November 26, 2013


NY: Bill de Blasio gives cold shoulder to education reformers. Charter school operators and Bloomberg-style education reformers are getting the cold shoulder from mayor-elect Bill de Blasio as he assembles his transition team and prepares to choose a chancellor. New York Daily News

WI: UW School of Education Dean highlights privatization of American education, issues with voucher schools. In light of the passage of the state budget this past June, which included $75 million additional funds for voucher and choice schools, University of Wisconsin School of Education Dean Julie Underwood addressed the increasing privatization of the American education system at a lecture Thursday…. Underwood said vouchers are harmful for the public school system because they turn education into a “mere private good” while still using money from the public system. “If you believe education is a public good, you are not likely to support vouchers,” Underwood said. UW Badger Herald

IN: 5 things to know about the ongoing legal battle over Indiana’s failed welfare privatization. A three-judge panel for the Indiana Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday in the ongoing legal battle between the state and IBM over the failed effort to privatize welfare. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels signed off on privatization in 2006, and IBM won the $1.4 billion contract, but the state canceled the contract in 2009 amid growing complaints from welfare recipients.  Daily Journal

November 25, 2013


The Privatization of Public Service….It’s not only Maxwell that’s seen an increase in private sector employment among graduates, but a trend that has been consistent across multiple top public policy and administration graduate schools. [See below for a breakdown of post graduation jobs by university.] The trend mirrors the privatization of government overall and it’s happening at least partly as a result of the desire for greater compensation by for-profit firms, not because of well thought out social needs.

White House Opposes Privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Privatization would not fix ‘too big to fail’ entities, official says. U.S. The Obama administration rejected a corporate bid to buy insurance businesses from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, suggesting housing finance reform would be a better way to rebuild the housing loan market and prevent another potential economic collapse. US News & World Report

IN: Indianapolis mounting push to privatize parks.IndyParks put out a request for proposals Friday that could lead to privatization of some or all of the city’s parks and recreation facilities…. “We’re going to move quickly where we can,” Pittman said. “But we want to get this right, and we’ll take the time needed to do that.” Indianapolis Business Journal

IN: Appeal arguments begin in Indiana vs. IBM. The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments today in the legal battle over a $52 million judgment the state has been ordered to pay IBM over the failed attempt to privatize public welfare services under former Gov. Mitch Daniels. Both sides will get 45 minutes to argue their cases… The state is appealing a Marion Superior Court judge’s 2012 ruling awarding $52 million to IBM after the state canceled a contract Daniels had hailed in 2006 as the solution for fixing one of the nation’s most troubled welfare systems.  Indianapolis Star

PA:  Move to privatize Pa. prison nursing services fails. Critics of a plan by Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections to outsource the work of its nurses to private companies are breathing a sigh of relief. Pennsylvania’s state prisons already contract with private companies for certain medical, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical services. But the state’s biggest health care workers union is rejoicing over news that nurses won’t be added to that list.  NewsWorks

IL: Cost cutting, not love of free markets, push Illinois cities toward privatization. Illinois’ local governments are increasingly looking to privatization because they cannot afford to pay for everyone’s wants and still cover the cost of their needs. Quincy Journal

OH: State spent $1.2M on shuttered charter schools. The state of Ohio paid nearly $1.2 million to a string of charter schools — including three in Dayton and one in Trotwood — that closed abruptly last month mere weeks after opening.            Dayton Daily News ($)





November 21, 2013


Drop in Traffic Takes Toll on Investors. Millions of motorists cross the Foley Beach Express toll bridge every year, many to hit Alabama’s beaches. But traffic never reached the 10 million drivers that the bridge’s investors were led to believe would be paying tolls in 2012. The result is a familiar scenario to global investors who wagered on U.S. toll roads in the years before the financial crisis—and have since seen many of those bets fail. Wall Street Journal

Breach of Contract: Prison Privatization in America. While the exclusion of felons from the electoral process that culminates in policies affecting them contradicts U.S. governmental philosophy, an even more glaring inconsistency emerges when felons’ inability to vote is coupled with the privatization of prisons.  Brown Political Review

