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Follow the Money: Invisible Investors Seek Big Bucks in Mass Incarceration
By James Kilgore and Brian Dolinar
Posted April 14, 2015

prisons for profitCalifornia Forensic Medical Group (CFMG) is the brainchild of Dr. Taylor Fithian, president and medical director, who started the company in 1983 with partners Elaine Hustedt, vice president of operations and personnel, and Dan Hustedt, vice president of finance. For many years, they occupied an office in Monterey nestled among high-end boutiques, fitness centers and spas. They signed their first contract with the Monterey County Jail just months after opening.

Since then, they have come to dominate California’s carceral health-care landscape. According to the company’s website, it has 87 percent of all the private medical contracts with county jails in the state and 92 percent of juvenile facilities. Indeed, the California Sheriff’s Association has named CFMG one of the “Corporate 100” with whom it wishes to form a “very exclusive partnership.”

“HIG is in it for the big bucks. They’re thinking we’re going to make a killing. The way they make money is less drugs, less doctors, less hospital visits.” Shortly after getting the financial backing of HIG, CFMG moved its headquarters to a much larger office park on the outskirts of town. The company also closed several new multimillion-dollar deals. In 2014, the company signed with Sonoma County for $32 million over five years. In Monterey, CFMG’s three-year agreement is worth around $4.8 million annually. More…