona, as the bill’s sponsor, Arizona media and Arizona’s Governor have publicly affirmed.
  • If membership in ALEC alone were sufficient evidence to link CCA to lobbying that it never did, then CCA’s membership in the Arizona Chamber of Commerce would be sufficient evidence to disprove such allegations.  The Arizona Chamber vigorously opposed SB 1070 with us as a member.
  • As CNBC and other outlets have reported, the driving force behind the drafting of the immigration law is Constitutional attorney and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
  • You can read a letter from CCA lobbyist Jaime Molera who wrote CNBC directly to explain our company’s policy by clicking on this link. You can read even more about the origins of the falsehood by clicking on this link.


CCA Has A Positive Economic Impact On Communities and Provides Significant Taxpayer Savings

Categories: CNBC


Setting the Record Straight

CCA Played No Role in Developing, Passing Arizona's Illegal Immigration Law

In late October, 2010, National Public Radio (NPR) aired a radio report alleging that Arizona’s private prison industry, and specifically CCA, worked to develop and pass Arizona’s immigration law, SB1070.

CCA has never lobbied or had any role – directly or indirectly – in the development or passage of Arizona’s or any state’s immigration laws, as the bill’s sponsor and Arizona’s Governor have publicly affirmed repeatedly. It is CCA’s policy and practice not to engage in legislation involving crime or sentencing policies.

The following summary contains the details behind CCA’s denial; the author of the legislation’s denial in several media reports; additional reports by Arizona news media criticizing the NPR story, and a sample of CCA’s ongoing efforts in the media to maintain an accurate public record.

Read Full Post

Categories: Arizona Immigration Law


CCA Continues to Set the Record Straight

As other media outlets continue to cite NPR's flawed coverage, company responds

As more states see the introduction of immigration enforcement legislation similar to the bill enacted in Arizona (SB1070), media reports continue to cite the past, inaccurate NPR coverage.

In the interest of maintaining an accurate public record, CCA has actively responded to reports containing the erroneous NPR allegations through letters to the editor and other outreach efforts to reporters and editors.

Samples appear here:

Letter to NPR

The City Paper: Letter to the Editor

The Daily Courier: Letter to the Editor

The Tennessean: Letter to the Editor

Categories: Arizona Immigration Law