Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Police Officer Suing CCA for $14 million for failure to follow policy

Officer Mark Chestnut was shot by an escaped CCA inmate during a traffic stop. CCA failed to follow even its own policy upon learning of the escape, taking 2 days to alert authorities to the situation. I applaud Mr. Chestnut for taking them to task on failing to follow even their own policies. I hope that he is awarded significant damages if for no other reason than to send a message to private prison operators that they will be held accountable if they fail to protect public safety, which should be their primary function and objective. I worry however that we may only see more of this in the future as states seem to be increasingly turning to private beds in the (misguided) belief that they will offer some sort of savings over public facilities.

Unfortunately this is not the first, and won't be the last time lax security at private institutions threatens public safety. Maybe if CCA and others were a little more concerned with providing quality supervision of the inmates in their ward and less with turning a profit, this wouldn't have happened.

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