Prisoners of Profit – The Huffington Post

(Chris McGonigal / The Huffington Post)

The detainees eventually took over the facility, using pieces of tables and chairs to break through security glass and destroy much of its interior. some type of evil power.”

A Clean Record

Even as the evidence mounted that Correctional Services Corp. Correctional Services Corp. “While there have been occasional issues, we are inspected regularly and overwhelmingly receive positive reports.”

“Treatment of these children comes dangerously close to being inhumane,” the judge said. to a rival private prison company, the GEO Group Inc. Gerson, a former U.S. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice instead allowed the company to withdraw from the contract eight months early.

According to a police report and an interview with the inmate’s mother, the boy asked a female staff member if he could have another pair. Edolphus Towns, a Democrat who represented the Brooklyn district where the company ran one of its first federal halfway houses.

The state stopped admitting new youth to Pahokee in August 1999, after the facility failed an annual audit. “This is a close-knit industry with a very high volume of reporting and connectivity,” he said.

This is how.

Government pockets

A subsequent INS investigation found that staff training by Esmor had been abysmal. After nine days of medical neglect, he died.

National Troubles

In the midst of the abuse allegations at Pahokee, Correctional Services Corp. “Our reporting process is the best in the industry,” he said.

Rats in a Maze

Although YSI oversaw only about 9 percent of the state’s juvenile jail beds during the past five years, the company was responsible for nearly 15 percent of all reported cases of excessive force and injured youths.

At the time of her 2003 pleading, Correctional Services Corp. That year, the company acquired a rival, Maryland-based Youth Services International, started by W. That’s how it was day in, day out.”

It was then the highest fine ever assessed by the commission, besting a $250,000 fine doled out to Donald Trump and his business associates for failing to disclose money spent lobbying against new casinos in upstate New York.

Forging Connections

From the beginning, escapes, fights and abuse by staff were frequent. The report found that many detainees also refused to board their deportation flights, because Esmor guards hadn’t returned their money and valuables.

As Alexander pleaded for help, one drill instructor told him to “go ahead and die already,” according to the investigative report. By 1999, annual revenues reached more than $223 million, up from $99 million three years before. But they didn’t recall any police or state investigation.

By that time, the company’s lobbying activities were also coming under scrutiny. She was sentenced to three months in jail and nearly five years’ probation, and agreed to never again seek public office.

“There was a total lack of training of the staff,” Phipps said. In its first two years, Thompson failed numerous state reviews. The staffer told him no, but the boy disobeyed.

Williams said there have been incidents between inmates that required staff intervention, but he denied that anything termed a “riot” ever occurred at Broward Girls Academy.

In a brief news release at the time, the company said it was closing Pahokee and three other facilities across the country that were “unprofitable” in the most recent quarter. His administration and some in Congress floated the idea of privatizing U.S. “You’re talking about society failing children. Executives could then technically say they had never had a contract canceled.

“It’s everything that’s wrong with politics rolled up in a package,” said Evan Jenne, a former Florida state representative who toured one of YSI’s youth facilities after local public defenders raised concerns. They can get contracts.”

“Why did he still have access to my son 15 minutes later?” asked the boy’s mother, who requested that her name not be used in order to protect her son’s identity. “The staff is untrained, and they end up working double and triple eight-hour shifts. With 154 beds, the contract was worth $13 million.

At YSI’s Broward Girls Academy, a 30-bed program less than a mile away from Thompson, 18-year-old Destinee Bowers didn’t want to go to an evening church service last year. Guards accused the teen of faking it and forced him to do pushups in his own vomit, according to Texas law enforcement reports. “They were just psychotic,” she said. “The job is a difficult one,” he said. The staffer told her she had to wait until the facility administrator showed up in the morning. Because of frequent turnover and absences among staff, double shifts are common, adding additional stress to the job, former employees said.

In a news release announcing the groundbreaking for the prisons, Slattery called the new facilities “the future of American corrections.”

As federal prison officials awarded Esmor an emergency contract to operate a halfway house in Brooklyn, local community leaders challenged the decision, questioning why the same people who had managed problem-plagued welfare hotels should be given fresh responsibility.

“Absolutely no paperwork exists with the Thompson Academy as to internal investigations on this incident or on allegations that occurred there,” the report said.

Indeed, as the company pursued a fresh round of contracts in 2003, none of its scrapes with authorities in other states emerged as an issue in Florida’s oversight process, according to a review of hundreds of pages of state contracting documents.

Slattery and Horn proposed leasing out floors of their hotels as re-entry housing for newly released federal inmates, taking advantage of a surge in prison populations nationwide. But the company characterized the incident as a “local problem not reflected in any of its operations elsewhere around the country.”

Among the company’s lobbyists in Tallahassee is Jonathan Costello, who served as legislative affairs director for Republican Florida Gov. Former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, an avid supporter of prison privatization, received more than $15,000 from company executives during state and federal races.

Over the past quarter century, Slattery’s for-profit prison enterprises have run afoul of the Justice Department and authorities in New York, Florida, Maryland, Nevada and Texas for alleged offenses ranging from condoning abuse of inmates to plying politicians with undisclosed gifts while seeking to secure state contracts.

Among the new Correctional Services Corp. Rick Scott in 2011 and 2012. Rep. prisons was the Pahokee Youth Development Center, which sat in the middle of sugarcane fields in a rural, swampy part of the state northwest of Miami.

As Davis ultimately pleaded, the company had for four years supplied its vans to transport her to and from the state capitol in Albany free of charge. In addition to five new facilities in Florida, the deal gave the company access to new markets in the mid-Atlantic and the Midwest.

“There was always the sense that I was working for a businessman who didn’t understand the system of juvenile justice,” said the former executive, who spoke on condition he not be named. She said no. I always felt like there was more priority at the highest level given to managing political relationships than running the core of the business.”

“We do not want that group doing anything up here because they are not trustworthy and do not deserve our support,” Democratic New York state Sen. Indeed, this year, the state awarded YSI another contract to manage a facility less than a mile away.

Other inmates at the facility had told investigators that they knew something was wrong with Alexander in early January. She asked to call the 24-hour abuse hotline that is supposed to be available to youth at all times, according to state law. Out of more than 300 institutions surveyed, a YSI detention center in Georgia had the highest rate of youth alleging sexual assaults in the country, according to a recent report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The company spokesman, Jesse Williams, dismissed claims that YSI fails to report incidents, saying the company always complies with state guidelines. lost a separate wrongful death lawsuit, and had to pay $38 million to Alexander’s family.

In 2005, Slattery sold Correctional Services Corp. Several other youth had to hold the counselor back.

But as New York’s real estate market dried up in the 1980s amid fears of crime, Slattery and his business partners began searching for more rewarding pursuits. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. Juvenile Judge Ron Alvarez was so horrified by the descriptions of that particular institution — a fetid, graffiti-covered jail called the Pahokee Youth Development Center — that he compared it to a “Third World country that is controlled by … The nurse, Knyvett Reyes, told him to stop lying about his illness. no longer had contracts in New York. We’re not dealing with an automobile that can wait to be repaired.”

Joyce Antila Phipps, an immigration attorney who had several clients at the Newark facility, recalled many complaints about male guards peering into female group showers. Hickey, Jr. “Children are choked and slammed head first into concrete walls, their arms and fingers are bent back and twisted to inflict pain for infractions as minor as failing to follow an order to stand up,” the lawsuit said. Staley, a former acting director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s central office in Washington, D.C., and added to its board Stuart M. “Despite our best efforts to assess a candidate’s fitness for the position, which include employment and background screening and proper training, we don’t know of their true suitability until they are well into the job.”

Staff removed the boy and took him to his room while leading the staffer who choked him to another part of the hallway. But after a few minutes, the same counselor charged into the boy’s room and tried to choke him again, said the mother, who spoke with staff and her son after the incident. It just added to the stress level that was in there.”

A one-time New York City hotelier who began renting out rooms to prisoners in 1989, Slattery has established a dominant perch in the juvenile corrections business through an astute cultivation of political connections and a crafty gaming of the private contracting system.

Williams, the YSI spokesman, said the company is “committed to supporting people who we believe will be effective in a political position, regardless of whether they would have an impact in our industry.” Lobbyists, he added, “can be extremely helpful” in “clarifying to legislators the realities of the operations of juvenile facilities.”

“I always think it’s ironic that you can’t get a job as a janitor for the Department of Juvenile Justice — understandably so — if you have any kind of conviction on your record,” said Marie Osborne, the chief juvenile public defender in Miami-Dade County, who has followed YSI for more than a decade. She resisted, she said, prompting the staffer to choke her.

Slattery and other Youth Services International executives declined interview requests over several months. As a juvenile judge, he thought he was sending boys to a moderate-risk program with outdoor wilderness activities. There was no mention of the state’s findings. According to the data, YSI’s facilities generated a disproportionate share of reports of prison staff allegedly injuring youth offenders by using excessive force.

“We regularly hire companies that have abysmal track records of performance, but great track records of political campaign contributions,” said Dan Gelber, a former Florida senator and state representative who has been critical of the state’s juvenile justice policies.

