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CA: State scraps plans to reopen private prison in wake of call for audit
Bakersfield Californian ^ | 2/4/05 | AP - Sacramento

Posted on 02/04/2005 4:59:06 PM PST by NormsRevenge

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state has scrapped plans to reopen a private prison in Bakersfield, a week after a state senator called for an investigation into the deal.

California Department of Corrections officials announced the sudden reversal Thursday, saying a dip in the inmate population made the prison unnecessary.

CDC officials closed three minimum-security private prisons in December 2003, saying the number of prisoners had dropped significantly. By the end of last year, prison officials concluded the population was again rising.

A decision was made to work on no-bid contracts with two firms to reopen the Mesa Verde Community Corrections Facility in Bakersfield and a second private prison in McFarland.

Prison officials said the no-bid contracts were pursued because there was no time to go through a typical bidding process, according to corrections documents filed with the state Department of General Services, whose approval is needed for most state contracts. The department also said the two firms could open facilities quickly and are well-known companies.

The announcement Thursday halted a one-year, $5.75-million deal with Civigenics, a Massachusetts company, to reopen the 340-bed Bakersfield facility.

"We turned to the privates because our population was up," said Todd Slosek, a corrections spokesman. "But the numbers are down now and we do not need that type of bed any more."

Plans are continuing to open the second private prison in McFarland. The state has finalized a contract with GEO Group Inc. on that deal.

Civigenics operates facilities in 14 states and had recently hired Michael Pickett, a former warden and deputy director for health services at the California Department of Corrections, and David Tristan, a former deputy director of operations for the department.

Company and state officials insist the two hires had nothing to do with the company nearly getting the contract.

"Neither one had anything to do with that contract," said Peter Ageropulos, chief operating officer for CiviGenics.

Just last week State Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, called for a state audit of both deals.

"The revolving door is spinning so fast it's now hit the department in the rear end," Romero said.

The state uses private prisons to house about 2,500 of its 163,000 prisoners.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: audit; calgov2002; california; civigenics; plans; prison; private; privateprisons; reopen; scraps

1 posted on 02/04/2005 4:59:07 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge
Interesting. AP didn't report the Shriver connection to Civigenics that the SF Chron reported this morning..
2 posted on 02/04/2005 5:40:20 PM PST by calcowgirl
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To: calcowgirl
Interesting. AP didn't report the Shriver connection to Civigenics that the SF Chron reported this morning.

Arnold is emulating the Democrats, again.

Governor Schwarzenegger still hasn't done anything about that stupid (and probably unconstitutional) law requiring private contractors to the state to supply their employees pay and benefits comparable to state employees. He has attorneys on staff. What's he doing with them?

3 posted on 02/04/2005 7:42:50 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The fourth estate is the fifth column.)
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To: Carry_Okie

One of Arnie's big contributors went up in smoke today.
(LA Times - Ameriquest)

4 posted on 02/04/2005 7:49:00 PM PST by calcowgirl
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