Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Even I Didn't Know It Was THIS Bad

The Louisville, KY Courier-Journal is running a fabulous 5-piece expose on the deplorable Otter Creek Correctional Facility, one of CCA's facilities. Among the myriad issues identified are: a significant lack of oversight on programming and medical care, repeated sexual assaults that weren't properly investigated by the state, CCA intentionally leaving critical staff positions unfilled to maximize profits, medical care so abhorrent that multiple staff members quit their jobs, and the state of Kentucky failing to even enforce the contract it has with CCA to operate the facility. As I've said countless times before, oversight of private prisons is sparse at best; only some states have specific government positions or agencies dedicated to overseeing contracts, and they tend to demonstrate either blatant favoritism or crude ignorance towards private prisons companies' repeated failures to live up to their responsibilities. What makes the Otter Creek situation even worse is that the state knew of many of these deficiencies, at least in staffing levels (because a lot of the other major issues were neglected over years of reporting by the state monitors), and just chose not to fine CCA for their inability to staff the facility properly, with no real explanation.

For more in-depth coverage of the breakdown in monitoring, and Kentucky's failure to fine CCA for the issues it was aware of, click here (same as title link);

For analysis of how private prisons don't actually save any money, focusing on Kentucky (including the wonderfully revealing quote of the DOC Spokeswoman who says ""private prisons are not less expensive than all of our institutions."), click here;

For analysis of the complete lack of any recognizable form of "health care" at the prison, click here;

And finally, for a nice, detailed, history of this awful prison, click here.

That about does it. I strongly encourage you all to take the time and read through as much of this story as possible, because it's one of the better singular examples of practically all the major conditions issues that present themselves in the private prison industry.

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