With President Ronald Reagan in office, the 1980s marked one of the first major movements toward the privatization of government services. The governor announced the closing of the facility in light of an investigation by the Department of Justice that found civil rights violations during Correctional Services Corp.’s tenure. “They don’t want the attention,” Phillips said. They discovered the growing — and lucrative — world of doing business with the government.

Slattery had already won several contracts to operate youth facilities in the Sunshine State before the immigrant riot, and Florida looked to be a ripe base for expansion. “We have a comprehensive reporting system in which any incident is thoroughly investigated and corrective action is taken as necessary.”

During a similar incident in February 2012, a Thompson Academy staff member got into an argument with a 13-year-old boy who wanted to get a folder with schoolwork from another room. facility called Cypress Creek, north of Tampa, six juveniles escaped between 2000 and 2001.

In a complex arrangement, Slattery gave up a portfolio of 14 immigration detention facilities and adult prisons across the country as part of a $62 million sale, while buying back one division for $3.75 million: Youth Services International.

Jesse Williams, the spokesman for Slattery’s current company, asserted that the state is well aware of past problems. More than 40 percent of youth offenders sent to one of Florida’s juvenile prisons wind up arrested and convicted of another crime within a year of their release, according to state data. Former employees told HuffPost that YSI often fails to document such incidents.

Staff turnover at YSI’s prisons is rampant, leaving inexperienced guards to manage a tough population.

At YSI facilities, food is often in short supply and frequently undercooked. Its subsequent report, released in 2004, concluded that Hickey staff repeatedly tried to conceal evidence of physical assaults, disclosing only about two-thirds of all incidents. “I was like, ‘I’ve had enough of this, I’ve been here for 10 months.’”

“I came back with all those pictures and I raised hell about it,” Petersen recalled in an interview. So he asked another male counselor. One weekend in the summer of 2012, at a time when staffing was particularly lean, a riot broke out, Phillips said. The therapist said the staff member’s actions “were preventing [the boy] from breathing and she feared from [sic] his life.” After she screamed at the staff member to let the boy go, he dropped him to the floor, leaving the boy with a bloody nose.

“These kids were just warehoused,” said Stacey Gurian-Sherman, a juvenile justice advocate and former state juvenile justice staffer in Maryland who helped expose some of the problems at Correctional Services Corp. So the kids get abused at worst, neglected at least, and they come out with many more problems than when they walked in.”

That same year, auditors in Maryland found that staff at one of Slattery’s juvenile facilities coaxed inmates to fight on Saturday mornings as a way to settle disputes from earlier in the week. The three staff members on duty intervened, but the violence escalated until staff from another facility arrived. In 1989, one of their hotels, a midtown Manhattan property called LeMarquis, opened some of its rooms to federal inmates.

In 1986, two young men scuffling in a hallway in the Brooklyn Arms fell down a broken elevator shaft and plunged 15 stories to their deaths. The company also hired James C. Girls began yelling and hitting one another. Guards taunted and humiliated inmates, and Esmor frequently failed to alert the INS about staff turnover issues. A lone staff member tried to break up a fight involving nine girls, she said, while another staff member walked away.

A 2010 lawsuit from the Southern Poverty Law Center referred to youth who described Thompson Academy as a “frightening and violent place” where juveniles were denied medical care when abused. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., Slattery worked for the Sheraton Hotel corporation beginning in the 1970s. Beginning in the late 1980s, the state had started handing its juvenile inmates to private companies in an effort to cut costs.

New York City Mayor Ed Koch with the Rev. “We don’t want these points against us.”

To explore the primary source documents behind this report, see the interactive version of this article on your computer or tablet.

In Florida, his companies have exploited lax state oversight while leaning on powerful allies inside the government to keep the contracts flowing. At the time, the Justice Department oversaw both the INS and the Bureau of Prisons — two of Esmor’s biggest customers. But that decision was not due to poor performance, according to a letter the state sent to the company in August 2012. facilities. Davis pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in connection with Correctional Services Corp. as an inducement to help the company win contracts.

Judges throughout the state began demanding that Pahokee be closed. Other inmates at the facility saw Alexander coughing up blood into trash cans and frequently struggling to breathe, according to the report.

Earlier this year, the juvenile public defender in Palm Beach County, Barbara White, managed to get the inmate transferred out of Broward Girls, citing the chronic violence there, she said in an interview.

Over the years, YSI has brought in seasoned former government bureaucrats who are savvy about the often arcane federal and state processes through which private companies secure contracts to run public facilities.

At a Florida Correctional Services Corp. The next day, the administrator told Bowers she was not allowed to call because she had resisted.

A former executive who worked with Slattery for five years in Florida said the company’s success in the state reflected two areas of expertise — relentless cost-cutting and political gamesmanship.

All of these recruits positioned the company for winnings. “And on top of that, the staff knew they could get away with murder, so they robbed people blind.” The INS concluded in its investigation that Esmor’s management was marked by “a continuing cycle of contract violations” and a “general failure to follow sound management practices.”

Those held at YSI facilities across the country have frequently faced beatings, neglect, sexual abuse and unsanitary food over the past two decades, according to a HuffPost investigation that included interviews with 14 former employees and a review of thousands of pages of state audits, lawsuits, local police reports and probes by state and federal agencies. even joined the company as a project manager.

By 1989, Mayor Ed Koch’s administration had succeeded in closing many of the city’s crime-ridden welfare hotels, including the Brooklyn Arms. Violent fights erupted over turf, the former inmate said. The reviews said the facility wasn’t paying enough for pest control to manage the influx. agreed to a settlement in which the company admitted no wrongdoing but paid a $300,000 fine for failing to document the gifts.

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice looks at past performance when choosing contractors, but evaluators rely on companies to self-report their contracting history. Three years into the contract, in 2006, a state review found that 96 percent of the staff had left during the previous year. A report from the Texas Rangers, the state’s premier law enforcement unit, laid out a chilling portrait of neglect.

The private prison industry has long fueled its growth on the proposition that it is a boon to taxpayers, delivering better outcomes at lower costs than state facilities. While working at a hotel in Queens, Slattery became close to his boss’s son, Morris Horn. He begged a nurse and drill instructors to take him to the hospital, but they told him he was faking it, according to the Texas Rangers’ report.

Starting last December, a new group of girls was transferred into the facility, after a program in the northern part of the state shut down. Jesse Jackson at a press conference at City Hall discussing the plight of the homeless in the wake of four deaths at the Brooklyn Arms Welfare Hotel. Correctional Services Corp. He died there two days later. Follow-up reviews by state-contracted auditors confirmed the operation was dysfunctional.

“We were kept like rats in a trap, in a maze,” said Angela Phillips, a former shift supervisor at Broward Girls Academy in Pembroke Pines, northwest of Miami. But an investigation by New York’s Temporary State Commission on Lobbying found widespread evidence of earlier undisclosed gifts to state lawmakers, including free rides and dinners. After the disturbance, police in Las Vegas charged two former female guards with having sexual relations with inmates. So-called welfare hotels proliferated, becoming de facto warehouses for people grappling with mental illness, drug addiction and extreme poverty.

He argued that YSI’s employee turnover rate and salaries are in line with the industry average. But local police and state authorities did not learn of alleged sexual abuse at the same facility until a boy made his third complaint, according to an internal state investigation and local police reports.

The company has given more in Florida over the past 15 years than the combined donations of Office Depot and Darden Restaurants, Inc., two of the state’s largest Fortune 500 corporations.

Timeline: The rise of James Slattery’s private prison empire

The Pahokee facility opened to youth in early 1997. Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s juvenile delinquents are today committed to private facilities, according to the most recent federal data from 2011, up from about 33 percent twelve years earlier.

Local public defenders and groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center have for years forwarded concerns about YSI facilities to the state, but Florida has done little to investigate allegations of verbal and physical abuse.

“They’d never try to do anything, they’d never try to help us, to keep our minds occupied,” said Bowers, who was in the program from December 2011 to August 2012. The company has capitalized on budgetary strains across the country as governments embrace privatization in pursuit of cost savings. The property was infested with rodents and cockroaches, and some rooms lacked running water.

From a glance at his background, one might assume that James F. By comparison, G4S Youth Services — the state’s largest private provider of youth prison beds — generated 21 such reports, despite overseeing nearly three times as many beds.

Yet despite the girl’s account, and those of four staff and youth who witnessed the summer 2012 riot in the facility, there are no police reports or Florida Department of Juvenile Justice incident reports describing these events.

“We simply don’t believe this is true,” said Williams, the YSI spokesman. It was also one of the most profitable. In a police report from October of that year, a Pembroke Pines officer noted: “This is the third time this victim has alleged sexual abuse.”

A former employee at Thompson Academy, who asked not to be identified because he still works in the field, said staff were often told not to report physical incidents that were considered minor.

Fueling a push into the immigration detention business, Esmor brought on Richard P. In a separate incident, four staff members, including two managers, allowed two boys who had a disagreement to fight for nearly 10 minutes as they stood by and watched. Its facilities have generated conspicuously large numbers of claims that guards have assaulted youth, according to a HuffPost compilation of state reports. In other cases, the contract’s end date worked in the company’s favor. In recent years, the company has failed to report riots, assaults and claims of sexual abuse at its juvenile prisons in Florida, according to a review of state records and accounts from former employees and inmates.

