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Private prison stocks collapse after Justice Department promises to phase them out

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The Justice Department on Thursday announced that it will end the use of private prisons, which currently house more than 22,000 federal prisoners, or about 12 percent of the total federal prison population.

These prisons had become increasingly controversial in the past several years. A DOJ Inspector General’s report recently found that these prisons were on average less safe and secure than government-run prisons. Mother Jones magazine recently published a searing, 35,000-word expose on abuses at one private prison in Louisiana.

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Criminal justice reformers also raised concerns that private prisons have a profit motive to put more people behind bars. The companies that own these prisons, like the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)and the GEO Group, stand to make more money if the prison population grows. Many private prison contracts mandate a minimum occupancy rate — often 90 or even 100 percent. In some cases, the government must pay for 100-percent capacity regardless of how many beds are filled.

As a result, they’ve become a powerful lobbying force on Capitol Hill.

So it’s perhaps not surprising to see that the stocks of CCA and GEO — two of the largest private prison companies in the U.S. — are crashing today on the Justice Department’s news. As of this writing, shares of CCA stock (NYSE:CXW) are down by close to 40 percent, while shares of GEO (NYSE:GEO) are down by about 35 percent.

Corrections Corporation of America

Geo Group

Trading in both stocks at the moment is highly volatile, so these numbers are likely to change significantly by the day’s end. But they signal that investors are worried about the long-term viability of these companies.

It’s important to note, however, that the Justice Department’s announcement only affects federal prisons. Many states contract with private prison companies too, and those relationships are unaffected.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Justice Department’s move was largely unexpected. In a June 8 call with investors, the CEO of Corrections Corporation of America assured investors that “I think we’ll be just fine” regardless of who wins the White House in November.

“I think about the next president, whoever that is, if it’s Hillary Clinton or if it’s Donald Trump, there’s going to be so many things that he or she are going to have to deal with next year or next administration, both nationally and internationally, that I think having a view on our business, our industry is going to be really, really low on the priority list,” CEO Damon Hininger said at the time.

By Christopher Ingraham | The Washington Post

To inform, prompt action, give voice to the voiceless, cultural interaction, and social justice.

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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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