Ch. 4: Koch Network's Anti-Civil Rights Crusade
Part 6: Expansion of the Prison Industrial Complex
1. Expansion into the Reentry Sector
Since being outed by activists and academics, the nation’s largest for-profit prisons have diversified into the post-incarceration industry, also known as the “reentry” sector. This includes providing contracted services for parole, electronic monitoring, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, and any other post-incarceration services that can be contracted to private entities. Privatization of these services has already shown disastrous consequences, with widespread abuses by private probation services, mental health providers, and other for-profit (and non-profit) reentry contractors.
For example, the private prison giant, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA, now CoreCivic), claims to have entered the “residential reentry space” in 2013 with the $36 million acquisition of Correctional Alternatives, Inc. In 2014, CCA announced that "Reentry programs and reducing recidivism are 100 percent aligned with our business model." The company recently acquired one of the country’s largest reentry providers, Community Education Centers, Inc, for $13.5 million.
Despite his father’s notable role in the Civil Rights Movement, Thurgood Marshall Jr. holds a personal financial interest in the prison industrial complex as a member of the board of directors of Corrections Corporation of America. He is also part owner of an apparel company, Genesco, whose CEO joins him on the board of CCA.
Since 2009, another top private prison, Geo Group, acquired several large reentry providers, including Just Care Inc. for $40 million, Cornell Companies for $685 million, BI Inc. for $415 million. As of its 2011 acquisition, BI Inc. was the sole provider of monitoring and supervision services for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as part of the Department of Homeland Security's "Alternatives to Detention" program. Many of these contractors have histories with abusive treatment and discrimination toward immigrants.
Private parole providers like Sentinel Offender Services, Providence Community Corrections, and Judicial Correction Services have been sued for violations of civil rights for establishing a system of a “judicially sanctioned extortion racket” in several states, and yet they continue to receive local and state contracts.
2. Right on Crime: Koch, ALEC, and Private Prisons
CCA, BI Inc., and Koch Industries can all be seen funding ALEC’s “tough on crime” agenda in 1994, and they are all currently behind or benefiting from the current incarnation of “tough on crime,” called Right on Crime. Right on Crime was launched by the Texas Public Policy Foundation with key staff and funding from the Charles Koch Foundation.
In 2012, TPPF accidentally released a tax document that showed a list of their (otherwise undisclosed) corporate donations, showing that they have been receiving contributions directly from the private prison GEO Group as well as Koch Industries.
The Charles Koch Institute’s Vikrant Reddy, who was involved in the launch of Right on Crime, describes how ALEC was leading the movement with Koch’s network of free-market think tanks, the State Policy Network (SPN):
At the end of the day, the academic arguments came second. The first question was, who’s making the argument? And they had to see that the argument was being made by strongly trusted conservatives. It was being made by [Texas Public Policy Foundation] and ALEC and SPN, and so far it’s been very successful. (AEI 2016)
The Right on Crime movement is made up of many of the same individuals, organizations, and politicians who were responsible for the proliferation of private prisons and building the school to prison pipeline, including Mercatus’ Edwin Meese. “Right on Crime” shared a lot of the same people as “tough on crime” as well as nearly identical talking points (private providers will reduce recidivism, cut costs, and ensure public safety).
A 2016 “Special Report on Reentry” at the Center for Media and Democracy (by the author of this report) examined the reform initiatives of Right on Crime, in particular, the Koch-funded Project on Accountable Justice, established (not in the School of Criminology) at Florida State University.
The funding and the people involved demonstrate direct and dizzying ties to ALEC, private corrections contractors and their lobbyists. One stand out example, and one of the founders of Right on Crime Florida, is Allison DeFoor.
In 1986, as a Monroe County Judge, DeFoor was publicly reprimanded for judicial misconduct after improperly utilizing his office to proliferate sales of an electronic monitoring device in which he held a financial interest. He was found to have directed contracts to a private parole contractor, PRIDE Inc. (one of Florida's largest prison labor contractors), which had agreed to use his device.
In 1988, DeFoor was elected Monroe Co. Sheriff where, in 1990, he oversaw the privatization of Monroe County Prisons to Wackenhut (part of which was later included in GEO Group). In 1991, he became Senior VP of Wackenhut Monitoring Systems Inc., which would later spin off to become Sentinel Offender Services. Defoor was a lobbyist for Sentinel for at least a decade, including 2001 and 2011, at same time DeFoor was helping launch “Right on Crime Florida.”
