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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Private-Prison Company Assists with Random High-School Drug Sweep

Posted by on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, until Corrections Corporation of America, which has a financial interest in locking people up, would dip its toes in the business of finding people to lock up. Looks like they're starting with high schools.

A report from Arizona, which has a more intimate relationships with CCA than most states:

Vista Grande High School Principal Tim Hamilton ordered the school — with a student population of 1,776 — on "lock down," kicking off the first "drug sweep" in the school's four-year history. According to Hamilton, "lock down" is a state in which, "everybody is locked in the room they are in, and nobody leaves — nobody leaves the school, nobody comes into the school."

"Everybody is locked in, and then they bring the dogs in, and they are teamed with an administrator and go in and out of classrooms. They go to a classroom and they have the kids come out and line up against a wall. The dog goes in and they close the door behind, and then the dog does its thing, and if it gets a hit, it sits on a bag and won't move..."

According to Casa Grande Police Department (CGPD) Public Information Officer Thomas Anderson, four "law enforcement agencies" took part in the operation: CGPD (which served as the lead agency and operation coordinator), the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Gila River Indian Community Police Department, and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

It is the involvement of CCA — the nation's largest private, for-profit prison corporation — that causes this high school "drug sweep" to stand out as unusual; CCA is not, despite CGPD's evident opinion to the contrary, a law enforcement agency.

"To invite for-profit prison guards to conduct law enforcement actions in a high school is perhaps the most direct expression of the 'schools-to-prison pipeline' I've ever seen," said Caroline Isaacs, program director of the Tucson office of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker social justice organization that advocates for criminal justice reform.

"All the research shows that CCA doesn't properly train its staff to do the jobs they actually have. They most certainly do not have anywhere near the training and experience—to say nothing of the legal authority—to conduct a drug raid on a high school," Isaacs added.

Like the business-savvy pros say—get 'em while they're young!


Comments (22) RSS

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Lew Siffer 1
I'd home school my kid before subjecting them to that shit.
Posted by Lew Siffer on November 28, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
wisepunk 2
I think that it is time for a class action lawsuit.
Posted by wisepunk on November 28, 2012 at 9:11 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 3
Frightening and disgusting.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on November 28, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 4
Don't worry, the Free Marketâ„¢ will surely stand up for the rights of those kids, and make sure that unqualified thugs are not trying to get schoolchildren arrested.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 28, 2012 at 9:22 AM · Report this
Please, please tell me that when you refer to the Gila River Indian Community Police you're referring to police from India. Please!
Posted by catsnbanjos on November 28, 2012 at 9:29 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 6
@2 Too bad the kids have no rights, and therefore no standing.

Every other industry has been working the teenage market for profits for a while now, damn the consequences. Not surprising that the prison-industrial complex would join in the cash grab.
Posted by Sir Vic on November 28, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
Just say no to thugs.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 28, 2012 at 9:39 AM · Report this
npage148 8
"According to Anderson, three students were arrested as a result of the October 31 Vista Grande raid: two female students, ages 15 and 17, as well as one 15-year-old male. According to Anderson, the 15-year-old female was found in possession of .10 grams of marijuana; the 15-year-old male student was found in possession of .50 grams of marijuana; and the 17-year-old female was found in possession of 10 ounces of marijuana. According to Anderson, this last quantity was "individually packaged." 


Getting your life ruined for 0.1 grams of what I would presume is weed scraps is insane. I'd say if you bring drugs to school you deserve to be arrested becasue your an idiot but I'm sure at points in my life I had enough 0.1 grams of weed on my in school. Like bits in my pack or something
Posted by npage148 on November 28, 2012 at 9:47 AM · Report this
treacle 9
"Business-savvy pros"???
Do you mean "any given world religion"?

@5 wtf? Is there some kind of pc pogrom going on today?
Posted by treacle on November 28, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this

Heard of sarcasm?
Posted by GLITUR_Chad on November 28, 2012 at 10:09 AM · Report this
On the bright side; at least one chapter in 20th century history class became way more interesting to the students.

Posted by david on November 28, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
I don't give a shit if they're not properly trained or are properly trained - they have no business being there, full stop. And (rhetorically) just how does a business which is not a law enforcement authority hold someone against their will? I just don't think anyone but the state has any right to operate a prison. Period.

Of course lock downs and sweeps have no place in reasonable schooling - with or without the involvement of the private sector.
Posted by myr on November 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
very bad homo 13
Has anyone noticed that about half of the stories about ridiculous shit come out of Arizona?
Posted by very bad homo on November 28, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 14
3 busts total? and 2 weren't even a gram? what was the total expense to nab that one girl who was dealing?

but, bringing TEN ounces to school? a half-pound? think harder, child.
Posted by Max Solomon on November 28, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
I would suggest somebody pulling a fire alarm every time there's a 'lockdown...'
Posted by CPN on November 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this

(I sadly remember when years back we were warning of investments in private prison companies like CCA, and its subsidiary, Prison Realty, by the Blackstone Group, and its financial subset, the Carlyle Group. --- the sheeple aren't quick to learn.....

I know, I know, it's not Obama's drones that kill people, it's those pesky Hellfire missiles they shoot at them that does it.)
Posted by sgt_doom on November 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 17
@14 If I didn't know any better, I'd say one of her competitors ratted her out. Hard to be discreet with that much weed on you, and no point bringing it if no one knows you're selling.
Posted by Sir Vic on November 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
treacle 18
@10 Heard of sarcasm? You know, I've always wondered what the plural noun for a herd of sarcasms was. A 'mock of sarcasms' perhaps? Anyone know for sure?
Posted by treacle on November 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
balderdash 19
Thanks for writing a headline I never thought I'd see outside Snow Crash, Brendan.
Posted by balderdash on November 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
It breaks my heart to see what a dystopia this country is becoming. Three kids' lives permanently ruined for using/dealing a drug that does little actual harm, so that some fat cat can add some more thousands to his already-ample pockets.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on November 28, 2012 at 9:09 PM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 21
I hated Arizona before reading this story. Wow, what a fucking wasteland.
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on November 29, 2012 at 3:38 AM · Report this
raggeddog 22
And I bet this school would send kids home for wearing a pro-gay t-shirt because it's "too disruptive".
Posted by raggeddog on November 29, 2012 at 6:43 AM · Report this

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