Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Guess 3 Escapes and 2 Murders Don't Warrant Improving Security

A recent report by the Arizona Republic, which reviewed audits, correspondence, and interviews from the Department of Corrections reveals that many of the security lapses that led to the escape of 3 murderers from the MTC facility in Kingman last year have not been resolved. In fact, 14 prisons, a mixture of private and state-run ones, suffer from the security flaws that allowed these prisoners to escape and elude the law for weeks, while killing a vacationing elderly couple in the process.

Among the failures in security are "faulty alarm systems, holes under fences big enough to crawl through, and broken perimeter lights and cameras." The report also found a systemic ignorance of proper security protocols at nearly all the facilities studied.

The amount and extent of these security failures is just staggering, but they come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the industry and its all-consuming drive for profit. By cutting corners in these areas, the private companies that run these prisons put their staff, their prisoners, and the general public at great risk. They continuously fail to live up to contractual obligations because executives at these companies are greedy, despicable people who not only profit from incarcerating people, but do so in such an unscrupulous manner.

The first report to come out on this is linked in the title; another, appearing in the Tuscon Citizen, can be found here.

9 comments:

  1. These inmates did not escape from C.C.A. They escaped from some other company

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CCA has had plenty of their own escapes including 6 murderers from Youngstown Ohio who were wearing strett clothing and didn't realize the escape for 3hrs. They didn't notify law enforcement for 5hrs!

      Delete
  2. Yes - as I mentioned in the post, it was an MTC facility. They're no better than CCA.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have you ever worked in a prison system other federal or state, not trying to insinuate anything but I have worked in state and private and I can say by a huge margin that private prisons are a much more scrutinized prison system than the state and am assuming federal, there are far less cases of abuse in private prison from my experiences the reason why they seem to come to light so often in private prisons is because the inmates are aware of the fact that it is a business and can gain financial ground from a lawsuit be it frivolous or substantial. the staffing I can agree on that the staffing is poor but the staffing is poor at every prison ive worked at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey anon, no I have not ever worked in a prison, jail, or detention center. I will not begrudge you the point that private prisons are more highly scrutinized than government-operated facilities. I think the public is right to scrutinize those facilities more strictly, because the tremendous outlaying of tax dollars that goes to the private prison industry bestows a certain level of trust. We as taxpayers have every right to demand that our tax dollars are spent wisely. From the research I've seen, rates of violence, abuse, and escapes are higher at private prisons; real numbers probably not so much, since the industry only houses about 10% of the population. As far as staffing is concerned, I agree that staffing is an issue at all prisons. The numbers for private prisons are particularly hard to come by; the most recent available figures are about a decade old at this point, but then they indicated that private prisons hire substantially fewer staff per the population than many governments would.

      But I think the best evidence pointing to staffing deficiencies is the profit that the industry generates; staffing is by far the most expensive part of a prison's operating budget. CCA earns more than $10-$12 million in profit every month. That money has to come from a reduction in some area, because otherwise governments spend billions more than necessary to operate prisons while not extracting any profit and not paying top administrators absurd sums of money. The profit is most likely generated by reductions in staffing, medical care and maintenance, though those things are often difficult to prove. The escapes from Kingman provided a good opportunity for the state to conduct a review of the policies and procedures MTC had in place, which indicated severe operational difficulties and deficiencies.

      It's clear I hate private prisons. I also hate what happens to many people incarcerated in government prisons, and I truly abhor our disgraceful rate of incarceration, which far surpasses places like Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan. All prisons suffer from operational difficulties and staffing deficiencies, largely because they're so terribly overcrowded in nearly every jurisdiction. But if we as a people are going to continue to funnel $3 billion every year to a private industry performing an inherently governmental task, I think the industry should be held to the same, if not higher standards than the government.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Delete
    2. Maybe the prison you work at might be fine but a report shows that there are much more assaults on staff and inmates, more escapes, more inmate death, lack of medical care, turn-over and low retention levels among correctional officers and supervisors/

      Delete
  4. I worked for a priavte prison for 5yrs before CCA took over and after 2yrs with CCA I had enough and seen enough. I transfered to Indiana as a Captain in a 2000 bed jail CCA took over, big mistake and I bailed before I ever took to the floor there. CCA had me going to their academy mind you I had worked with adult inmates for 6yrs and was a sergeant. The academy was an array of 90 people some who had tattoos earrings, and some males and females who were in no shape to work there. The acadmey was held in an old military base with a leaking roof. They transfer you with no housing, no extra money and barely no support. CCA also ignores classification procedures to fill bed space which in turn lets in some higher security inmates that end up escaping, committing murder and vicious assaults especially with gang affilations. I personally investigated gangs, thefts and assaults at PCF with 2 other officers because CCA and our current investigator were a joke. I had inmate informants and warned the prison of an inpending race fight in the yard, and was told not to worry they have it under control. Two weeks later a fight breaks out in the rec yard as inmates beat other imates with bats and golf clubs, even horse shoes. There were shanks buried in the horseshoe pit filled with sand. Some of the disturbance carried into a housing unit where an inmate nearly knocked out an officers eye who may have lost sight in that eye after being labeled with a broken broom stick. CCA is deceitful and retalitory especially if they need to shut you up! I taped the warden after he threatened me for filing a grievance and CCA wanted that tape. I used the recorder and a hidden mic. This was why I wrote a book, THE TRUTH ABOUT PRIVATE PRISONS. inside Minnesota's only private prison. The book will also talk about other problems with other CCA facilities and the publisher liked the book. Feel free tp email me joe_justice@hotmail.com to learn more...

    ReplyDelete