Public Safety Sector to Avoid Worst of Downturn

By Roibín Ó hÉochaidh
The public safety construction sector will perform relatively well compared to other nonresidential sectors and avoid the worst of the declines in project activity for the next two years, according to the American Institute of Architects semi-annual forecast.

Judges Order Massive Calif. Inmate Release

California must release tens of thousands of inmates to relieve dangerous overcrowding in state prisons and improve substandard healthcare and conditions, according to a special three-judge federal panel.

Recovery Act Provides $2 Billion for Justice Dept.

The Department of Justice will administer $2 billion allocated to state and local law enforcement and criminal justice assistance under the federal stimulus package.

N.Y. Revises Rockefeller Drug Laws to Emphasize Treatment

The state assembly has revised the Rockefeller Drug Laws, which established mandatory-minimum prison sentences, to expand drug treatment programs and give judges more discretion to decide on probation, treatment or prison sentences for drug offenders.

New Mexico Nixes Death Penalty Amid Uptick in U.S. Executions

Gov. Bill Richardson repealed the death penalty in New Mexico as he signed legislation to replace capital punishment with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without parole.

Omnibus Earmark Sparks San Diego Project

The new U.S. courthouse proposed for downtown San Diego moved a step closer to reality as President Barack Obama signed a $410 billion omnibus-spending bill.

GSA Design Awards: Oregon Courthouse Scores Multiple Honors

Oregon’s Wayne Lyman Morse U.S. Courthouse and the San Francisco federal building scooped the top architecture honors in the 2008 General Services Administration’s Design Excellence Program.  The GSA’s 2008 biennial design awards, released in March, recognize 18 federal projects with awards and citations for design, art and construction excellence. The Morse courthouse in Eugene, Ore., and San Francisco’s federal building, both designed by Morphosis Architecture, received the architectural honor awards.

GEO Consolidates Healthcare Operations, Opens New Facility

The GEO Group opened a new $62 million secure treatment facility as the private prison operator announced the consolidation of correctional healthcare functions under the company’s GEO Care division.

Hininger Promoted to CEO of Corrections Corp.

Corrections Corporation of America president and chief operating officer Damon Hininger, the Background Check subject in the July/August issue, will succeed chairman John Ferguson as chief executive officer in October.

CCA Opens 2,232-bed Facility for Illegal-Immigrant Offenders

Corrections Corporation of America will bring the recently completed Adams County Correctional Facility on line this year to house illegal-immigrant offenders for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.