IN: IBM, state in court Monday. The state is appealing a Marion Superior Court judge’s 2012 ruling awarding $52 million to IBM after the state canceled a contract Daniels had hailed in 2006 as the solution for fixing one of the nation’s worst welfare systems. Instead, the project ended with the state firing IBM in 2009 after hundreds of millions of dollars were spent for a system that generated widespread complaints of delayed benefits and impersonal interactions. The dispute ended up in court, with the state trying to recoup more than $150 million of the $437 million it had paid IBM before scrapping the deal and IBM asking for $113 million for breach of contract.   Indianapolis Star

CA: Orange County, long a toll-road supporter, makes U-turn over 405 plan. Some of Orange County’s toll roads have struggled to attract drivers and each of the major corridors has been forced to refinance its debt to avoid possible default. Los Angeles Times

TX: Toll roads across the San Antonio’s North Side? Terri Hall is with the San Antonio Toll Party. She’s outraged by an Alamo Regional Mobility Authority Proposal. It would put toll roads all across the North Side. ….”It’s not toll viable. When you’re using puiblic money to issue the debt it means they’re subsidizing it with all of our money,” said Hall….It doesn’t do much for unclogging roads either because so few people can afford to pay to use these extra lanes that you still sit in congested roads on the free lanes,” said Hall.  News4SanAntonio

NJ: Newark district and charter schools join together for universal enrollment plan. The Newark Public School district and the city’s charter schools are considering a plan that would blow up the status quo in what they say is an effort to provide equity to the city’s schoolchildren. School officials are creating what some say is a first-in-the-nation voluntary effort to offer universal enrollment for students citywide to all of Newark’s 71 public schools and 21 public charter schools.

MD: Tea party values threaten 185-year legacy of serving the poor in Fredrick…. Tea party-inspired county commissioners have voted to sell Montevue and an associated nursing home to a for-profit company. The new owner wouldn’t have to accept any more older residents who can’t afford assisted living and don’t have any place else to go.  Washington Post

November 20, 2013


CMD Exposes America’s “Highest Paid Government Workers”. Hint: They aren’t your local teachers, nurses and social workers. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) today launched “America’s Highest Paid Government Workers,” a new initiative that will expose the taxpayer-funded salaries of CEOs whose corporations make billions by taking control of public services. PRWatch

State Policy Network: The Straw That Stirs the Conservative Movement….In September, the Arlington, Virginia-based State Policy Network held its 21st annual meeting in Oklahoma City. According to CMD’s report EXPOSED: The State Policy Network — The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government, the meeting “featured a legislative agenda that included privatizing and profitizing schools, attacking the pensions negotiated for public workers, limiting the ability of states to tax, ending collective bargaining rights of workers, cutting federal spending out of state budgets, and thwarting the Affordable Care Act.” As might be expected the Koch Brothers have their imprint writ large over the SPN.  Truth-Out

LA: DOJ gives up on blocking Louisiana voucher program. The Department of Justice said Tuesday it’s no longer trying to freeze or block Louisiana’s school voucher program, prompting a wave of Republican celebration. DOJ intervened earlier this year because it was concerned the vouchers were interfering with federal desegregation efforts in Louisiana. The suit became the target of Republican criticism, with accusations flying that the Obama administration was attempting to deprive children of a high-quality education.  Political

PA: GOP reps who killed Corbett transport plan push private funding. The morning after the General Assembly torpedoed Gov. Corbett’s latest attempt to pass a road and Septa public-funding budget and gas-tax hike, Republican members are circulating notes in support of “public private partnership” projects, in which private companies could petition state government to build or schools and other public projects and borrow, charge user fees or levy other financing on public-funded works without state involvement. The state passed a similar plan for roads and bridges last year. (blog)

NJ: Privatizing cash toll collections is officially back on the table. Privatizing cash toll collections is officially back on the table, after New Jersey Turnpike Authority officials said they plan to put out requests for proposals this week to take over the E-ZPass and cash toll collections in 2016. Asbury Park Press

NY: Is New York’s Charter-School era waning?….De Blasio’s team told me that the mayor-elect doesn’t want to get rid of charter schools altogether. Rather, he plans to reverse many of the bolder changes that Bloomberg made, including closing more than a hundred and sixty low-performing public schools and stressing the use of report cards and data to rate teachers and schools. De Blasio’s most headline-grabbing proposal thus far has been to expand public education through a tax on New Yorkers who make more than five hundred thousand dollars a year, which would pay for citywide pre-kindergarten. The New Yorker