The weekends were a “free-for-all,” said Angela Phillips, a former shift supervisor at Broward Girls. Slattery said the company would continue to review facilities for profitability to ensure the “highest quality services for our contracting agencies and a fair return for our shareholders.”

Among the other key findings from HuffPost’s investigation:

With more facilities to run, the problems only intensified.

Another large fight broke out in the showers last fall, said another former Broward Girls inmate who asked that her name not be used because she is under 18. Slattery, his wife, Diane, and other executives have been prodigious political rainmakers in Florida, donating more than $400,000 to state candidates and committees over the last 15 years, according to HuffPost’s review. Another male staffer pulled the counselor off, but he continued to go after the boy.

By the following decade, this business opportunity was growing swiftly. Yet it remained open for nine years.

A clean record

He added that the company has introduced “independent, third-party reviews” of the programs listed in the Bureau of Justice Statistics report and has engaged national experts on prison sexual abuse in an effort to improve conditions.

In a recent interview, the same judge expressed amazement that Slattery has continued to run facilities in Florida right up to the present day. had a tendency to land in trouble, Florida did not hesitate to give the company new contracts.

Thompson Academy, the facility for boys, was one of YSI’s most troubled institutions until it closed last year as part of what the state called its “Long Range Program Plan” to phase out larger juvenile facilities. The morning after, there was blood on the floors and ceilings, said one youth who witnessed the fight.

“They said we’ve got to get our contracts,” the employee said. The facility was so inadequately staffed that boys were entering other boys’ rooms and assaulting them.

According to Bowers, when she refused, a staff member tried to pull her out of her bed.

Monitors from the state also found that Correctional Services Corp. The two joined forces with other investors to start a property management company, buying up older hotels across New York City.

As the company grew and sought more contracts, executives hired knowledgeable government insiders. The company settled the lawsuit in 2011; the terms remain confidential.

Sugarcane farmers in that part of Florida burn their crops to make them easier to harvest during the summer and fall, sending rats and mice scurrying from the fields. But the state realized it had enough beds for that population already, so the Department of Juvenile Justice began placing some of its delinquent boys in the facilities – youth who were meant to be housed in far less punitive settings.

Youth counselors for YSI — those who work directly with juvenile inmates — earn about $10.50 an hour, or just under $22,000 per year, according to contract proposals from 2010. A doctor told the Texas Rangers that Alexander could have survived had staff taken him to get a chest X-ray when he first reported feeling sick.

She said once the staff member released her, she started throwing up. “Why wasn’t he removed immediately?”

Phillips, the former shift supervisor, said it was rare for YSI to call in outside authorities lest it trigger greater scrutiny from the state. No one reported the incident, and no one took the boys to see a nurse.

National troubles

By the mid-1990s, Esmor had expanded far beyond its New York City origins, winning contracts to manage a boot camp for young boys and adults outside of Forth Worth, Texas, and immigration detention centers in New Jersey and Washington state.

In Florida, where private contractors have in recent years taken control of all of the state’s 3,300 youth prison beds, YSI now manages more than $100 million in contracts, about 10 percent of the system. It took nearly five hours for outside authorities to regain control.

Government Pockets

Before James Slattery came to embody the for-profit corrections business, he built a career in another industry that thrives on high occupancy rates: hotels.

In New York City, property owners learned that if they opened up their buildings to growing numbers of homeless people and families on welfare, they could capture local and federal anti-poverty dollars — a steady stream of revenue. Slattery’s company managed a particularly notorious example, the Brooklyn Arms, a once-lavish hotel across from the Brooklyn Academy of Music that had deteriorated into a ramshackle blight on the neighborhood. “So you either hire people for minimum wage who are afraid of the environment in which they work, or you don’t feed people properly. In 1995, Slattery won two contracts to operate facilities in Florida. In 1996, he changed the company’s name to Correctional Services Corp.

Former staff and youth at the facility recalled fights erupting almost every day.

One youth with unpaid prison gambling debts had been so severely beaten by three others that he required surgery to have his spleen removed. In exchange, she helped the company secure contracts to operate halfway houses in New York City. “They’re scrupulous with individual employees, but a corporation can have this corporate rap sheet, and it’s no problem. The female inmates’ cases were settled; Moore’s case was administratively closed, after he became ill.

Experts say the continued growth of for-profit prison operators like Youth Services International amounts to a cautionary tale about the perils of privatization: In a drive to cut costs, Florida has effectively abdicated its responsibility for some of its most troubled children, leaving them in the hands of companies focused solely on the bottom line.

The hotels were among the most squalid buildings in the city, racking up hundreds of code violations. Gary Rutledge, another YSI lobbyist, served on Scott’s inaugural committee after his 2010 victory.

Residents of the Charles H. But significant evidence undermines that argument: the tendency of young people to return to crime once they get out, for example, and long-term contracts that can leave states obligated to fill prison beds. According to an INS interview with a facility administrator, Esmor’s corporate policy was to “keep INS in the dark as much as possible about any problems or incidents which occurred.”

“Our primary concern is the health and safety of the youth in our care and we take any allegation of misconduct very seriously,” she wrote in an emailed statement. (Misha Erwitt / NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Over the last decade, Slattery’s company has secured 13 contracts in Florida collectively worth more than $175 million.

In the summer of 2012, after the Broward County Public Defender’s Office sent a letter to the Department of Juvenile Justice outlining issues with food and fighting at a different facility, the state inspector handed out a pro-forma questionnaire to about 20 boys there.

A department spokeswoman, Meghan Speakes Collins, pointed to overall improvements the state has made in its contract monitoring process, such as conducting more interviews with randomly selected youth to get a better understanding of conditions and analyzing problematic trends such as high staff turnover.

Her son was unavailable for an interview because he has since been arrested and incarcerated at another YSI facility.

Sunshine State Dysfunction

Even before his operations in the northeast were tarnished by the detention center uprising, Slattery was looking to move Esmor’s headquarters south, to the Gulf Coast of Florida. In New York state, where historically no youth offenders have been held in private institutions, 25 percent are convicted again within that timeframe.

In 2002, a judge found Reyes guilty of negligent homicide. In New York, Esmor added political associates linked to U.S. Boys were served food he called “inedible.”

Political Contributions from Private Prison Firms

YouthServicesInternational$418,110G4S YouthServices$28,000Gulf CoastYouthServices$7,000Henry &Rilla WhiteFoundation$6,850EckerdYouthAlternatives$6,700Twin OaksJuvenileDevelopment$1,600UniversalHealthServices$8,000VisionQuest$7,400ThreeSprings$1,000PremierBehavioralSolutions$2,000GatewayCommunityServices$1,155Youth Services International $418,110G4S Youth Services $28,000Universal Health Services $8,000Vision Quest $7,400Gulf Coast Youth Services $7,000Henry & Rilla White Foundation $6,850Eckerd Youth Alternatives $6,700Premier Behavioral Solutions $2,000Twin Oaks Juvenile Development $1,600Gateway Community Services $1,155Three Springs $1,000

Political contributions in the state of Florida since 1998 from contractors who handled residential facilities for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Velmanette Montgomery said at a community meeting in 1989, according to Newsday.

Just a year after going public, a riot broke out at Esmor’s immigration detention center near Newark International Airport in New Jersey, a holding tank for immigrants caught trying to enter the country illegally. attorney general. “They never felt good about themselves. The deal netted him more than $6.7 million in severance and stock proceeds, according to securities filings.

The state asked for bids from private companies, anticipating a major buildout of juvenile prisons. and a scheme involving a separate non-profit group. Inspectors documented “low-paid, untrained employees, poor building conditions, from vermin and leaky plumbing to exposed electrical wires and other fire hazards, and inadequate, barely edible food.” Federal prison officials were close to canceling the contract in 1992, according to media accounts at the time, but they said conditions at the facility started to improve after frequent inspections.

In 2001, an 18-year-old committed to a Texas boot camp operated by one of Slattery’s previous companies, Correctional Services Corp., came down with pneumonia and pleaded to see a doctor as he struggled to breathe. As an organized group of inmates began to assault guards, staff abandoned their posts and fled the jail. According to the police report, the second counselor turned to the boy, grabbed his shirt and started to choke him. officials were holding youth past their scheduled release dates in an effort to generate more revenue — a serious violation of the company’s contract and state law.

Destinee Bowers, 19, poses at her home Wednesday, May 29, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. The company incurred no penalties and the state agreed to implement reforms, but ultimately closed the facility the following year.

In another example of negligence at the facility, staff mistakenly barred the same girl from visiting her mother because administrators confused her with another inmate whose mother had brought cash into the facility during visiting hours — a major violation of contraband policy.

A boy who said he was forced to give oral sex to a male guard on three different occasions first reported the abuse in March 2010. It’s politically motivated, and it’s money-motivated.”

That same year, 18-year-old Bryan Alexander died of pneumonia while confined at a Correctional Services Corp. A YSI facility in Palm Beach County had the highest rate of reported sexual assaults out of 36 facilities reviewed in Florida, the Bureau of Justice Statistics report found.