Increased electronic monitoring and privatized parole are two things explicitly advocated for by Right on Crime, in lockstep with ALEC’s Corrections and Reentry working group (initially a project of ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Taskforce mentioned above).
Records requests showed that DeFoor has been active with ALEC, and indicated this to the Koch foundation when seeking funding. An email to the Koch foundation read:
we will be making a presentation of one of our research projects to ALEC's Justice Performance Task Force . . . Would you be available to meet with us while we are in town? (Hardin email, 2014)
3. Koch’s Reentry Contractors Using Flawed Recidivism Research
In order to gain larger state and federal contracts related to the reentry projects Right on Crime advocates for, Right on Crime contractors have developed reforms propelled by decades of flawed research methodology, exhibiting a clear pattern of selection bias and inflated results.
A. Legislative Loopholes: “Justice Reinvestment”
The 2010 Justice Reinvestment Initiative, is a public-private partnership between the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Pew Charitable Trusts, the Urban Institute, and others. JRI seeks to restructure departments of corrections toward a free-market performance funding model. BJA director Denise E. O’Donnell describes how JRI using federal funding to restructure state and local funding systems for “the achievement of long-term justice system realignment.”
In order to account for the “time lag between policy enactment and realization of savings,” JRI can divert public funding to contractors based on “on the basis of projected future savings” (Urban Institute, 2014).
For states, the JRI model requires all branches of government to formally request assistance from the BJA while creating a working group made up of elected officials, reformers, and corrections and law enforcement officials. These working groups make policy recommendations that allow the state to open contractor's access to state and federal "justice reinvestment" funding.
In many states, ALEC and Right on Crime groups are working in tandem with lawmakers specifically to open access to JRI funding. Meanwhile, the state level reforms coming out JRI working groups are based on ALEC's reforms. According to ALEC, a JRI bipartisan working group in Georgia, the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform:
has produced a set of policy recommendations which align with ALEC model policies . . Key elements of the recommendations align with a framework of policy that was the product of a Corrections and Reentry Working Group at ALEC. (ALEC Press Release, 2012)
This working group was originally part of ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force, best known for their adoption of Stand Your Ground and Voter ID laws. Other members of this task force include the American Bail Coalition and private prison Corrections Corporation of America.
Other recent states include Illinois, where the Koch backed Governor, Bruce Rauner, created the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform within the first month of his administration. Rauner attended Koch's secretive Jan. 2017 donor summit.
B. Prison Fellowship Ministries
In 2016, the Charles Koch Foundation donated $100,000 to Prison Fellowship Ministries (PFM).
Founded in 1976 by Chuck Colson, best known as Richard Nixon’s Watergate “hatchet man,” PFM’s has has created a faith-based reentry program that was able to garner millions in state and federal funding before ultimately being declared unconstitutional.
In 1993, Colson received a $1 million infusion from the John Templeton Foundation, at a time when PFM claimed:
programs in 800 federal and state prisons and in 54 other countries. It has a paid staff of 280 and about 50,000 volunteers, offers Bible studies and runs work-release programs, marriage seminars and classes to help prisoners after they get out.
By the time of Colson’s death in 2012, PFM was one of “the world’s largest prison outreach and criminal justice reform organizations in the world,” operating “in more than 110 nations.”
A key figure behind InnerChange's proliferation was professor and former Bureau of Justice Assistance employee Dr. Byron Johnson, whose research was used to show that PFM’s programs reduced recidivism. In particular “inmates who were most active in Bible studies were significantly less likely to be rearrested during the follow-up period.”
Rather than independent research funded by a disinterested third party, Johnson’s research was funded by Templeton Foundation and Prison Fellowship Ministries.
According to his CV, Johnson was paid $128,800 by the John Templeton Foundation between 1995 and 1996 to research recidivism in a Prison Fellowship Ministries facility. He was paid $163,968 by Prison Fellowship Ministries in the lead up to the creation of their Texas public/private partnership, the “InnerChange Freedom Initiative." During this time, Johnson gave expert testimony four times to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice.
Between 1995 and 2001 Johnson was paid at least $911,279 to produce research on InnerChange, $782,479 directly from Prison Fellowship Ministries. These programs quickly spread to Minnesota, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa, which Johnson was also paid to study (Johnson’s CV).
