Welcome to the official CUSA (Corrections USA) website. CUSA is a not-for-profit corporation formed by correctional officers in 1998 to provide national recognition for correctional officers employed by federal, state and local governments and is the leader in the fight against prison privatization on the national level. We work daily to enhance the image of Correctional Officers across the nation. CUSA was the first organization to give out the "Valor Award" to Correctional Officers who have helped make the image of Correctional Officers better through their Brave acts. We proudly represent over 80,000 publicly employed correctional officers from across this nation. Corrections USA is not a labor organization and does not get involved in the collective bargaining process at any level of government.
Events & Conferences
NEW! 2017 CORRECTIONS USA CONFERENCE - February 6th - February 8th 2017
Our Annual CUSA Conference will take place at the Harrah's Hotel Las Vegas on February 6-8, 2017. Honoring the men and women who patrol the toughest beat in law enforcement, our nation's professional Correctional Officers! Everyday day in our nation, Correctional Officers go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the safety of the public. It's time we recognize these courageous men and women. The medal of Valor Awards ceremony for 2016 winners will take place at this 2017 CUSA Conference.
Watson Coleman Introduces the End For-Profit Prisons
Act of 2016
Congresswoman Watson Coleman: “Our criminal justice system should be about justice, not profit.”
Washington, DC (September 22, 2016) — Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) announced the introduction of the End For-Profit Prisons Act of 2016, legislation that would require the Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Marshals Service to end its contracts with for-profit confinement facilities, and make critical changes to the re-entry process for individuals who have been released from federal prisons.
“Our prison system’s only purpose should be to reeducate and retrain the individuals who have made mistakes, and are serving time for them,” said Watson Coleman. “No one should profit from our prison system, or any other element of our justice system. The primary goal of any for-profit industry is to maximize revenue and minimize any cost — and in a prison, that means few if any amenities for inmates, crowding and minimal space, and little focus on the needs and rehabilitation of that population.”
While President Obama’s administration recently announced plans to phase out the use of for-profit prisons, the End For-Profit Prisons Act would codify that decision and ensure we never waste taxpayer dollars on for-profit prisons again. Specifically, Watson Coleman’s legislation would:
Prohibit the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the United States Marshals Service from contracting with for-profit parties for core correctional services within six years of enactment;
Prohibit BOP contracts with for-profit community confinement facilities within eight years of enactment;
Require the BOP to study the decrease in prison population on an ongoing basis and include information about race, gender, age, nature of offense, nationality, and location of the person’s confinement;
Require the US Marshals to conduct annual, thorough inspections of the confinement facilities they use to ensure that Constitutional and statutory standards are met;
Require that each individual released from federal prison, including those located in community confinement facilities, be provided counseling and assistance with applications for Medicaid, Social Security, and nutritional program benefits;
Ensure released individuals receive a detailed record of their participation in employment, educational, and treatment programs completed while incarcerated to assist in job placement and;
Require that individuals receive information about outstanding fines, restitution, and other penalties in connection with their incarceration at release to prevent re-incarceration for unpaid penalties.
An August 2016 report from the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Justice found more safety and security incidents per capita at for-profit prisons contracted by BOP than comparable BOP facilities, in addition to inappropriate use of Special Housing Units — solitary confinement intended for disciplinary or administrative separation that frequently leads to emotional and psychological distress — as extra space until beds in general population housing became available.
Correctional Officer Killed in the Line of Duty
Correctional Officer Kenneth Bettis succumbed to stab wounds sustained on September 1st, 2016, when he was attacked by an inmate at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.
The inmate attacked and stabbed Officer Bettis in retaliation for being denied an extra food tray during the prison's lunch service.
Officer Bettis was flown to the University of South Alabama Hospital where he remained until succumbing to the stab wounds.
The inmate, who had been serving a 20 year sentence for robbery, was charged with murder of Officer Bettis' death.
Officer Bettis was a combat veteran of the Alabama Army National Guard.
Correctional officer, inmate dead following altercation at Pennsylvania prison
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – A correctional officer and an inmate died following a brief altercation at a Pennsylvania prison, officials said.
It happened Monday evening at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in Wilkes-Barre, according to Luzerne County Manager David Pedri.
The Times Leader reported that Pedri confirmed the deaths at a news conference late Monday, calling the incident "sad and tragic." He declined to comment on what led to the altercation or how the two died, citing the ongoing investigation.
Officials identified the inmate as Tracy Gilliam, 27, who was behind bars for failing to register as a sex offender. Officials did not release the name of the correctional officer, at the request of the officer's family.
"This guard went to work today believing that he would be coming home," Pedri said. "And sadly that didn't happen."
The prison went on lockdown after the incident, which Pedri described as isolated.
"We will do everything in our power to ensure an incident like this never happens again," Pedri said.
Monday was the first day on the job for the new correctional services division head, Mark Rockovich, who Pedri said spoke to the other correctional officers about what happened.
The Luzerne County District Attorney's Office and Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the incident.
3 Nebraska state corrections workers assaulted by inmates
From staff reports Updated Jul 7, 2016
Three Nebraska state corrections workers were assaulted by inmates over two days at separate prisons, state officials said Wednesday.
An inmate assaulted a staff member Monday at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln. Tuesday, an inmate assaulted two staff members at the Lincoln Correctional Center.
The incident at the state penitentiary began when the staff member tried to talk to a "visibly agitated" inmate, officials said. "The inmate began striking the staff member with closed-fist punches," the officials said. "Physical force was used to subdue the inmate."
The staff member was taken to a Lincoln hospital for treatment of his injuries. He later was released.
The Tuesday incident began when Lincoln Correctional Center staff members, also attempting to calm an agitated inmate, were punched by the inmate. Physical force was used to subdue this inmate as well, officials said. Both staff members were taken to a local hospital for treatment and later released.
The names of the staff members and inmates will not be released, state officials said. An investigation is underway.