Bowers and Chelsea Fernandez, 19, who was also at Broward Girls last year, said they remembered YSI staff from nearby Thompson Academy coming over to quell the riot. A few weeks later, four children who had been left alone at the hotel for hours died in a fire.

“I was trying to tell her, ‘I can’t resist, you’ve got my arms, you’ve got my throat,’” Bowers recalled.

A graduate of St. In 1994, Slattery and his partners cashed in with an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange valued at $5.2 million.

In June 1999, a 16-year-old inmate sexually assaulted a female staff member who was left alone in an unlocked building at the Charles H. “There are multiple ways for detainees to report abuse.”

According to HuffPost’s review of police reports, internal Department of Juvenile Justice investigations and youth grievance forms obtained through public records requests, Florida facilities run by Youth Services International continue to be plagued by violence, high turnover and unprofessional staff.

One night in July 2012, a juvenile inmate at Thompson Academy was lining up with other boys after taking a shower when he realized that the boxer shorts he had been issued were too big.

Under the state’s contract guidelines, allegations of sexual abuse require immediate reporting to the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Central Communications Center. Customs inspections, electrical power utilities and, eventually, the management of federal prison systems.

“We didn’t uplift them in any way,” Phillips said of the inmates. The recipient of the largest share of those dollars was the Florida Republican Party, which took in more than $276,000 in that time. “We’re dealing with human beings. James Hindman, the founder and former chairman of Jiffy Lube International, Inc. Pahokee Mayor Ramon Horta Jr. Outsourcing government functions to private companies was widely embraced as a means of seeking taxpayer relief. In New York, state auditors and prosecutors began probing a Democratic state assemblywoman, Gloria Davis of the Bronx, for allegedly accepting gifts from Correctional Services Corp. Beset by a run of murders by teenagers that had spooked the public, Florida began intensifying the penalties facing juvenile offenders.

More than a decade has passed since a Florida judge tongue-lashed Correctional Services Corp., Slattery’s former company, during a hearing convened to probe widespread complaints of violence at one of its facilities two hours north of Miami. In an emailed response to written questions, a senior vice president, Jesse Williams, asserted that the company carefully looks after its charges and delivers value to taxpayers.

Slattery and Horn called the new company Esmor, Inc. School outside of Baltimore, according to state court documents.

She said the Broward Girls facility was so frequently short of basic items like toilet paper, laundry detergent, tampons and deodorant that management instructed staff to ration: on some days, fewer than five squares of toilet paper per girl.

But the INS did not fine Esmor or cancel its contract to manage the facility. At one of its largest facilities, a program for boys near Fort Lauderdale called Thompson Academy, staff members were quitting in droves, or being fired after violent incidents. The two new prisons were originally intended to house boys between 14 and 19 who had been criminally convicted as adults. Instead, the agency allowed Esmor to turn that contract into $6 million in cash, selling it to a rival prison giant, the Corrections Corporation of America.

Staff underreport serious incidents such as major fights and staff assaults in an effort to keep the state in the dark and avoid additional scrutiny – a violation of the company’s contracts as well as Department of Juvenile Justice rules requiring that contracted staff report such incidents to state authorities.

Though state guidelines prohibit “unnecessarily harsh or indecent treatment,” YSI guards have frequently resorted to violence in confrontations with youth, slapping and choking inmates and sometimes fracturing bones, according to police reports. An INS official on site ordered the guards to go back in to quell the riot, but they refused.

In 2001, at a youth prison run by the company in Nevada, juvenile inmates rioted and took over the facility. During a July 1999 hearing, Palm Beach County Juvenile Judge Ron Alvarez warned that keeping the facility open without improvements courted disaster.

The company’s executive vice president, Woodrow Harper, is a former deputy secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice – now the company’s primary source of revenue.

Moreover, state officials don’t examine a potential contractor’s record in other states if the company already has contracts in Florida.

Florida logs reports of serious incidents that occur inside its juvenile prisons, but the state does not maintain a database that allows for the analysis of trends across the system. School play basketball behind razor-wire fencing as Maryland Gov. But once again, the state government did not cancel Slattery’s contract. HuffPost obtained the documents through Florida’s public records law and compiled incident reports logged between 2008 and 2012. Both women pleaded guilty.

When the Pembroke Pines Police Department called the staffer to follow up, he replied: “This ain’t no big deal,” while refusing to answer questions, according to the report.

In a statement after the riot, Slattery said Esmor was “deeply disturbed and appalled by the apparent conduct” of some employees at the facility. Source: Influence Explorer.

Officials at the state Department of Juvenile Justice did not respond to questions about YSI.

Problems at Hickey became so dire that the Justice Department initiated an investigation. “I don’t know how the hell they still have business with the state,” Alvarez said.

Less than three years after Esmor opened LeMarquis to former inmates, federal inspectors from the Bureau of Prisons found that parts of the building were turning to ruin. Slattery would have a difficult time convincing any state in America to entrust him with the supervision of its lawbreaking youth.

Read the second part of this series &raquo

Despite that history, Slattery’s current company, Youth Services International, has retained and even expanded its contracts to operate juvenile prisons in several states. Normally she was permitted to stay in a dayroom, she said, but staff members declined to watch her, instead ordering her to go to church.

Recruiting qualified local staff was a challenge, however, particularly at the rates the company was offering — $15,995 per year.

Last year, the state declined to renew YSI’s contract for that program, a 154-bed facility called Thompson Academy where state officials over the years had documented frequent violence and failures to report serious incidents. “In order to keep your contract, you have to make it seem like you were under control.”

A week after he began complaining, staff finally took Alexander to the hospital. Poland, who had worked in the Texas prison system, where Esmor was angling for new contracts.

“One of the problems with private corrections is that you are trying to squeeze profit margins out of an economic picture that doesn’t allow for very much,” said Bart Lubow, a leading juvenile justice expert who heads the Annie E. In another federal lawsuit, four female inmates asserted that they had been raped and assaulted by Esmor’s “resident advocate” – the employee who was supposed to protect inmates by handling their grievances. In order to get enough food, youth are allowed to gamble through card games and sports bets while trading “picks” — the right to take someone else’s food at the next meal.

Former employees recall going without basic supplies such as toilet paper, deodorant and tampons — also violations of department policy. A special state monitoring report from October 1998 found medical records showing “instances of youth being bitten by spiders and rodents.”

Over the past two decades, more than 40,000 boys and girls in 16 states have gone through one of Slattery’s prisons, boot camps or detention centers, according to a Huffington Post analysis of juvenile facility data.

Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Tom Petersen drove an hour and a half to Pahokee in 1997 and started snapping pictures. “My mandate was to cut positions, cut programs, look for efficiencies — all the while making sure that the state we were contracting with remained happy. There are not a lot of margins.”

As this new Slattery venture continued to grow in Florida, the old problems surfaced again. Robert Ehrlich speaks during a press conference in June 2005. “We saw a significant demand,” Slattery told Forbes magazine in 1995, “and limited supply.”

In a federal lawsuit, one LeMarquis employee, Richard Moore, alleged that he had been severely beaten by another employee – at the direction of management – after he reported poor conditions to federal inspectors. “There was no outlet and no stimulation, so they would just turn on each other, and turn on staff. “We were always bored, which caused a lot of drama.”

“We are the best operators in the state of Florida, and that is why we continue to have contracts awarded to us,” Williams said. In some of the most egregious instances of negligence and failure to report serious incidents, however, Slattery’s companies pulled out of their contracts early, rather than wait for the government to take action. What he found was a hardcore prison.

The Justice Department found that the conditions violated “the constitutional and federal statutory rights of the youth residents.” The report landed less than two weeks after the company’s contract ended and the state took over the facility. boot camp outside of Fort Worth, Texas. Eight cases of child abuse by staff were ultimately substantiated that year, according to contract documents.

Local leaders welcomed the economic development opportunities that came with prison construction. They laid out ambitious expansion goals that included running a variety of facilities that would house federal prisoners, undocumented immigrants and juvenile delinquents. They say they lacked the funds to provide activities for the youth held in YSI’s prisons.

According to a therapist and other witnesses mentioned in a police report of the incident, the staff member started choking the boy and picked him up. Hickey, Jr. He had stopped eating, his lips turned purple, and he shivered even while taking hot showers. Within months, local judges were hearing complaints about abusive staff, prison-like conditions and food full of maggots, according to recent interviews and state audits and court transcripts from the time.. He saw small 12-year-olds confined alongside much stronger 17-year-olds. Slattery’s management group soon set its sights on a new pot of government money: prison halfway houses.

Even as reports of negligence and poor treatment of inmates have piled up, his companies have kept their records clean by habitually pulling out of contracts before the government takes official action, HuffPost found.

That same year, local public defenders asked another judge to move children from Pahokee into a less punitive program. (Matt Houston / AP)

The Huffington Post uploaded and annotated the documents — including court transcripts, police reports, audits and inspection records — uncovered during this investigation.

Hover over the highlighted passages to see the source document behind each fact.