In Iowa alone, InnerChange secured at least $2,217,416 in state appropriations before a 2006 lawsuit filed by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State demonstrated that publicly funding the overtly religious programs was unconstitutional. (Reformers in states like Florida have since adapted to the constitutionality of "faith-based" reentry by simply calling them "faith and character based" programs.)
C. The Methods of Byron Johnson
A state document describes Byron’s questionable methodology:
Inmates must volunteer for the program and be classified at a minimum-security custody level. Once selected, the inmates go through a three-phase program involving 16 to 18 months of in-prison biblical programming and 6 to 12 months of aftercare while on parole. (Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council, 2002, pg 4) (Emphasis added.)
This description quite clearly reveals several experimental flaws not acknowledged in the work, including 1) self-selection bias; relying on volunteers rather than random selection, and 2) selection bias; picking who to include rather than using random selection.
In June 2003, Byron Johnson accompanied Chuck Colson to the Bush White House with the findings of his InnerChange report “A Preliminary Evaluation of a Faith-Based Prison Program.”
The press release, published by Prison Fellowship Ministries, claimed that "Univ. of Pennsylvania Study Shows Inmates Who Graduate From Prison Fellowship's InnerChange Freedom Initiative are Less Likely to Return to Incarceration," and that Texas InnerChange inmates were “50% less likely to be rearrested” and “60% less likely to be re-incarcerated.” When UCLA professor Mark Kleiman examined Johnson’s paper, observing that, despite the claims being made, Johnson’s findings actually showed no effect of participating in InnerChange.
The headline was based on an artful subtlety within Johnson's paper. Rather than comparing the recidivism of IFI participants with a control group, the recidivism rates being compared were those of a small and selectively chosen subgroup of "IFI graduates.” Kleiman observed that:
when you look carefully at the Penn study, it's clear that the program didn't work. The InnerChange participants did somewhat worse than the controls: They were slightly more likely to be rearrested and noticeably more likely (24 percent versus 20 percent) to be reimprisoned. . .
The technical term for this in statistics is "selection bias"; program managers know it as "creaming." Harvard public policy professor Anne Piehl, who reviewed the study before it was published, calls this instance of it "cooking the books." . .
InnerChange started with 177 volunteer prisoners but only 75 of them "graduated." Graduation involved sticking with the program, not only in prison but after release. No one counted as a graduate, for example, unless he got a job. Naturally, the graduates did better than the control group. Anything that selects out from a group of ex-inmates those who hold jobs is going to look like a miracle cure.
Johnson and White House officials declined press inquiries regarding Kleiman’s report (Houston Press, 2003). Even conservative legal scholars have caught on to the issue. In 2011 conservative legal scholar Alexander Volokh published a survey of twenty-three similar studies on faith-based recidivism reduction (including Johnson’s original 1996 study), noting that they “most studies cannot be taken seriously because they are tainted by the “self-selection problem.” He also observes that “it is hard to determine the effect of faith-based prison programs because they are voluntary.”
In 2000, Johnson became a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, taking over for the project led by John DiIulio, the tough-on-crime fear-monger responsible for the "juvenile super-predator" theory. In 2001, when DiIulio left to serve as President Bush’s Director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Johnson took over as director of DiIulio’s Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (CRRUCS) at the University of Pennsylvania with the help of $2,600,000 from the Pew Charitable Trust.
D. READY4WORK/Operation New Hope
The same year that Johnson and Colson met with President Bush about InnerChange, the White House launched a national faith-based reentry program called Ready4Work, a $27 million public/private faith-based initiative between the Department of Labor ($10 million), the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Public/Private Ventures (P/PV).
During this time (2003-2004), Byron Johnson lists himself as a Senior Research Adviser to Public/Private Ventures on a “Prisoner Reentry and Ready4Work Initiative.” John “superpredator” DiIulio served as a board member and senior counsel of Public/Private Ventures.
Ready4Work (R4W) was a “national demonstration project managed by Public/Private Ventures that aims to reduce recidivism, and, thereby, redress the personal and societal costs that recidivism poses.” The program distributed funding to eleven very different private reentry programs around the country, seven of which were faith based including Texas’s InnerChange facility (DOL, 2008, pg 6).