NY: Educators, parents challenge state education commissioner. It was clearly a difficult night for New York State Education Commissioner Dr. John King and Chancellor Meryl Tisch. The two sat alone at a table on the auditorium stage at Mineola High School on Nov. 13, listening as some 47 teachers, administrators and parents, many of them both school staff members and parents, spoke out about the state’s rollout of the Common Core State Standards. Not one of the 47 said they approved of the way the state has introduced the program to local school districts….“Public education is a large issue,” Dolber said. “There are problems with how the state is handling the Common Core rollout. There are problems with children with special needs that amounts to child abuse. Kids are important, and the state is trying to privatize education, to give it to the big corporations.” That contention was a common thread in many of the testimonials given by those who asked questions of King and Tisch.

DC: DC preparing a new unified enrollment lottery for its traditional and charter schools. The majority of the District’s charter schools and all of the city’s traditional public schools plan to participate in a single, unified lottery to determine enrollment for next fall, a shift education officials hope will streamline what has often be en a frustrating and chaotic process for families.  Washington Post

NC: NC funding cuts for dementia care concerns families. Families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, and the care providers they hire, are sweating over proposed cuts to state Medicaid payments for elder care…..Pat McCrory’s administration is working on a proposal to overhaul the system, potentially privatizing much of it, to save money. Greensboro News & Record



November 19, 2013


How Privatizers Are Killing Our Schools. Heartland Institute President  Joseph Bast called the public school system a “socialist regime.”  Michelle Rhee cautions us against commending students for their ‘participation’ in sports and other activities. Privatizers believe that any form of working together as a community is anti-American. To them, individual achievement is all that matters. They’re now applying their winner-take-all profit motive to our children. AlterNet

Health-care Web site’s lead contractor employs executives from troubled IT company. The lead contractor on the dysfunctional Web site for the Affordable Care Act is filled with executives from a company that mishandled at least 20 other government IT projects, including a flawed effort to automate retirement benefits for millions of federal workers, documents and interviews show. Washington Post

Capital gains: Spending on contracts and lobbying propels a wave of new wealth in DC.….Two forces triggered the boom. The share of money the government spent on weapons and other  hardware shrank as service contracts nearly tripled in value. At the peak in 2010, companies based in Rep. James P. Moran’s congressional district in Northern Virginia reaped $43 billion in federal contracts — roughly as much as the state of Texas. At the same time, big companies realized that a few million spent shaping legislation could produce windfall profits. They nearly doubled the cash they poured into the capital.  Washington Post

Public universities should be free…..What we still call “public universities” would be more accurately described as state-controlled private universities — corporate entities that think and behave like businesses. Where there once was a public mission to educate the republic’s citizens, there is now the goal of satisfying the educational needs of the market, aided by PR departments that brand degrees as commodities and build consumer interest, always with an eye to the bottom line.  Al Jazeera America

OH: Ohio Court Of Appeals Blocks Red Light Camera Scam. Though many view red light cameras as a way for cities to extract money from the public, the Ohio Court of Appeals on Friday shut down what it saw as one man’s attempt to use the cameras to make money off of a city. A three-judge panel rejected Edward Verhovec’s demand for records about the traffic camera program operated on the city’s behalf by Redflex Traffic Systems, an Australian company. Verhovec had filed public information requests, working as an investigator for attorney Paul Cushion.

