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CCA delinquent on $1.5 million bill

D.C. General owed for a year’s worth of steam heat

at Correctional Treatment Facility

(Published February 22, 1999)

By REBECCA CHARRY

Staff Writer

Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in the nation, owes the parent company of D.C. General Hospital more than $1.5 million in overdue heating bills.

John Fairman, general manager of the Public Benefit Corp., notified CCA president Doctor Crants, Mayor Anthony A. Williams, the control board and D.C. City Council by letter Jan. 29 that CCA has not paid for more than a year’s worth of heat and hot water at the Correctional Treatment Facility at 19th and E streets SE. The facility, which CCA operates under contract for the D.C. government, is heated with steam provided by the D.C. General Hospital Power Plant.

CCA officials in Washington and at the company’s Nashville, Tenn., headquarters did not return repeated calls for comment.

In his letter, Fairman noted numerous requests for payment have been ignored. He threatened to shut off heat to the 800-bed facility if a payment agreement is not reached by Feb. 28. He indicated legal action to collect the money could be initiated.

A source at the PBC said the prison company disputes the amount of the bill but negotiations are underway to resolve the problem. He said CCA officials have made a verbal offer of less than the $1.522 million Fairman said would be necessary to cover back bills. He also asked CCA to prepay $270,000 for the estimated cost of service through May.

CCA has a $182-million contract with the District to house about 1,300 medium-security prisoners at a facility in Youngstown, Ohio.

Last year the D.C. government forgave more than $1 million in fines levied against CCA for improper conditions inside the Southeast Washing-ton treatment facility, according to published reports.

The heating bill issue is scheduled to be discussed at the PBC’s next board meeting Feb. 26. The Public Benefit Corp., a quasi-governmental organization, is the parent company of D.C. General Hospital and nine community health clinics in the city.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator