Private probation firm hit with new civil suit

Man sent to jail sues company

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 6:30 PM
Last updated 7:47 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

Another civil case has been lodged against Sentinel Of­fender Services, this time alleging that a man was jailed for nearly five months for violating a probation term that ended two years ago.

The habeas corpus petition filed Friday in Richmond Coun­ty Superior Court on behalf of John Randolph Carey seeks a ruling that his original sentence, imposed in March 2008, was invalid.

A dozen civil petitions since late 2012 have attacked the constitutionality of the state law that allows local governments to contract
with private, for-profit companies to provide probation services for misdemeanor offenders.

According to court records, Carey pleaded guilty March 24, 2008, in Richmond County State Court to driving under the influence, failure to maintain lane and driving on a suspended license. He was ordered to abide by electronic monitoring for alcohol use for 12 months as part of his three-year probation sentence.

The sentence should have expired March 24, 2011, according to the petition, but in April 2009, a Sentinel employee swore out a warrant against Carey that kept the sentence from expiring.

The warrant was never served on Carey. Two years later when he was arrested on a unrelated matter that was dismissed, he was sent to the Richmond County jail, where he has been since April 1.

On April 17, Judge David D. Watkins sentenced Carey to one year in jail and another year on probation for violating his original probation.

Carey’s attorneys are challenging the legality of Carey’s plea in 2008, the constitutionality of allowing a private company to use the judicial process to collect fees, the legality of electronic monitoring for misdemeanor offenses, and the constitutionality of extended probation sentences.


Sentinel Offender Services’ insurance company has filed suit in federal court in California contending that it is not responsible for any financial losses Sentinel might have because of the lawsuits filed locally. Allied World Assurance Co. also wants Sentinel to reimburse the company for legal fees of more than $200,000.

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GiantsAllDay 08/19/13 - 09:55 pm
I know that this is pipe

I know that this is pipe dream but I hope this will be the beginning of the end of for profit probation services and for profit prisons across this country.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 08/19/13 - 11:01 pm
It's Time

It is time for the government to enforce its own probation proceedings. These private firms have shown no ethics in actual operation.

Bodhisattva 08/20/13 - 06:12 am
Just how incestuous of a

Just how incestuous of a relationship is Sentinel/G4S/Wackenhut and how many politicians have been paid over and under the table for all of their contracts and services? Talk about getting rich off the taxpayers dime and off the backs of the little people. Name changes so people don't recognize them and split the company into dozens of divisions to divert blame for wrongdoing, and there's plenty of that. Untold millions gone, theft, murder, fraud, and who knows what else. Great little company they picked. They'd have come out better with just a locked box and let folks fill out an envelope and drop payments in it, but then political cronies wouldn't get rich from it, would they?

David Parker
David Parker 08/20/13 - 04:01 pm
Sentinal may get teh boot by

Sentinal may get teh boot by Deal as I'm hearing the same thing happening in other parts of the state. But another company (or same under different tax id) will come in and continue the service as Bod writes. The solution of replacement uses circular logic and can't work. Change the system.

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