OH: Taxpayers’ $1.2 million propped up owner’s 2nd charter-school bust. After resigning this year as superintendent of a financially troubled Internet charter school amid allegations of nepotism, James McCord had a new plan, and it again involved a charter school employing him and his family. Columbus Dispatch           

NC: The nightmare of privatized water resources continues. With help from Republicans, Aqua NC squeezes more money out of clients: The law allows private waterworks to adjust rates several times a year through a streamlined review to pay for water and sewer upgrades. BlueNC

TX: Toll tidal wave: Agency proposes tolls on all north side freeways …..The I-35 toll project is slated to be a public private partnership (P3) according to MPO documents. Privatization can mean toll rates of 75-80 cents a mile and all sorts of profit guarantees and public subsidies. Both public and privately-run toll projects involve non-compete agreements that penalize the expansion of free roads surrounding the toll lanes. San Antonio Express (blog)           

CA: Oakland charter school battle rages. Oakland is the charter school capital of California. And that might be a problem. …Depending on who’s talking, they’re filling the demands of parents for educational options or devastating an already cash-strapped school district. In reality, both are true. And that reality is setting up a battle between those wanting to open up even more charters and local critics, first among them school board member Jody London, who say the city doesn’t need and can’t support any more charters.  San Francisco Chronicle

NY: NYC hurries to close worst-performing charter school. City education officials are trying to close a troubled Brooklyn charter school before Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio takes office Jan. 1 and fulfills his campaign promise to impose a moratorium on school shutdowns. New York Daily News

November 18, 2013


TVA privatization proposal still a live wire. President Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget request may be moribund, but one hot-button. proposal buried deep within it appears to be very much alive: Taking a close look at the option of selling off the Tennessee Valley Authority, the government-owned electric utility. The administration has launched a strategic review that’s delving into issues like “de-federalization,” the implications of a change in TVA ownership for economic development and how to deal with the agency’s assets. Federal Times

IL: Illinois Advancing P3 for Illiana Toll Road. Illinois hopes to select a private partner to develop its estimated $1.1 billion share of the proposed Illiana toll road by next fall with the goal of closing on a finance package as soon as early 2015, a top state transportation official said Thursday. Bond Buyer($)

MI: Dianda wants Privatization of Prison Food Services ended. State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) wrote an open letter today to Acting State Personnel Director Janet McClelland calling for an end to food service privatization in Michigan prisons. Dianda worked across the aisle to get the signatures of 13 other state representatives and three senators attached to the letter, which had bipartisan support.  ABC 10 News NOW

VA: Express lane future is paved with gold…. However, the public–private project contract signed with Transurban Group and Fluor Corp. includes stipulations that could force Virginians to pay the companies if non-toll-paying HOV traffic reach certain thresholds. The threshold is based on a complicated formula comparing the percentage of free HOV traffic to toll-paying drivers. If the HOV traffic reaches the threshold, the state has to pay the companies 70 percent of the toll rate. ..But those details have flown under the radar since the state struck the deal with Transurban and Fluor on the massive I–95 express-lanes project. And those who attended that October meeting in Stafford County likely had no idea about that part of the contract, which is what Farley was alluding to.  The Free Lance-Star

VA: Police Crack Down on Dulles Access Highway “Backtracking”. Police are cracking down on drivers who skip the Dulles Toll Plaza and use the access highway illegally. The access road running parallel to the Dulles Toll Road is supposed to be for people going to the airport. NBC4 Washington

NY: Charter school leaders seek dialogue with de Blasio. Charter school leaders say they’re seeking an open dialogue with New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and hoping he’ll reconsider his proposals to curb their growth and start charging rent to those the city decides can afford it. Newsday

PA: Founder of Agora Cyber Charter School accused of stealing $6.7M. After James D. Marshall Jr. became board president of the Agora Cyber Charter School in 2007, he signed lots of documents for the school. But last week, he told jurors in the $6.7 million fraud trial of school founder Dorothy June Brown that he did not sign a management contract with Ms. Brown’s Cynwyd Group L.L.C. in 2006 — even though his name was on it.  Pittsburgh Post Gazette

LA: Drivers license operations to privatize. The Jindal administration is entering into contracts to privatize some functions of the state Office of Motor Vehicles, including driver’s license renewals. The Advocate















November 15, 2013


How One State Protects Taxpayers From Privatization Pitfalls. Today, state and federal “sunshine” laws give the public important anticorruption protection, such as open meetings acts, freedom of information acts and civil service regulations that require government decisions to hire or fire be based on facts and merit – not “honest” graft. This December, Massachusetts can celebrate the 20th anniversary of another important sunshine law – the Pacheco-Menard Law. This law protects the state treasury and infrastructure – and the people of Massachusetts – from looting. But critics of the law treat the decision about whether public services or infrastructure should be private or public as if it were a choice of paper or plastic, or a team sport where you cheer on Team Privatization.  Truth-Out

