One would think that when Sheriff Anderson's responsibilities for providing law enforcement in Marion County were taken away, he could have actually spent some time monitoring what is going on in his jails. Not so. He was told about cameras that do not work at Jail #2. He did nothing. He was told about radios at Jail #2 that do not work. He did nothing. He was told of nurses escorting dangerous inmates throughout the facilities at Jail #2. He did nothing.
Sheriff Anderson was told that CCA had eliminated a round of medication for inmates so CCA could make more money by not hiring staff to pass out the pills. He did nothing. He was told of inmates dying and getting injured or sick because they didn't get their medication at Jail #2. He did nothing, no investigation, nothing. He was told that CCA was not providing translators at Jail #2 for Spanish-speaking inmates who had to use other inmates to translate complicated and private medical information to and from CCA's medical staff. Sheriff Anderson did nothing. The Sheriff was told of HIPAA violations such as intakes being conducted in video and audio presence of other inmates. The Sheriff did nothing. He was told of razor blades being left in wastebaskets where they were fished out and made into weapons. Sheriff Anderson did nothing.
Today I had it confirmed again from a recently released inmate that CCA is housing serious violent felons at Jail #2, contrary to what the Council is being told. People awaiting trials on misdemeanors are being housed in a dormitory environment right next to people who have committed Class A and B violent felonies. The jail is a hostage situation waiting to happen. Sheriff Frank Anderson knows this ... and he does nothing.
In the Fall of 2008, a Sheriff's spokesman told the Council's Public Safety Committee that the Sheriff need council approval to move money from one account to another so that he could pay CCA for inmate meals and for an inflation adjustment that CCA decided to take. The claim was not true. Under the Sheriff-CCA contract, CCA not the county, pays for inmate meals out of the per diem and the inflation adjustment happens automatically on 1/1 of every year. Later, the Sheriff's people told a Star reporter a completely different reason for the request, which was also phony. The money quite likely was transferred to CCA so CCA could pay its politically-connected law firm, Barnes & Thornburg. which had undoubtedly run up hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, in legal fees representing the oft-sued CCA. I wrote about the matter on my blog last December. It also bears mentioning that the chairman of the Public Safety Committee which oversees CCA operation of Jail #2, is Ryan Vaughn, a B&T attorney.
Did Sheriff Anderson Mislead the Council Into Giving Private Jail Company Nearly a Quarter of Million Dollars It Was Not Entitled To Receive? (Monday, December 15, 2008)
I asked for documentation under the open records law that might allow me to confirm whether the money went into legal fees. CCA has thus far refused to provide the requested information.
Allegations against Sheriff Anderson continue to mount. One 20 plus year administrator employed in the Marion County jail system has told me that Sheriff Anderson will not oppose CCA because he is making money off of the phone system used by inmates at the jail. He also says that Sheriff Anderson refuses to allow inmates awaiting trial to attend funerals of relatives, even when faced with court orders. Today, I spoke with a former inmate whose mother died while he was awaiting trial on a misdemeanor. The new chaplain at CCA did not even bother to tell him until a week after her funeral.