Just wanted to give you a quick link to a great analysis by the NY Times Editorial board of the Minneci v. Pollard case, which the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on last week. The case involves abuse at a private prison operated by the GEO Group that was so severe it allegedly violated the prisoner's 8th Amendment right.
At issue was whether or not employees of a private prison company can be held personally liable for such violations. The court had previously held that employees of the federal BOP can be held responsible. Attorneys for the employees of the GEO Group argued that their clients are not technically federal government employees and thus should not be held responsible for violating people's rights. As the Editorial argues, "The court should reject this argument. If not, it will allow the
government to contract away prisoners’ constitutional rights — and
contract away its own responsibility to protect individuals imprisoned
under the law."
(Update 11/10/11) Another great article just came out on the case in the American Prospect, called "Cruel and Unusual Idiocy: Can the government get around the Constitution by outsourcing its functions to private contractors?" The title speaks for itself.