Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Decent Decision in Tennessee

The Court of Criminal Appeals in Tennesse recently handed down a decision that holds that CCA employees are state actors (meaning the same as government employees), because they perform an inherently governmental function. This makes Tennessee, home of CCA, the only state to require that private prisons comply with public records laws and to recognize that their employees perform an inherently governmental function. In my opinion, this amounts to about the most comprehensive legal determination that the operation of a prison is a governmental responsibility. So Tennesse, I ask you to stop farming out your responsibilty to an irresponsible private corporation.

In my favorite quote from the opinion, they held, "as did the court of appeals, that the performance of this constitutionally mandated duty [operating a prison] cannot be 'considered anything less than a governmental function.'"

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