A 2006 third party evaluation of the R4W recidivism data quality reported that the programs relied on reporting that was “almost entirely self-attested,” and that “there was little data in the case files concerning recidivism.” It was ultimately found that sites were unable to account for 51% of their clients’ recidivism statuses.
Another major methodological shortcoming was the total lack of meaningful control groups to compare to. Ready4Work’s 2008 final report compared recidivism with Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) data from prisoners released in 1994. The report acknowledged that “these figures are not directly comparable,” only that they “provide the best point of comparison under which R4W recidivism levels can be interpreted.” The researchers optimistically conclude “The fact that R4W recidivism rates are not higher than the BJS rate suggests the program shows promise.”
Additionally, R4W recidivism data only counted “in-state” recidivism, while the inclusion of “out-of-state” recidivism in the BJS data accounted for 7.6% of recorded recidivism (pg 6). A final table sums up their results (pg 35) including the comparison of Ready4Work’s 3-year rearrest rates, 57%, to the national number 67.5%.
The results of the R4W final report to the Department of Labor in 2008 (pg 35) appear to have been misquoted almost immediately in federal and state government, and in the media.
A subsequent brief by the White House claimed that “only 2.5 percent of Ready4Work participants have been re-incarcerated in state institutions within 6 months of release,” when in fact, according to the R4W report this was actually the rate re-convicted for violent crime within 6-months. All rearrests within six month was 3.7%.
The White House asserted that R4W one year recidivism rates were “44 percent lower than the 10.4 percent national rate,” when contrary to this claim, the Department of Labor report compares the national rate 10.4% to R4W’s 8.7%, which is 16 percent lower.
Operation New Hope
The Charles Koch Foundation is now funding Operation New Hope, providing $2,500 in 2016. In ONH, we see a continued pattern of false research claims leading to inflated contracts.
Gay received $1 million of the initial $10 million Ready4Work grant for ONH in Florida. With the White House funding ending, ONH sought local and state support. In a slide presented to a City of Jacksonville subcommittee, January 28, 2008, Kevin Gay claimed that Operation New Hope had a “5% recidivism rate v.s. the national average 67%.” (pg 26), and used that rate to project drastic savings:
[with] a local recidivism rate of 54 percent, [...] participants could be expected to be re-incarcerated within three years at a cost of $6,011,550. However, with the ONH program of success at maintaining a five percent re-incarceration rate [...] the program could save the state over $5,454,925 ($6,011,550- $556,625) annually.
Though Gay does not cite his claim of a 5% recidivism rate, if he is referencing the 2008 R4W report, he is mistaken. The figure is actually 57%. The number 5% is actually the rate rearrested within six months for violent crimes.
If he is referencing data collected by ONH in Jacksonville, then a single digit figure would most likely the result of data found to be largely missing and “almost entirely self-attested” according to the 2006 data quality report.
Since then, according to the state’s contractor database, Jacksonville has contracted at least $452,148 to ONH for Ready4Work, and since 2012, the Florida Department of Corrections has contracted with ONH for at least $6,275,000. Florida’s 2015 budget set aside $1,225,000 recurring for Operation New Hope to perform Ready4Work services.
ONH has since transformed into a project that reflect’s Kevin Gay’s first passion, real estate development, where prison/reentry workers build houses that ONH then sells.
E. The Prison Entrepreneurship Program
The Koch network is signaling pretty heavily about which reentry programs they are excited about. In 2015, the Koch Institute released a short documentary about the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) “helps ex-offenders create their own businesses, shows how community and non-profit organizations are sometimes best positioned to offer these solutions (CKI Youtube, 2015).
In a 2016 Charles Koch Institute blog, two reentry providers are lauded by name; Operation New Hope and the Prison Entrepreneurship Program:
Operation New Hope’s Ready4Work program in Florida provides a four-to-six-week-long course to those recently released from incarceration that offers mentorship and provides job training while helping program participants find placement . . . the Prison Entrepreneurship Program’s recidivism rate is a startlingly low 7 percent. (Charles Koch Institute blog, 2016)
Johnson's study describes the selection methodology behind PEP's program (which is housed inside a Geo Group prison):
It is a selective program and, with the support of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, recruits from over 60 men’s correctional facilities across the state. Candidates passing through PEP’s initial screening are transferred by TDCJ at PEP’s request to the Cleveland Correctional Center, a 520-bed prison operated by Geo Group, in Cleveland, Texas, where PEP provides all of its in-prison programming. In addition, PEP provides extensive post-release services (including job development, transitional housing, and continuing education) in Houston and Dallas, communities to which approximately 90% of PEP’s graduates are released. (PEP Baylor Study)
According to Baylor University (who provides PEP graduates a "Certificate in Entrepreneurship"), "more than 5,000 inmates apply [annually] to be a part of PEP - but only the top 5 percent are selected for this elite program."
