Big Private Prison Firm Starts PR Campaign To Answer Critics


Bedeviled by negative publicity on several fronts, Corrections Corporation of America has launched a public relations push to counter what it says are biased media reports, says the City Paper in Nashville. The Nashville-based company has been under the microscope since its general counsel, Gus Puryear, was nominated for a federal judgeship in February. At the same time, activists have stepped up their work against the company, seeking the company's contracts and other papers under public-record laws.

CCA's response includes an advertising campaign pointing people to a new Web site that promises an “unfiltered, full, 360-degree view of CCA.” The campaign accuses “a local daily paper” of ideological bias. The company was particularly stung by a recent Tennessean article that drew renewed attention to the unanswered questions surrounding the death of CCA inmate Estelle Richardson. “We have achieved excellence on American Correctional Association audits and our customers hold us in high regard,” a company spokeswoman said. Alex Friedmann, a prison reform activist and associate editor of Prison Legal News, dispute the Web site's claim to a 360-degree view of the issue. “They're a corporation – their only responsibility is to their shareholders,” he said. “They're interested in this incident because it causes problems with their stock price and shareholder confidence.”


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