In 2012, 23 incidents of excessive force were reported at YSI facilities. Youth interviewed by HuffPost recounted being served bloody, raw chicken and sometimes finding flies inside pre-cooked dishes. was enjoying robust earnings. The harsh conditions confronting youth inside YSI’s facilities, moreover, show the serious problems that can arise when government hands over social services to private contractors and essentially walks away.

The state’s sweeping privatization of its juvenile incarceration system has produced some of the worst re-offending rates in the nation

Online Gambling – The Games by Kenneth Bateman

Face cards are valued at ten and aces at one or eleven at the players option. The hand with the total value closest to nine wins. There are countless books and online sites detailing game rules, strategies, etc., and it is suggested the player take advantage of these before attempting to play for money.

Also known as “twenty-one” as the cumulative total of the face value of the cards cannot exceed twenty one to win. Low house edge is of advantage to the player.


Online casinos offer a multitude of gambling game options designed to appeal to the adventurous or the conservative player. Blackjack is played against the house, and not other players.


- Pineapple

- Jacks or Better (most popular)

- Seven Card Stud

This article was posted on September 05, 2006

Played against the casino’s software and not against other players.

- Joker’s Wild

- Deuces Wild


Poker entails examining your hand and guessing what your opponents have. The following is an overview of some of the more popular online games, both multi-player and single player, and is not intended to be a tutorial. Among the most popular poker games to play online are:

Eleven balls are drawn from a pool of thirty. In poker you are playing against other players, and not against the house. Bingo!

Literally thousands of betting options. Keno is one of those games, and is really the casino version of a lottery draw. The shooter is a winner if point is made on follow up rolls. The slot machine’s reels are lined up on what is known as a payline. If a seven is rolled before point is made, the shooter loses.

The total value of two dealt cards must not exceed nine. Among the many sub-categories of betting on roulette are: betting on which color the ball will land, betting on any one of the three columns on the roulette table, or betting on a specific set of twelve numbers.



Video Poker

- Texas Hold ‘Em (by far the most popular)

- Caribbean Poker


<< Back to “Recreation And Sports” Index. Slots are composed of spinning reels with an assortment of symbols on each reel. Shooter must roll a seven or eleven on the come-out, or first roll to win or establish a point. In Keno a computer randomly selects numbers from a group of eighty and the player must guess which group will be chosen.


- Omaha

Slots are the most popular of the no skills required online casino games, and is a veritable cash cow for the casinos, with the odds firmly stacked in favor of the house. Bets are based upon which slot the ball will land when the wheel stops spinning. If the symbols are not aligned in a winning combination, you lose.

A small, marble-like ball is placed into a spinning wheel that has red and black numbered slots. The right combination of symbols must be aligned with the payline in order to win. A two, three or twelve is an automatic loser on the come-out roll.


Online Gambling – The Games

 by: Kenneth Bateman

As you would expect, games of pure chance, with no skills required by the player offer terrible odds

NBA’s Silver: Legalize sports gambling

More interest means even better ratings for what has increasingly become the most valuable programming on television. And the New England Patriots already have a deal with a rival site DraftKings.


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Silver was acknowledging what has been obvious in the world of sports for decades: people like to gamble on their favorite games, and will find ways to do so, no matter what the law says. And that means even bigger broadcast rights deals for the leagues, which is where the big money lies.

CNNMoney (New York) First published November 14, 2014: 2:46 PM ET

Terms & Conditions apply

NMLS #1136. “Over half of them have legal casinos.” He quoted estimates that $400 billion is wagered on sports every year. It is estimated to be a $1.4 billion a year business.

But beyond those kinds of sponsorship deals, the leagues are betting that the biggest side benefit that gambling will generate is greater interest in their sport.

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NBA’s Silver: Legalize sports gambling – Nov.

“Gambling has increasingly become a popular and accepted form of entertainment in the United States,” Silver wrote in an Op-Ed Friday in The New York Times.

Silver says it is important to protect the integrity of games, but argues that it would be easier, not tougher, with legalized gambling.

In the Op-Ed, Silver called on Congress to change the law prohibiting sports gambling in most of the country since 1992. That’s also the main reason that despite being an attractive and growing market, no major sports team is based in Las Vegas.

“Most states offer lotteries,” He wrote. the stock market

Leagues have opposed sports betting because of the possibility it could compromise their games’ integrity — a big concern ever since the thrown World Series in 1919, where Chicago players conspired with gamblers to intentionally lose the games. 14, 2014 by Chris Isidore   @CNNMoney November 14, 2014: 2:46 PM ET

Don’t bet on him being the last.

Fantasy sports is a form of sports gambling which is allowed under current law.

Related: Sports gambling vs.

Related: Macau trumps Vegas with $270 minimum bets

The National Football League, Major League Baseball and the NCAA did not have a comment Friday on Silver’s position.

But there are already some signs of a change of heart at the NFL, the same league that once banned Vegas tourism commercials from the Super Bowl lest it be seen as endorsing gambling.

On Friday, the Washington Redskins announced a marketing agreement with FanDuel, which runs daily fantasy games.

“I believe that sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated,” he said.

The NBA announced its own partnership deal with FanDuel on Thursday that grants it an equity stake in the site

Floyd Mayweather: Boxer boasts of $827,000 gambling win

Mayweather celebrates his victory over Pacquiao.

Floyd Mayweather connects with a strong left on Manny Pacquiao at the welterweight world championship unification fight.

Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z attend the welterweight unification championship bout.

Paris Hilton enters the arena before the start of the bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, in Las Vegas.


Manny Pacquiao reacts after his fight against Floyd Mayweather.

Manny Pacquiao acknowledges the crowd before the start of his welterweight world championship unification bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Donald Trump and model Melania Trump at ringside.

. The bout went the full 12 rounds.

Model Cassie Ventura, left, and Sean “Diddy” Combs pose ringside.

Floyd Mayweather, who looked strong late, connects during the 12-round fight.

Trainer Freddie Roach adjusts Manny Pacquiao’s mouth guard at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Floyd Mayweather was the victor in the welterweight world championship unification bout.

Actor and director Ben Affleck poses ringside before the big fight in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Floyd Mayweather throws a nasty left at Manny Pacquiao. Blige attends the bout.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao go toe to toe.

Mike Tyson at ringside during the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao bout.

Mayweather left, hugs Pacquiao after defeating him in their welterweight unification bout.

Floyd Mayweather reportedly made over $300 million from beating Manny Pacquiao in the richest fight in boxing history in May — and he’s already splashed out $4.8 million of that on a new car.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao exchange punches on Saturday, May 2, at their championship fight in Las Vegas.

Manny Pacquiao throws a right at Floyd Mayweather on Saturday, May 2.

Singer Mary J.

Floyd Mayweather enters the ring before taking on the Philippines-born Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, May 2.

Actor Michael Keaton is ringside for the long-anticipated bout.

Floyd Mayweather is now 48-0 with 26 knockouts. Pacquiao is 57-6-2 with 38 knockouts. looks at the crowd as he celebrates his unanimous decision victory against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 2.

Floyd Mayweather has a right of his own at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Floyd Mayweather won the World Boxing Organization’s title and retained the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council belts

Reports: Donald Trump lied about gaming and Florida casinos

“The one guy that had some special interests that I know of that tried to get me to change my views on something that was generous and gave me money was Donald Trump. The Seminole Tribe did open the Hard Rock Casino in 2004, but it did so with poker rooms, bingo and machines that looked like slot machines but were based on bingo. “Taxes would be able to be reduced substantially and Miami is the only place that Las Vegas is really concerned about–in the United States.”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The two have hired the same high-powered lobbyist to bring full-scale casino gambling to the state.” Trump had hired former Florida statehouse speaker Mallory Horne to lobby on gambling issues for him.

Trump in the past has boasted that he’s influenced elected officials by giving them political donations, and Bush raised the casino issue to make the case that Trump couldn’t buy his allegiance.

While Bush was in office The Seminole Tribe wanted to open the Hard Rock Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa and Trump wanted to manage them. The tribe wanted real slot machines and card games, such as blackjack and tried negotiating a compact with Bush.

“It was pretty clear Jeb Bush wasn’t interested in casino gambling,” Thrasher said.

“The bottom line is Donald Trump was interested in casino gambling in Florida, I can tell you that for a fact,” said former Florida House Speaker John Thrasher, who, according to AP, said he met with Trump twice and talked about the issue, once in New York and once in Trump’s Palm Beach Mar-A-Lago resort. “It’s not even a secret.”

News articles across Florida have documented Trump’s interest in getting a piece of Florida’s gaming industry – from hiring lobbyists to taking a former business partner to court, according to Politico.

Bush, who served as Florida governor from 1999 to 2007, staunchly opposed casino gambling. It doesn’t work that way in Florida,” Jones said. He wanted casino gambling in Florida,” Bush said.

Trump’s on-again-off-again consultant, Roger Stone, told Politico Wednesday night that Trump technically withdrew from his deal with the Seminoles before Bush became governor.

“Donald Trump has tried almost every year to have a casino, even before Jeb was governor,” said Danny Adkins, president of Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach to Politico. That deal eventually fell through, but not before Trump pushed Florida leaders to come to an agreement. The business magnate contributed $50,000 to Bush and also held a $500-a-person fundraiser for him.

Before Bush took office, Trump was making plans for a Miami Beach casino if Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment. Now Trump wants to bring a resort casino to his Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami if lawmakers decide to expand gambling — an issue that comes up every year in Florida, but which the Republican-dominated Legislature continually rejects.

The casino dispute comes amid signs that Trump’s appeal may be lagging.

But “personally” is a technicality. The stumbling block? Bush.

“If Miami doesn’t do casinos, that would be a terrible mistake,” Trump told The Miami Herald in 2013. “I knew that Jeb had no interest in introducing casino gambling in Florida and I politely told Fred that I could not and would not arrange a meeting with Jeb.”


View Gallery

After Bush was elected and before he was sworn in, lobbyist Fred Baggett repeatedly tried getting a meeting with Bush to push the compact.

Bush said during the debate that he can’t be bought by donors and used Trump as an example.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

“I kind of smiled a little bit when Trump was saying it, that if he wanted it, he would have gotten it. — Jeb Bush said during Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate that Donald Trump wanted casino gambling in Florida. Bush replied, “No way, man.”

Lobbyist Brian Ballard, who backs Bush and who represents Trump’s business interests in Florida, agreed that if Trump had asked Bush to support casinos, Bush would have said no.

“He wanted to meet Jeb directly to discuss casino gambling,” said Bobby Martinez, who was the lead lawyer on Bush’s transition team. His successor, then-Gov. “I don’t think Jeb would have allowed it and I don’t think the Legislature would have passed it.”

Bush never did agree to expand the games. They didn’t and Trump’s plans fell through.

Republican U.S. Trump did push for it.

According to Politico, mentions of Trump on both television and radio have been trending downward, as well Twitter conversation relative to other candidates.

When it was pointed out to the Trump campaign that he actually was interested in casinos during the Bush administration, spokeswoman Holly Hicks said by email, “Mr. Jones said Trump also said he wanted to be a player if Florida ever approved destination casino resorts, which Trump is still interested in.. presidential candidates businessman Donald Trump (L) and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush talk simultaneously during the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. Dennis Jones was at Thrasher’s second meeting with Trump, along with another state senator, Jim King, and he confirmed Trump wanted to talk about casinos. Thrasher, now president of Florida State University, said during both meetings Trump pushed for Florida to sign a compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to allow casino gambling.

As it turns out, Trump wanted casino gambling in Florida and failed to get it under Jeb Bush’s administration, despite donating money to the state Republican party and to Bush, the Associated Press (AP) and Politico report.

The St. Petersburg Times writes, “Trump has teamed up with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, United States, September 16, 2015.

Former Florida State Sen. Petersburg Times, published an article on June 18, 1998, with the headline, “Trump supports Indian casinos.” In the article, the St. Trump never asked Jeb Bush personally to approve casino gambling.”

“If I represented him then, I would have said, ‘Save your money. Citing Predictwise, Politico reports Trump’s likelihood of winning the nomination has also dipped.

At the time, early in Bush’s first term, Trump was working with the tribe on a deal to manage what’s now the Hard Rock Casino. Donald Trump retorted, “I did not.”

As CNN recently reported, Trump donated to Bush’s 1998 gubernatorial campaign while he was actively lobbying to change gambling laws in Florida. Jeb Bush is not going to be for destination resorts,” Ballard said.

“I promise, if I wanted it, I would have gotten it,” Trump claimed, during the exchange. Charlie Crist, did sign a compact allowing card games and slot machines, and the casino has become extremely successful.

Politico is also reporting that Trump fever may be dying down

NBA’s Silver: Legalize sports gambling

Related: Macau trumps Vegas with $270 minimum bets

The National Football League, Major League Baseball and the NCAA did not have a comment Friday on Silver’s position.



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Silver was acknowledging what has been obvious in the world of sports for decades: people like to gamble on their favorite games, and will find ways to do so, no matter what the law says.

CNNMoney (New York) First published November 14, 2014: 2:46 PM ET

Terms & Conditions apply

NMLS #1136

. “Over half of them have legal casinos.” He quoted estimates that $400 billion is wagered on sports every year.

But beyond those kinds of sponsorship deals, the leagues are betting that the biggest side benefit that gambling will generate is greater interest in their sport.

function setSmartAssetScript() ;


NBA’s Silver: Legalize sports gambling – Nov. 14, 2014 by Chris Isidore   @CNNMoney November 14, 2014: 2:46 PM ET

Don’t bet on him being the last.

Silver says it is important to protect the integrity of games, but argues that it would be easier, not tougher, with legalized gambling.

On Friday, the Washington Redskins announced a marketing agreement with FanDuel, which runs daily fantasy games.

Related: Sports gambling vs.

“I believe that sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated,” he said.

The NBA announced its own partnership deal with FanDuel on Thursday that grants it an equity stake in the site. And that means even bigger broadcast rights deals for the leagues, which is where the big money lies. It is estimated to be a $1.4 billion a year business.

More interest means even better ratings for what has increasingly become the most valuable programming on television. And the New England Patriots already have a deal with a rival site DraftKings.

But there are already some signs of a change of heart at the NFL, the same league that once banned Vegas tourism commercials from the Super Bowl lest it be seen as endorsing gambling.

In the Op-Ed, Silver called on Congress to change the law prohibiting sports gambling in most of the country since 1992. the stock market

Leagues have opposed sports betting because of the possibility it could compromise their games’ integrity — a big concern ever since the thrown World Series in 1919, where Chicago players conspired with gamblers to intentionally lose the games.

“Most states offer lotteries,” He wrote.

“Gambling has increasingly become a popular and accepted form of entertainment in the United States,” Silver wrote in an Op-Ed Friday in The New York Times. That’s also the main reason that despite being an attractive and growing market, no major sports team is based in Las Vegas.

Fantasy sports is a form of sports gambling which is allowed under current law

8 Surprising Facts About Parenting, Genes and What Really Makes Us Who We Are

Genes vary within any group of people (even among the inhabitants of middle-class in Western society), and this variation contributes to variations in these people’s behaviors. The problem is that our understanding of the factors that contribute to the development of human traits in general — and to IQ in particular — is currently so deficient that we typically do not know if the environmental factors important in the development of a particular trait are stable across testing situations, vary somewhat across those situations, or vary wildly across those situations.

It’s very easy to imagine how slight genetic predispositions can get magnified through the course of development by the environment. Consequently, it doesn’t matter how heritable a trait is; if development of the offspring occurs in a different environment than the parent developed in, most bets are off.

Instead, the crucial environmental factors might remain unmeasured, and consequently, variability of those factors across the new range of environments could easily be very different than the variability of those factors across the environments sampled in the original study.

Parents Matter, And Will Always Matter

Turkheimer, E., Haley, A., Waldron, M., Onofio, B, & Gottesman, I.I. Unfortunately, careful consideration of these statistics suggests that they might not be applicable in any meaningful way, and so, consequently, are uninteresting at best and misleading at worst.

Deary, I.J., Penke, L., & Johnson, W. (2009). Hence, such studies are unable to generate satisfying understandings of the factors and processes that contribute to the development of intelligence.

The authors of many twin studies have claimed that the environments experienced by twins (or any two siblings) do little to create differences in intelligence and personality as adults. (2010). Genes are the mechanisms of experience.

The Actual Heritability Value Simply Does Not Matter

We hope these eight facts have cleared up some misunderstandings. Somehow, this finding translates to the media as “parenting doesn’t matter.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Because adoption and twin studies that seek to account for trait variation in terms of genetic and environmental variation are always correlational, they reveal nothing about the causes of the appearance of the traits.

Moore, D.S.. Consequently, in this study, the heritability of IQ was reported to be close to zero! Among the richest, however, the heritability of IQ approached what Bouchard found: Variations in the genes accounted for most of the differences in IQ scores, and the shared environment accounted for very little of the variance. The Flynn effect — the dramatic rise in IQ witnessed in the 20th century — is a good example of that. Because our psychological characteristics reflect the physical structures of our brains and because our genes contribute to those physical structures, there are unlikely to be any psychological characteristics that are completely unaffected by our DNA. Nature Reviews: Neuroscience, 11, 201-211.

In fact, the least heritable features of human nature may be those that appear to be the most genetically determined! Consider the fact that having 5 fingers on each of our hands is not a particularly heritable characteristic (because most finger number variations in humans are attributable not to genetic variation, but to variations in experiences, such as accidents). The rich tend to get rich, and the poorer tend to get poorer. Therefore, gene-environment interactions are understood to drive the development of all of our characteristics. (1990). It’s possible for many traits to involve gene-environment correlations. Those who repeatedly don’t get picked for the basketball team may invest in other skills, such as physics or art. Nonetheless, it is quite obvious that genetic factors play a role in determining the number of fingers we have on each of our hands!

[Genes] are devices for extracting information from the environment. The causal route from genes to behavior is often very complex!

Therefore, when it comes to understanding the development of a trait in a particular person, nature can never be separated from nurture. Every minute, every second, the pattern of genes being expressed in your brain changes, often in direct or indirect response to events outside the body. Socioeconomic status modifies heritability of IQ in young children. a trait like height, which is highly heritable in most developed nations, is very affected by environmental factors, like diet). This study points to the fact that estimates of heritability depend on the sample that is studied, and the environment of that sample.

