By David Breakspear

Part one of a three-part series

CW: graphic mentions of sexual harassment, voyeurism, and physical and mental abuse

EXCLUSIVE – An independent investigation into original documents and an Affidavit supplied by an Australian whistle-blower has revealed that the private prison Core Civic runs an organized sexual harassment program against Immigrants, supported by its head office in Tennessee, and federal government watchdogs at the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) know about it — as does the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) — but each have proved apathetic, doing nothing to penalize it.

In 2017 an Australian published author Corey Donaldson entered the low security McRae Correctional Facility in Helena, Georgia (in the USA) to complete the final six months of this federal sentence. McRae is an immigration prison that only houses those with federal convictions who are scheduled for deportation following their sentence.

Immediately upon arriving, Mr. Donaldson noticed that Core Civic had illegally installed zoom cameras over the toilets and showers, which captured images of men performing intimate bodily functions.

According to Donaldson,

“When we used the toilet and dropped our pants and pulled our pants up, genitals were exposed. The zoom cameras caught men wiping their arse after a shit, and holding their dicks taking a piss. The cameras caught men in the nude taking showers, and watched men get undressed and dressed again. Whatever a man sees of himself when taking a shower or using the toilet, the zoom cameras picked up [sic].”

Donaldson reports that this knowledge of what the cameras captured was confirmed by SIS (Special Investigation Service) Boss Mr. Weeks, and inmates could see these images on security monitors through windows in the security pod outside the dorms.

Having previously been at Geo Inc facilities where voyeurism cameras did not exist, where guards conducted security in these toilet and shower areas, and remembering the orientation program each prisoner sits through upon entry into a prison, Donaldson knew immediately that these voyeurism cameras were amiss. Donaldson then discovered actual prison policies which forbid voyeurism cameras, in additional to criminal sanctions.

Having done his legal due diligence on the matter, and experiencing the “unbridled humiliation” that these zoom cameras inspired on a daily basis upon himself and all inmates he served with, Mr. Donaldson began the written internal grievance process that Core Civic instituted in order to redress legitimate concerns.

Mr. Donaldson recounts what happened next in this way:

“I filed written complaints about these voyeurism cameras to CORE CIVIC, which were specifically unaddressed in their replies, stating only legal cameras existed. Then CORE CIVIC pulled ALL the guilty cameras out of the entire prison on January 18th 2018 using COMNET, a private contractor. I complained still, asking why the cameras were pulled if they were legal, and offered witnesses to the cameras being culled. To which I was hunted down by a platoon of guards sporting two handheld video cameras, handcuffed, stripped nude, inspected by score-settling peering predators hellbent on inflicting mortification, and thrown in the HOLE for the last month of my sentence, triggering my twenty-day hunger strike, whereupon I was continually handcuffed and hounded and stalked to sleeplessness constantly by those I named in my complaints for that last month [sic].”

Mr. Donaldson goes on to explain that he identifies this sexual harassment as a “program because the harassment was targeted at all Immigrants at McRae and it was defended with militant retaliation for expressing humiliation about its effects, and CORE CIVIC’S Vice President William Dalius said nothing to oppose it when presented with the evidence.”

For context Donaldson adds, “All those I was with were Immigrant felons, of a low security nature. Does that make it okay for CORECIVIC to sexually harass us, and point to our status as an Immigrant felon so they can get away with it? I say it’s not okay, as does CORECIVICS own policies, the Prison Rape Elimination Act, federal voyeurism laws, and the BOP contract [sic].”

In my communications with Donaldson he repeatedly expressed his vexation at the masquerade that comes with the public policies that Core Civic “vomits” to the public about what it is they do. Donaldson testifies that Core Civics’ policies are “false propaganda, conjured for the sake of appearances, [and] have no bearing whatsoever on how CORECIVIC is managed on a day to day basis.”

In a study of the grievance documents supplied by Mr. Donaldson, which chronicles his complaint and replies by Core Civic, one is immediately taken aback by the vulgarisation of due process that is at play. It is clear Core Civic know they have been exposed in a scandal and do all they can to dodge righteous bullets and punish Mr. Donaldson for raising the alarm.

No security or other penological reason was ever offered by Core Civic to justify the voyeurism cameras. Violence was not an issue at McRae.

