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Justice Department says it Will No Longer Use Private Prisons

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The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision on Thursday in a memo that instructs officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”

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“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Yates wrote.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General last week released a critical report concluding that privately operated facilities incurred more safety and security incidents than those run by the federal Bureau of Prisons. The private facilities, for example, had higher rates of assaults — both by inmates on other inmates and by inmates on staff — and saw eight times as many contraband cellphones confiscated each year on average, according to the report.

Disturbances in the facilities, the report said, led in recent years to “extensive property damage, bodily injury, and the death of a Correctional Officer.” The report listed several examples of mayhem at private facilities, including a May 2012 riot at the Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi in which 20 people were injured and a correctional officer killed. That incident, according to the report, involved 250 inmates who were upset about low-quality food and medical care.

“The fact of the matter is that private prisons don’t compare favorably to Bureau of Prisons facilities in terms of safety or security or services, and now with the decline in the federal prison population, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to do something about that,” Yates said in an interview.

The problems at private facilities were hardly a secret, and Yates said Justice Department and Bureau of Prisons officials had been talking for months about discontinuing their use. Mother Jones recently published a 35,000-word exposé detailing a reporter’s undercover work as a private prison guard in Louisiana — a piece that found serious deficiencies. The Nation magazine wrote earlier this year about deaths under questionable circumstances in privately operated facilities.

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SOURCE: Matt Zapotosky 
The Washington Post

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Dallas

Bodycam video released of Andre Leshon Lee who lost consciousness when arrested but died 5 days later in Dallas PD custody, Report

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The Dallas Police Department has released a video of Andre Leshon Lee who they say lost consciousness shortly after being taken into custody on August 28. The video released clearly shows he lost consciousness at the site where he was arrested.

The report goes on to say Lee died September 2 in police custody a week after losing consciousness. Something doesn’t add up here.

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According to Fox 4 the investigation by Dallas police into Lee’s death, he and his wife were driving the night of August 28, when his wife said he got out of the car and started running.

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Morehouse School of Medicine students get surprise news that $26M gift will help pay off their debt

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ATLANTA — It’s a major gift to an Atlanta-based historically Black college aimed at helping close the gap in medical disparities in America.

On Wednesday, Morehouse School of Medicine announced they received a $26.3-million donation from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the organization founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

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Apalachee Elementary assistant principal Nikki Bradley under fire for monkey post about black students

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According to WCTV Leon County school administrators, Thursday publicly detailed the investigation of an assistant principal’s Facebook post that lead to a reprimand and demotion.

The district received multiple complaints about the post by Apalachee Elementary assistant principal Nikki Bradley.

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Bradley wrote this message on her personal Facebook page:

“For a while now, I have felt like Ringmaster of the ****show. Today has done me in! I do not want to be ringmaster, someone come get the monkeys and all the circus friends.

#exhausted #goawaycovid #imgoingtobed”

“It’s important to clarify for the record what took place, the investigation that happened, and what discipline we have enforced,” said Superintendent Rocky Hanna in a Facebook live on Thursday.

The district’s Director of Labor and Employee Relations, Deana McAllister, says an investigation determined the post “was not meant to be divisive or hurtful, nor racially motivated.”

McAllister says the post did show a lack of professionalism and poor judgement, leading to a formal reprimand and demotion of Bradley. She was reassigned from Apalachee Elementary to Killearn Lakes.

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