Outsourcing America video. This PR Watch video exposes the privatizers and profiteers selling out our democracy.   YouTube

AZ: Arizona prison horror: “Critically ill” inmates told to “pray” for healing. A new report alleges illegal and deadly mistreatment of Arizona inmates whose medical care the state contracted out to the country’s largest private prison health care provider. The report, released last week by the American Friends Service Committee, a progressive Quaker group, comes as an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Corrections awaits an appeals court ruling over the state’s challenge to its class action status. The ACLU alleges “grossly inadequate” care that creates “grave danger” for inmates, including “critically ill” people who were told to “be patient” or “pray” for healing, or that “it’s all in your head.”  Salon

MI: Detroit picks 2 companies to privatize residential trash service. Nowling said the privatization will affect about 125 city garbage truck drivers. Both companies have agreed to offer jobs to qualified former city drivers at a wage of $17 or $18 an hour. Nowling said the hourly wage is slightly more than they are currently making. Detroit Free Press

NY: CONservancy? Intent to Privatize Washington Square Park. Documents uncovered by Washington Square Park Blog reveal that the Washington Square Park Conservancy founders were coached by members of Community Board 2 and by City Parks Department officials on what to say, and, more importantly perhaps, what not to say before the Board’s two meetings, held within two weeks of each other, which would determine C.B.2 approval or rejection. Board approval opened the door to what amounts to a takeover of the park: the handing over of control of Washington Square Park based on inaccurate and incomplete statements by the Parks Department and the private conservancy members. Washington Square Park

IN: Cincinnati’s Mayor-elect better man than Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. Even before he takes office, he and the newly-elected council agreed that killing a privatization deal for the city’s parking meter assets with Xerox, the same company which now controls Indianapolis’ parking meter assets, was in the best interests of the city. “We feel that we owe it to the voters who elected us to have a clean break with this deal,” Mayor-elect John Cranley said Tuesday. Advance Indiana

IN: Illinois and Indiana seek private firm to build Illiana Expressway. Transportation officials are on the hunt for a private firm to design, build and operate the proposed Illiana Expressway toll road south of Chicago. The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Indiana Department of Transportation have issued requests for qualifications from private firms for their respective portions of the combined 47-mile toll road that, once completed, would connect Interstate 55 in Illinois with I-65 in Indiana. The project is estimated to cost $1.25 billion. Land Line Magazine

VA: Airport wants drivers to stop dodging the Dulles Toll Road. Drivers hopping on the Dulles Access Highway to avoid paying a toll are going to encounter a beefed up police presence, officials announced this week. This campaign is meant to discourage drivers near Dulles International Airport from using the access road when they should be using the Dulles Toll Road, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates the toll road as well as Dulles and Reagan National Airport.  Washington Post (blog)




November 13, 2013


Privatize Everything in the Universe? I wrote this song, “Privatize Everything,” back in 2000. The song was meant as political satire, but unfortunately, many of these lyrics have already become reality in recent years, as evidenced by the federal “catch shares” program, the state’s fake “marine protected areas,” the Obama administration’s tentative approval of Frankenfish and the state-federal Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the twin tunnels.  Daily Kos

Congressional fiasco is the lone black mark for the Postal Service – opinion. There have been some misleading articles about the U.S. Postal Service, but few diverge as far from the facts as Bill Borden’s Oct. 31 commentary disparaging the Postal Service and calling for its privatization. He conveniently ignores the fact that delivering the mail is one of the few activities of the federal government that are rooted in the Constitution. My guess is that Mr. Borden takes the rest of that document rather seriously. The Desert Sun

TX: Credit Rating For Texas’ First Public-Private Partnership Toll Road Project In Trouble. When segments five and six of SH 130 opened in October 2012, Rick Perry called it special, and touted the significant achievement of the project as the first public-private partnership in the state.  One year later, the credit rating for the project is at junk status.  Burnt Orange Report

VA: Virginia Supreme Court Saves Toll Roads. Toll roads in Virginia have found themselves in legal limbo since May, but the state’s highest court came to the rescue on October 31. Portsmouth Circuit Court Judge James A. Cales Jr had thrown the industry into chaos with a ruling that found the General Assembly violated the state constitution when it gave the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Elizabeth River Crossings toll road company authority to raise taxes in the form of tolls, which would be taxation without representation. In a 55-page ruling, the Virginia Supreme Court rejected the reasoning of Judge Cales.