What is more alarming than the grievance process charade itself, is that Mr. Donaldson appealed his grievances all the way to Core Civic head office, where the Vice President William Dalius gave the final reply. Mr. Dalius ignored that Mr. Donaldson was thrown in the “hole” in retaliation for filing his sexual harassment complaint and offering witnesses to the cameras being pulled out, once their existence was unaddressed in grievance replies. Mr. Dalius also ignored the continued availability of witnesses and reports that the evidence was in the act of being destroyed, and has not since blinked an eye knowing that sexual harassment investigation and ethics protocols were never followed. When it came to a report that the previous PREA auditors at McRae had been bribed, Core Civics’ Vice President William Dalius has been telling in his silence.

If that were not enough, it gets worse…

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) requires prisons to chronicle reports of sexual misconduct. Mr. Donaldson’s sexual harassment claim of ‘staff on inmate sexual harassment” was submitted in 2017 and signed off by Core Civic as having been received in 2017. However, Core Civics’ official report for PREA incidents in 2017 has no register of Mr. Donaldson’s claim whatsoever, demonstrating that their PREA report was “falsified” in a “cooking of the books” to the BOP and the public at large. The Vice President William Dalius does not dispute this, nor has Core Civic proper.

Indeed, the BOP and the government agency tasked with regulating publicly listed companies at the SEC and the NYSE know about these sexual harassment incidents from Mr. Donaldson himself.

A spokesperson from the BOP reported to this investigation that, “Sexual harassment of any inmate would violate the terms and conditions of a BOP contract.” However, the contradiction could not be more glaring. We have confirmation from Mr. Donaldson that he contacted the BOP in relation to this matter on January 24th 2019 and received a receipt for his complaint, but the BOP has done nothing to sever the contract with Core Civic. Equally, we have confirmation that Mr. Donaldson received a return receipt of his sexual harassment complaint from the NYSE on January 9th 2019, and from the SEC on September 14th 2018.

There is no evidence from the BOP, SEC or the NYSE that they do not approve of, or are willing to abate the abuses against Immigrants engineered by Core Civic. Further, there is no evidence that Core Civic will discontinue this program of abuse, and yet it does not argue the contents of Donaldson’s Affidavit.

Donaldson asserts that,

“Core Civic takes comfort in annihilating the dignities and rights of Immigrants who are scheduled for deportation with a tyrant’s glee, knowing that once deported they will be outside US jurisdiction and without legal recourse for the redress of grievances within the courts.”

That Core Civic is misleading shareholders and the public at large about what they do when it comes to PREA policies, and breaching the PREA provisions in the BOP contract without consequence, is now academic.

The PREA coordinator for Core Civic Eric Pierson does not contest the testimony of Corey Donaldson, nor does Cameron Hopewell, who has responsibilities for SEC compliance at Core Civic.

Those to whom Mr. Donaldson’s sexual harassment complaints were filed against and who orchestrated the “militant retaliation” do not argue Donaldson’s testimony, and have also lost their courage against Mr. Donaldson now that he is no longer in custody and therefore available for revenge.

Those Core Civic staff reportedly involved in this sexual harassment program and subsequent cover-up are Warden Stacey Stone, Assistant Warden Terrence Dickerson, Assistant Warden Shawn Gillis, Public Affairs Officer Carol Lavely, Shameka Scott, Chief of Security Christopher Chestnut, and Chief of Unit Management Jody Yancy and Vice President William Dalius. Even the Public Relations Boss at Core Civic, Amanda Gilchrist, does not dispute Mr. Donaldson’s testimony, nor has she provided evidence that the sexual harassment program against Immigrants has ceased.

And now Damon Hininger, the CEO of Core Civic, is implicated. On February 11th 2019 Mr. Donaldson emailed Damon Hininger with evidence of the sexual harassment program conducted by Core Civic, to which he did not reply. Then, on March 1st 2019, Damon Hininger began selling Core Civic stock to the value of $439,683.19. Damon Hininger was contacted for this article and does not dispute Mr. Donaldson’s testimony.

“CORE CIVIC [sic] is like a franchise, if a practice is approved of at head office, its approved everywhere,” states Donaldson, raising serious criminal threats to human rights wherever a Core Civic facility has taken root with the blessing of the BOP, SEC and NYSE.

What remains unseen is what Core Civic is doing with the captured images of men performing intimate bodily functions, with what Donaldson suggests is “Core Civics’ misbegotten IMMIGRANT HATE LIBRARY of gutter sewer porn [sic]”, and if retaining such graphic images with the knowledge of immigrant inmates is part of the discriminatory torment Core Civic elects to inflict upon men who have been released from their custody and deported.

What is clear is that Core Civic shamelessly engages in immigrant misandry with a voyeur’s thrill, and the BOP, SEC and NYSE are apathetic allies in the cause.

Featured image: Photo by Niv Singer

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