CEO Bert Smith describes the course load:
Our graduates invest over 1,000 hours of work into our six-month Business Plan Competition class, which incorporates a college-level curriculum supplemented by Harvard MBA cases, the AP Writing Stylebook, Toastmasters, an employment workshop and a financial literacy course (Baylor Press Release, 2013)
In an interview with the Acton Institute, the issue of using PEP "graduates" as the experimental group becomes a bit more clear. The interviewer asks a:
40-year-old inmate from South Texas about the ones that drop out, a topic I haven’t seen addressed in any of the media coverage or PEP testimonials. “A lot of people do leave the program,” he confides. “They simply can’t handle the homework, and there is a lot of after hours work and preparation they are not willing to embrace.” The business plan competition requires 1,000 hours of classroom time over six months. That works out to several hours of homework per night. Inmates study college textbooks and read novels like Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. (Religion & Liberty, 2015) (Emphasis added)
PEP's 2016 annual report shows some completion rates are as low as 53%.
We can now see the stack of experimental biases responsible for PEP's “startlingly low 7 percent” recidivism rate: self-selection bias from starting with only volunteers, a selection-bias from then picking the most likely to succeed from the applicants, and then a “creaming” bias from keeping only program graduates as comparison data, while leaving out data from inmates that do not finish the program.
Despite the demonstrable selection bias explained in Johnson's own paper, his Executive Summary is strangely defensive when misidentifying an appropriate comparison group:
Control Group Study: No Selection Bias
PEP's graduates are significantly less likely to return to prison than the control group of inmates who were selected for PEP but who did not participate in its programs. This confirms the positive impact of PEP's intervention rather than the influence of its selection process. (PEP Baylor Exec. Summary)
Johnson's study makes no further mention of the selection or “bias,” and instead states confidently that the Return on Investment from state dollars is 340% after five years.
In order to project the massive return, Johnson appears to go to extreme lengths to add other factors to the questionable 7% recidivism rate, including a cornucopia of economic impacts, gains, and savings that included:
gains associated with increased tax revenue generation. . . economic gains from increased child support payments. . . [and] savings from reduced public assistance costs. Based on PEP graduates’ employment rates, the estimated number of PEP graduates on public assistance, and studies that quantify the average annual benefits individuals receive from food stamps and TANF, we estimate the annual savings that avoided recidivism has on public assistance costs. (PEP Baylor Study, pg 30)
PEP Goes For-Profit, Like Operation New Hope
Another alarming aspect of PEP is the development of its for profit subsidiary, Communitas Ventures, owned by PEP's board chair Mike Humphrey. In 2013, Communitas Auto Group LLC was launched as "an independent, for-profit company formed by PEP to become the exclusive master franchisee for Auto-Lab Complete Car Centers for the State of Texas."
The announcement describes how:
PEP's strategic objectives include harnessing capitalism to create high quality business and career opportunities for its graduates, a wider variety of engagement opportunities for our supporters and sources of sustainable revenue to support PEP's core programs. . . While qualified graduates of PEP's rigorous, values-based entrepreneurship program will be eligible for jobs created by these new stores, the primary purpose of CAG is to operate as a successful commercial business, thereby providing not only quality opportunities for graduates, but significant revenue stream to its owners, including PEP. (PEP CAG FAQ)
Other for-profits are lining up behind PEP. The corrections communications contractor, SECURUS, announced at 5 year funding commitment and "exclusive agreement" to expand PEP's reentry programs. Securus' exploitative practices have built massive profits on the backs of inmates and their families, as documented by the Prison Policy Initiative in 2015.
F. Safe Streets & Second Chances
At Florida State University, the Charles Koch Foundation has already invested in a project led by the political operatives with overt ties to corrections contractors, lobbyists, ALEC, and SPN. The FSU Project for Accountable Justice championed Florida’s recent “data-driven” criminal justice reforms.