OH: Deal to Privatize Parking in Cincinnati Dead. Mayor-elect John Cranley and several of the elected city council members sent a letter to the Port Authority asking that it stop the $85 million deal. The Port Authority finalized the contracts with the vendor. City Council approved the deal, but it was widely opposed. People feared higher rates and longer enforcement. WKRC TV Cincinnati

DC: Harmony charter school seeks to expand to DC; business practices raised questions. The largest charter-school operator in Texas, an organization with a solid academic record but lingering allegations of connections to a controversial Muslim cleric, is seeking to expand to the District next year. Washington Post



November 8, 2013


Privatizing Our Vote: The Ultimate Crime. Ultimately, however, the biggest problem with electronic voting machines is that they violate the core principles of our republic. Whether or not election rigging exists – and my bets are on that it does – the whole idea of privatizing the vote is a crime against our form of government. Think of it this way: the whole purpose of government is to administer the commons, you know, things like parks, healthcare, and roads that we all need in order to survive. And in a democratic republic, voting is the most important part of the commons. That’s because it’s the glue that holds everything else together. It’s how “We, the People,” hold the managers of our commons – our elected leaders – accountable for their actions. Handing the one thing we use to hold everyone else accountable – that is, voting, – over to an institution – a corporation – that is only accountable to its shareholders, is the ultimate crime against democracy. Turthout

OH: Ohio Supreme Court; JobsOhio arguments heard. Oral arguments were presented to the high court yesterday by both sides over the issue of “standing,” or whether a liberal policy group and two Democratic lawmakers had the legal right to challenge Gov. John Kasich’s new privatized development agency in 2011. Why should ProgressOhio, state Sen. Michael Skindell of Cleveland and now-former Rep. Dennis Murray of Sandusky be permitted to challenge the constitutionality of JobsOhio? If they can’t sue, who can? And why is all of this so confusing?  Columbus Dispatch

November 7, 2013


TX: Talk of I-35 and SH 130 toll lane swap resurfaces…. “If the inference here is that the TxDOT commission would shift the financial burdens for SH-130 to people who commute daily to Austin to pay for the tolling failures of SH-130, this is yet another example of how our state government is using crony capitalism to bail out private enterprises. “It is curious that this proposal follows on the heels of reports last month that the private owners of SH-130 may not be able to make debt payments in 2014 because actual traffic is well below their initial estimates.   Austin Business Journal (blog)

MI: Detroit elects fix-it CEO as mayor, but his hands could be tied. Mike Duggan, who rescued Detroit’s largest employer for near-insolvency, will be the next Detroit mayor. But the governor’s emergency manager is the real man in charge…. Labor groups in Detroit have “had mixed experiences” with Duggan “over the course of his business career” but “expect him to honor his campaign commitments to protect retirees, resist privatization,… and make Detroit’s economy work for all residents,” said Chris Michalakis, president of the Metro Detroit chapter of the AFL-CIO.  Christian Science Monitor

CT: Bristol Union Protests Outsourcing Plan. Unionized school cafeteria workers turned out in force Wednesday night to protest a plan that would end their jobs and hire a private contractor to run the food service operation. Dressed in green T-shirts and carrying signs reading “Privatization equals corruption,” several dozen Local 2267 members and their supporters showed up at the monthly school board meeting to demonstrate their discontent. Hartford Courant

‘Parade of horribles’ in privatized prisons….In the past 24 months alone, two riots left a guard and inmate dead. Corrections Corporation of America, which runs four Florida prisons, admitted it lied about understaffing an especially violent Idaho lockup. GEO Group Inc., which operates two other prisons in this state, came under fire by the Justice Department for sexual assaults of young offenders in Mississippi…..Yet since 2000, no riots resulted in major damage or serious inmate injuries in Florida’s state-run prisons, none was closed over inmate abuse, and none was investigated by the Justice Department over widespread squalor. Worcester Telegram