Heritability Says Nothing About Whether Intelligence Is More Determined By Genes Or The Environment

. Among the poorest, the shared environment accounted for most of the differences in IQ (60 percent), and the genes accounted for very little. Nature and nurture are inextricably intertwined, and it’s time for science to figure out how.

It’s important to keep in mind that the route from genotype (genetic makeup) to phenotype (observed behavior) is hardly ever clear-cut. If we then take a baby, newly born to a pair of alcoholic American parents, and raise it in a small village in southern India where it never encounters alcohol across its lifespan, it will not develop alcoholism. Nurture.” New York, NY: Times Books/Henry Holt & Co.

At the very least, heritability tells us how much of the variation in IQ can be accounted for by variation in genetic factors when development occurs in an exquisitely specific range of environments. Parents matter to the extent that they support the expression of genes.

Genes, By Themselves, Can’t Determine Anything

In one study, Eric Turkheimer and colleagues studied 320 pairs of 7-year-old twins who were raised in extreme poverty. As already stated, every trait develops through the interplay of genes and the environment. But all that we actually inherit from our parents are our genes and our genes’ (and our) environments, factors that then construct full-blown traits during development. Furthermore, identical twins reared apart were eerily similar to identical twins reared together on various measures of personality, occupational and leisure-time interests, and social attitudes.

Because we cannot assess the variability (across our testing environments) of all the yet-to-be-identified non-genetic factors that influence IQ, Moore argues that estimates of the heritability of IQ are effectively uninterpretable and unable to be applied in any appropriate way. Naked DNA (or RNA) is simply not sufficient to produce psychological or biological traits.

Heritability Is Not The Same As Heredity

Heritability does not tell us how likely it is that people’s characteristics will be inherited by their children. But does this mean that the variable “has a family” doesn’t matter in determining whether or not a person develops the ability to speak a language? Of course not! That’s like saying that water has no influence on a fish’s development because all fish live in water. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4, 217-220.

In 1990, Thomas J. and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota published a striking finding: About 70 percent of the variance in IQ found in their particular sample of identical twins was found to be associated with genetic variation. Science writer Matt Ridley has put it this way:

Bouchard, , T.J., Lykken, D.T., McGue, M., Segal, N.L., & Tellegen, A. As Moore puts it in his journal article:

Because the development of behavioral and psychological characteristics can be influenced by experiential factors in ways that are unpredictable from casual observation, we cannot hope to happen to measure — through sheer lucky guesswork — which environmental factors contribute importantly to the development of those characteristics; we first need to understand the mechanisms by which those traits develop.

In reality, all biological and psychological characteristics are constructed during development, when genes interact with local environmental factors that can be influenced by the broader environment. There is reason to believe that under more dire circumstances, the heritability of IQ would be significantly lower than that reported by Bouchard. Just because a variable doesn’t vary doesn’t mean it has no causal impact on a particular outcome.

Some of the most well-known behavioral geneticists, including Thomas Bouchard, Jr., recognize that it’s time to move beyond heritability estimates. We often talk as if we “inherit” full-blown traits from our parents, like eye colors, nose shapes and shyness. The neuroscience of human intelligence differences. Science, 250, 223-228. A currently active area of research is the study of epigenetics, and how the many interacting genes that make up any trait are differentially activated depending on the environment. Because we know that genes play some role in the development of any trait, the precise heritability estimate doesn’t matter in a practical sense.

Twin Studies Do Not Reveal The Causes Of Intellectual Development

Heritability depends on the amount of variability in the environmental factors that contribute to a trait. After all, if everyone were raised in an identical environment, variations in their psychological characteristics couldn’t possibly be accounted for by anything other than variations in their genes (since there would be no variations in their developmental environments); the more variation in environments that twins in twin studies are exposed to, the lower the heritabilities we should expect to find.

The heritability of a trait can vary from 0.00 to 1.00, depending on the environments from which research participants are sampled.

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Johnson, W., Turkheimer, E., Gottesman, I.I., & Bouchard, T.J., Jr. (2003). However, David S.

Adoption studies and twin studies do not entail the purposeful manipulation of either specific genes or specific environmental factors. Moore, to list eight facts about genes, twin studies, and the heritability statistic that may come as a surprise to many people — even biologists!

Turkheimer’s study should also be a reminder that just because something is heritable doesn’t mean it’s immutable. The idea here is that environments set off an appetite in the genes that nudges individuals to engage in certain experiences, and the environment then responds in a reciprocal fashion that reinforces an individual’s nature.

Even if a population of individuals were to develop in a range of environments believed to be the same as that in which a particular study was conducted, the results of that study would not allow us to predict developmental outcomes in the new range of environments because the environmental factors that the researchers originally focused on — and controlled for — might not be the relevant environmental factors at all.

This raises a deeper point: Depending on what you hold constant, you can either show a genetic contribution or an environmental contribution. To put things in perspective, I teamed up with the well-known developmental psychologist at Pitzer College, David S. Since every single person in twin studies checks that box — that is, they are raised in a family of some sort — this factor never varies and thus does not predict differences in ability to speak a language. The way we work gives us choice.

None of the twins in Bouchard’s study were reared in real poverty, were raised by illiterate parents, or were mentally retarded. This cycle continues to magnify observed ability differences in basketball between those who keep getting opportunities to increase their skills and those who didn’t get picked that first time. The point is that both are always contributing to the development of any trait, and context matters in which accounts for more of the differences in a trait.

Many psychologists continue to compute heritability statistics without questioning what exactly it is that they reveal to us. Because traits that are 100 percent heritable can nonetheless be strongly influenced by environmental factors, it is not the case that a trait found to be heritable in a particular twin study will be passed from a given pair of parents to their children. Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota Study of twins reared apart. Likewise, as can be seen from the example below, genetic factors influence the development of non-heritable traits just as much as they influence the development of highly heritable traits.

Heritability Depends Entirely On Context

Unfortunately, findings from twin studies are often misunderstood, misinterpreted and blown out of proportion — not just by the media, but even by serious scientists who get their work published. Psychological Science, 14, 623-628.

Twin studies partition the variance in nature and the variance in nurture. The Flynn effect should be a reminder of just how much the environment matters, even after completely controlling for genes (by looking at IQ changes across generations).

Even so, the findings from twin studies should not be understated; it counters many a prevailing belief that we are born into this world as blank slates, completely at the mercy of the external environment. You get picked first for the basketball team, whereas your smaller friends may not get picked at all. It makes no sense to ask whether a particular individual’s intelligence has been more determined by nature or by nurture. Moore has argued that even this is not significant when we realize that the magnitude of any heritability statistic reflects the extent of variation in unidentified non-genetic factors that contribute to the development of the trait in question.

Take the most essential element: a child needs to be raised in a family, almost any kind of family, to develop the ability to speak a language. Genes could “account for” 100 percent of the variability in a trait in a particular twin study, but this does not mean that environmental factors are therefore unimportant in the development of the trait; parents still matter and will always matter.

The fact that both our genes and our environment contribute to who we are and depend on each other is actually quite a good thing! Give too much control to our environment or our genes, and we lose free will.

Bouchard’s study, along with many others, has painted a consistent picture: Genes matter. But it is not at all obvious prior to developmental analysis which environmental factors might make important contributions to the development of specific traits, so that approach would leave us measuring a seriously unwieldy number of variables.

It turns out that parenting matters, just in a way different than originally assumed. Nature and nurture are complementary, not at odds.

Let’s be clear: Twin studies have received much criticism. This would give you more experience in basketball, which increase the chances you’d get picked first for another team. The genes and environment eventually become correlated.

Heritability Doesn’t Necessarily Have To Do With Biology

Because heritability is a population statistic, it has nothing to say about the individual. Bouchard, Jr. The studies say nothing about how they matter, or which genes matter, but they show quite convincingly that they indeed do matter. Even though the proliferation of advanced statistical techniques (such as structural equation modeling) and the implementation of additional controls have allayed some of the concerns, they haven’t allayed all of the them.

Does Heritability Have Any Practicality?

Environmental factors influence the development of highly heritable traits just as much as they influence the development of non-heritable traits (i.e. After reading these facts, it might be reasonable to ask, “Does the heritability coefficient have any practical value?”

The parenting factors that are statistically associated with differences between individuals should never be confused with the parenting factors that cause the development of a trait within an individual. Beyond heritability: Twin studies in behavioral research. This allows researchers to determine whether differences in genes or differences in the environment in a particular population are associated with more of the differences in observed behavior.

Of course, we could just aim to measure all of the environmental factors that might affect the development of a trait. Genes matter to the extent that they support parenting, because like any other behavior, parenting behaviors are influenced by the genes. Let’s imagine that a study of alcoholism in the United States finds that the vast majority of the variation in people’s tendencies to drink to excess can be accounted for by variation in their genes. Imagine if you were born slightly taller than others (maybe you don’t have to imagine this!). (2003) The Dependent Gene: The Fallacy of “Nature vs

10 Steps You Can Take To Stop Gambling Today


If you go to a local casino, take a caring friend and ban yourself for life.

