This fact sheet was prepared by the organizers of the Stop the American Correctional Association (ACA) Conference in Philadelphia, PA in August 2001.

American Correctional Association Trade Show:
Fact Sheet on Some of The Companies Involved

The American Correctional Association

The American Correctional Association is the self-proclaimed umbrella organization for all areas of corrections, including federal, state and military correctional facilities and prisons, as well as county jails and detention centers. With over 20,000 members, the ACA is the largest organization in the corrections profession. The tradeshow (which the ACA has dubbed their "Congress of Corrections") brings thousands of companies wishing to make a profit off any sort of incarceration together with thousands of corrections professionals with purchasing power for their facilities. The ACA calls it "a great opportunity for companies to increase business and establish national and international industry contacts" and boast that 81 percent of corrections industry sales are made at trade shows. By selling booth space on their convention floor, the ACA pays for it’s annual convention, and representatives of these companies play a key role in developing the policies which corrections officials use to govern themselves.

Four Companies Represented this Year’s "Congress of Corrections"

1. The Correctional Services Corporation of America & Youth Services International– "Physical and psychological conditions [of youth detention] bordered upon child abuse."

Background: The CSC, located in Sarasota, Florida, is a powerful developer and manager of privatized correctional facilities, providing services to governmental agencies on every level. The CSC owns 13 facilities nationwide, and Youth Services International, a wholly owned subsidiary of the CSC, is the largest private-for-profit company in the juvenile corrections field. YSI owns 33 juvenile facilities that house 4200 juveniles. The CSC brought in $210.8 million in revenues in 2000.1

CSC’s Record: Facilities run by CSC have records of mistreating youth under their care.

a) Pahokee, Florida: Youth detained beyond release date to rack-up profits.

The CSC was awarded a $8.5 million contract in 1996 to run a detention center housing 350 nonviolent teenagers in Pahokee, Florida. Less than three years later, in October 1999, the CSC pulled out of its contract after failing its government inspection.2 The inspection showed:

b) Victor Cullen Center, Sabillasville, Maryland: Understaffed, guards force youth to attack each other in "fight clubs" at ACA accredited facility.

2. The Corrections Corporation of America–"deceitful and dishonest."

Background: The CCA is the nation’s largest provider of privatized correction management, with control over 65 facilities housing 55,000 inmates and 310 million dollars in revenues in 1999. CCA’s services include design, construction, ownership, renovation, and management of prisons, jails and treatment centers. CCA are sponsors of this yea’rs ACA banquet profiling the industries best practices.

CCA Record: Prisoners Killed, Escape, and Guards Say Private Prison Company Poorly staffed, poorly run.

a) Youngstown, Ohio Prison–ACA Accredited: 40 inmates assaulted.

A prison operated by the CCA in Youngstown, Ohio, is currently in the stages of being shut down after numerous problems, including inmate deaths and escapes. The ACA found the Youngstown facility to be in 100 percent compliance with all mandatory standards and 99.5 percent in compliance with all non-mandatory standards.8

b) Estancia, New MexicoGuards: CCA to blame for inmate riot.

On August 17, 1999, five guards were beaten unconscious by rioting inmates in a prison operated by the CCA in Estancia, New Mexico. The guards did not blame the inmates, but rather blamed the prison officials, who not only understaffed the prison and inadequately trained the guards, but also were said to have known of plans for a riot ahead of time.14

3. The Maricopa County Jail Program

Background: Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Phoenix, Arizona and the rest of Maricopa County has billed himself nationally and internationally as America’s toughest sheriff (for details, see his website at There are over 6,000 jail inmates under Sheriff Arpaio’s control.

The Maricopa County Record: Inhumane Conditions of Confinement

From the beginning of Arpaio’s tenure to April of 1999, over 800 lawsuits were filed by inmates about the Maricopa county jail system.15 The Maricopa county jail has been under Justice Department investigation several times, and has been criticized by Amnesty International, and other international human rights agencies for inhumane conditions of confinement. A recent six-month investigation by a corrections consultant agreed upon by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the U.S. Justice Department reported the following about the use of force and conditions of confinement in the Maricopa County Jail16:

Other concerns raised about the Maricopia County jail program include:

[A section from this historical document removed by the Prison Policy Initiative, June 2009]

Other Exhibitors23

The National Riffle Association
Smith & Wesson
Air Munitions North America
American Handcuff Company
ARAMARK Correctional Services, Inc.
Maximum Security Products Association
MK Ballistic Systems
Point Blank Body Armour
Orcutt Police Defensive Systems, Inc.
Northern Grumman Corporation
Proper Battle Tested
Federal Warning Systems
Extreme CCTV Surveillance
First DeFence
IDS-Intelligent Detector Systems
Wackenhutt Corrections Corporation.


  1. "Correctional Services Corporation Announces Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2000 Financial Results." Business Wire, 3/12/01
  2. "Safety Takes a Loss." Palm Beach Post, 10/20/99
  3. Jennifer Peltz and Gary Kane. "Pahokee Youth Jail Fails State Inspection." Palm Beach Post, 7/15/99
  4. "Report: Youth center delayed release of teens for money." Associated Press, 11/23/98
  5. Jennifer Peltz. "Judge Rips Pahokee Youth Center, Says It’s ‘Cruel,’ Borders on Abusive." Palm Beach Post, 8-19-97
  6. Kate Shatzkin. "Cullen Audit Raises Concern." Baltimore Sun, 11/18/00
  7. Todd Richissin. " ‘Fight Club’ Probed at Md. Jail for Juveniles." Baltimore Sun, 7/3/01
  8. "CCA’s Northeast Ohio Correctional Center Receives ACA Accreditation." PR Newswire, 8/16/99
  9. Arthur Santana. "D.C. Scatters Inmates from Troubled Ohio Prison." Washington Post, 5/11/01
  10. Mark Tatge. "Judge to Rule on Youngstown Prison Security Issue." Plain Dealer, 7/17/98
  11. "Private Prison in Ohio Agrees to Pay Inmates Damages." The Commercial Appeal (Memphis), 3/3/99
  12. Nancy Zuckerbrod. "Report Criticizes Ohio Prison." Associated Press, 12/5/98
  13. Rita Price. "2 Escapees Still Sought; Anger Erupts in Youngstown Over Private Prison." Columbia Dispatch, 7/27/98
  14. Susie Gran. "Officials Knew of Planned Estancia Riot, Lawsuit Says." Albuquerque Tribune, 12/14/99
  15. Tony Ortega. "Detention Mounts." Phoenix New Times, 4/22/99
  16. For an extensive critique of the Maricopa County jail and the human rights abuses there, see Graham, Barry. "Star of Justice: On the Job With America’s Toughest Jail." Harpers Magazine, April 1, 2001.
  17. Tony Ortega. "Detention Mounts." Phoenix New Times, 4/22/99
  18. "Inmates Refuse to Eat to Protest Food Cutbacks." Associated Press, 3/16/01
  19. Larry O’dell. "Board Keeps Controversial Program at Least Until September." Associated Press, 6/9/99
  20. "Inmate Rights Group Prepares 1.3 Billion Lawsuit Against Sheriff." Associated Press, 5/24/01
  21. Dan Hartzell. "Firm is Named in Death Lawsuit." The Morning Call (Allentown), 9/1/00
  22. Holly A. Heyser. "Medical Examiner: Suffocating Caused Teen’s Fatal Heart Attack." The Virginia Pilot (Norfolk), 7/23/99
  23. For a complete list of exhibitors, see the ACA website at