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CoreCivic Responds To Claims Of Gang Violence, Staffing Vacancies: 'We Still Have Work To Do'

CoreCivic Responds To Claims Of Gang Violence, Staffing Vacancies: 'We Still Have Work To Do'

Tennessee legislators are in uproar Tuesday over an audit of CoreCivic Inc (NYSE: CXW)’s Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, which found rampant gang activity and staffing shortages stunting facility efficacy and safety.

But the findings weren’t new to CoreCivic.

“This report goes back to July 2014 and, as we’ve acknowledged previously, there were challenges with bringing the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center up to full speed after its opening,“ Amanda Gilchrist, public affairs manager at CoreCivic, told Benzinga. “We’ve worked hard to address the challenges we’ve faced, and while we still have work to do, we are making progress.”

Gilchrist cited employee pay increases and immediate signing and relocation bonuses among recent efforts to address labor concerns.

“We appreciate the strong oversight by our government partners and remain committed to operating safe, secure facilities with high-quality reentry programming,” she said.

Awaiting Audit

CoreCivic now awaits results from a Tennessee Department of Corrections follow-up audit.

Trousdale is the state’s newest and largest prison, and the private firm has a five-year, $276 million contract to operate it. But some Democratic state legislators have proposed delaying operations at until the audit issues have been corrected.

"Today we have explosive findings,” Tennessee House Minority Leader Mike Stewart said. “Clearly we have Core Civic facilities that are a powder keg waiting to explode, potentially endangering the public.”

At time of publication, CoreCivic was trading down nearly 4 percent at a rate of $23.41.

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