If you play online, contact the online casino and have your account closed permanently, & demand to be banned from their site. Don’t know where to turn to for help? Email


Get or print off pro gambling recovery literature & carry it with you at all times.

Read it daily, especially in first months.


If you want to stop gambling right now, the first step begins by stopping to carry money. A gambling problem is very strong, plays many tricks on on our minds, & tries to convince us of many lies. There are therapists, counselors, & life coaches out there trained to help you stop. If you gamble online, get gamblock today.


Make a list of the people you love & love you back. Carrying recovery reading & phone numbers help. Call them ANYTIME you need to. It may sound funny, but joining a group of fellow recovering gamblers gives you strength & power over your gambling. Good help seems to come from ex-gamblers themselves because they’ve been there, & they understand. (Email the author at for online communities you can join today). The only time casinos won’t let you gamble, is when you don’t have what they want……money.

There is but one good throw upon the dice, which is, to throw them away. Know that if they can do it, you can too. You help yourself and others triumph over a common enemy. There are 1000′s of people who once were severely addicted to gambling, haven’t gambled for months and even years. In the moment, you’ll want a plan of action to take when the urge to gamble attempts to overwhelm you.

When you absolutely must stop gambling right now, here are 10 steps you can take today.

Jason is a recovered compulsive gambler of over 5 years and a certified professional life coach. You make lifelong friends who will always understand and care.

This step can be done by attending Gamblers Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, & finding online support and help. Carry only a very small budget for food each day and thats it.( absolutely no more than $5). He is an author, life coach, sponsor, & former GA chapter president, husband, & stepfather.


To overcome something as powerful as a gambling problem or addiction, we must get help from others.

Help is out there in many forms. Combat this with the previous 9 steps & a one on one coach, sponsor, or therapist. Inpatient Treatment is another. Put up pictures of them & when you see it, remember that’s who you’re stopping for.

Recognize that if you gamble, you’re letting them down.

Remind yourself of all the bad things that have been caused by your obsession to gamble. Know what to do & who to call if a thought or urges to gamble hits you….(and unfortunately they will).

Author’s Bio: 

To learn the secrets to stopping gambling now, & to get 1 on 1 coaching from Jason visit or email Jason at


Stopping Gambling isn’t easy. Connect your gambling with the the negative consequences its brought into your life.

These 10 steps are an excellent start to stopping gambling today.

If you have any unanswered questions or need to be pointed in the right direction email


Recovering in numbers is key. This includes credit cards, debit cards, access to bank accounts, checks, loans, etc. If you want to stop starting right now, block all access to money. He’s overcome his own addiction to gambling & has helped many others do the same.


What does this mean exactly? It means you must submit,commit, & trust in the program of recovery you choose. Its best to find someone who’s been in your shoes, but hasn’t gambled in quite some time.

Make sure you like them, they have your best interest in mind, & truly do help you. -Author Unknown.. Gamblers Anonymous is one. (because it is the truth).


When your next urge comes, what will you do? You’ll need to know the answer to this. Have phone numbers listed for people to call who support you in your recovery. You trust that the program will solve your gambling problem, as long as you never give up on it.


Only those who never give up on themselves & their program of recovery beat gambling. If needed, list them out. In the beginning the constant thoughts and urges to gamble can be intense. Know that there are 1000′s of recovering gamblers

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Opens State-of-the-Art Race and Sports Book by Cantor Gaming

The Cosmopolitan is a

tremendous stage on which to continue to build our ‘sports trading’


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The new sports book, located on the second floor, situated adjacent to

Marquee Nightclub, welcomes patrons with two outside betting windows. The same innovation in technology that we

have brought to Las Vegas has changed the way we live our lives in

sectors as diverse as finance, travel and retail. by award-winning Chef Scott Conant; and

popular steakhouse STK from The One Group.

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Cantor Gaming, an affiliate of global

financial services firm, Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P., debut The

Cosmopolitan Race & Sports by Cantor today.

. Its vision to bring a

fresh, sophisticated and modern experience to Las Vegas in a world class

venue, reflects our own mission to transform sports wagering through our

ground-breaking technology. Cantor Gaming was also the first company to introduce

In-Running wagering to Las Vegas, enabling wagering on live sporting

events throughout the event.

Inside, guests are greeted into the intimate space by metallic red, grey

and dark wood interiors. An eclectic

lineup of new-to-market retailers include AllSaints Spitalfields,

Beckley, CRSVR Sneaker Boutique, DNA2050, Droog, Molly Brown’s Swimwear,

Retrospecs & Co, Skins 6|2 Cosmetics and STITCHED. Signature restaurants

include Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill by restaurateurs Bruce and Eric

Bromberg; Comme Ça by Los Angeles Chef David Myers; Estiatorio Milos, by

international restaurateur Costas Spiliadis; Holsteins from Block 16

Hospitality; Jaleo and China Poblano restaurants by acclaimed Chef José

Andrés; Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. and is the exclusive race and sports book operator at the M Resort

Spa Casino, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the Tropicana Las Vegas and

the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a unique luxury resort offering a

decidedly different perspective, situated in the heart of The Strip. Cantor and

its affiliates process over $140 trillion of financial transaction

securely every year over its proprietary technology platform.

For more information, please visit:

Cantor Gaming also offers mobile solutions to the gaming industry

through its proprietary mobile gaming device, eDeck(TM) (known as

Pocketcasino at the Las Vegas Sands’ Venetian and Palazzo), which offers

casino customers the ability to play innovative casino games developed

by Cantor Gaming including XtraOdds(TM) Baccarat and XtraOdds(TM) Blackjack,

as well as new and exciting progressive jackpot games within designated

areas of the casino property, away from the casino floor.

Cantor Gaming now operates four race and sports books in Nevada.

“The new Race and Sports Book by Cantor, with the latest in betting

technology, spectacular design and prime sports watching location adds

yet another unique and dynamic element to the already exciting scene at

The Cosmopolitan,” says John Unwin, CEO of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

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Cantor Gaming is the first company licensed to manufacture, distribute,

and operate a mobile gaming system by the state of Nevada and remains

the world leader. Cantor Gaming is the exclusive provider of

mobile gaming and In-Running wagering solutions to the Las Vegas Sands

Corp. The new 2,995-room resort features oversized,

residential-style living spaces with expansive, one-of-a-kind private

terraces. In the same way that prices in the financial

markets change from moment to moment, Cantor’s lines and spreads change

continuously as the action of a sporting event unfolds.

Lee Amaitis, President and CEO of Cantor Gaming, said: “The Cosmopolitan

is the most exciting new property on The Strip. Two additional betting

stations at Book & Stage also are available for placing bets.

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For more information visit:

About Cantor Gaming

Cantor Gaming is an affiliate and gaming licensee of global financial

services firm Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., which has over 65 years of

experience and unparalleled expertise of highly secure real-time, global

financial transaction processing, management, and execution. The Cosmopolitan’s luxurious resort amenities include a

100,000-square-foot casino; Sahra Spa & Hammam; three unique pool

experiences at The Pool District; Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub at The

Cosmopolitan, a multi-level integrated nightclub; and 150,000 square

feet of state-of-the-art convention and meeting space.

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About The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Forty-three ‘trading’ stations each feature plush seating, viewing

screens and are equipped with Cantor’s proprietary In-Running ‘sports

trading’ technology. Wagering is available at fixed betting, or

individual ‘trading’ stations within the book, as well as on Cantor’s

proprietary mobile tablets which can be used at both the race and sports

book and Book & Stage on the casino floor. The

resort’s uniquely vertical multi-tower design offers spectacular views

of the vibrant city

Artificial intelligence: Key to ​Kentucky Derby betting?


Although several prominent industry leaders remain wary of artificial intelligence, and a recent high-profile experiment with it went awry, the technology could revolutionize everything from smartphones to automobiles. For comparison, none of the experts at Churchill Downs predicted the top four horses, let alone the top four horses in the correct order.

How does the system work? According to the company, the technology is built on a closed-loop system inspired by the insect swarm found in nature.

4. All Rights Reserved. Mohaymen

The artificial intelligence company Unanimous tested its new software platform, UNU, on last weekend’s Kentucky Derby, as reported by TechRepublic. Twenty participants, convened by the company, first used the software to narrow the field of 20 horses down to four top picks.

You probably didn’t consider basing your Kentucky Derby bets on artificial intelligence — but maybe you should have. The participants then used UNU to predict the winning order — and it turned out to be 100 percent correct.

1. Gun Runner

In a statement, Unanimous’ chief information officer David Baltaxe said the whole process took the company’s AI tool 20 minutes.

© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc. In a recent 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll, more than half of Americans (53 percent) called society’s quest to advance the field of artificial intelligence “important.”


“I placed my $1 bet on the race at the Derby on Saturday and made $542.10 — the odds of winning the superfecta [the top 4 finishers in order] were 540-1,” TechRepublic reporter Hope Reese wrote. The idea is that “many minds are better than one,” therefore the act of pooling individual insights gives groups a better chance of reaching optimal decisions.

2. Exaggerator