In 2018, Koch pledged another $1 million to FSU to hire an out-of-state professor, Carrie Pettus-Davis, to create the Institute for Justice Research and Development.
Rather than being an independent center, it will be part of a larger $4 million initiative, called Safe Streets & Second Chances, designed to leverage Koch’s research into policy change. It describes itself as “an innovative and revolutionary initiative that combines academic research, policy reform, and evidence-driven programming.”
Professor Pettus-Davis was part of a similar project at Washington University, where academic researchers partnered with reentry providers, but she abandoned the project abruptly in 2017 with no explanation, much to the shock of the public and partners. She was hired at FSU with funding from the Charles Koch Foundation approximately one year later.
Safe Streets & Second Chances “leadership” page lists nine people, three from Koch Industries, two from the (Koch-funded) Texas Public Policy Foundation/Right on Crime, and two from academic programs funded by the Charles Koch Foundation (Carrie Pettus-Davis and Johnny Taylor Jr.). The remaining leaders include a member of Charles Koch’s donor network, Doug Deason, as well as televangelist and President Trump’s “evangelical adviser,” Paula White.
A Texas organization, Unlocking DOORS (UD), has been noted as an early collaborator with Safe Streets & Second Chances. It is not a reentry provider, but a “Reentry Brokerage™” firm with “Data and Predictive Trends.”
A description of Unlocking DOORS’ trademarked “Reentry Brokerage” shows how they play the role of a private middleman, selecting reentry contractors as it sees fit, for inmates it chooses:
First, Unlocking DOORS™ seeks out ex-offenders who want to move forward and start a fresh life. A client then meets with one of our Reentry Brokers™, who gives them a detailed assessment to determine their specific needs in terms of housing, education, training, and health -- including challenges in mental health and/or alcohol and drug addiction. Then our Reentry Broker™ works closely with the client and develops an individual plan that will connect them with the right agencies and providers”
The list of providers on UD’s website includes GEO Reentry Services (the reentry branch of the private prison GEO Group), the Prison Entrepreneurship Project, and the Prison Fellowship Ministries, which received $100,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation in 2016.
Unlocking DOORS itself received $30,000 in 2016 from the Charles Koch Foundation.
Rather than relying on an independent, third-party evaluation, the Charles Koch Foundation is funding various parts of the operation; both the contractor and the evaluator.
Unlocking DOORS’ vague description of potential methods for “cost savings analysis” suggests the same questionable projections seen in other contractors above. They conclude by loosely reckoning; “it reasons that we can save millions of taxpayer dollars annually.”
The program “seeks to reduce recidivism rates among the clients served…when compared to a similar cohort group of previously incarcerated people who have not utilized the Unlocking DOORS program.” The program's mission to "seek out ex-offenders" introduces a selection bias into their methodology that cannot be meaningfully controlled. Similarly flawed methodology can be found in PFM and PEP.
It should come as no surprise that Unlocking Doors has already been promoted and funded by the Charles Koch Institute (2017). Jerry Madden serves as UD’s Secretary and on its Board of Directors (2017). Madden is a senior fellow at Right on Crime, and a key figure within the American Legislative Exchange Council, serving on ALEC task forces that promoted Voter ID laws and the Stand Your Ground bill.
In 2006, Madden and UD’s CEO, Christina Melton Crain, were caught indulging in a loophole in Texas law that allows legislators and some state officials to use unpaid prison labor for personal benefit. In particular, Texas Correctional Industries is “a division of the state prison system that manufactures, among other things, furniture, signs and clothing” for state agencies.
At the time, Madden was a Texas House Representative and Crain chaired of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. Crain placed several orders of prison made goods for her husband Nate Crain, a Republican party official, who paid with party money. It was:
reported in campaign records that he bought items as gifts for his volunteers and a Republican women's group.
Board Chairman Christina Melton Crain said it was acceptable for her to order the items for her husband. "I am allowed to order them and, as my spouse, he is allowed to pay for them," Ms. Crain said. Mr. Crain said he didn't know whether the gifts, which included pillows and duffel bags, were more or less expensive than they would be at a retail store. (Dallas News, 2006)
Nate Crain is also on the advisory council of Unlocking Doors.
In Part 7, we consider that, despite the fact criminal justice privatization is generally considered a problem limited to corrections, academics in Koch's network have a much deeper hunger for privatization, including the privatization of the police.