Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Security worse at private prisons. Sometimes it's terrible.

Florida citizens at a meeting opposing prison closures and privatization last night in Jefferson County.
  Private correctional facilities are a really, really bad idea. They don't save taxpayers' money because corporations need to make a profit.

And they're dangerous. Murderers, rapists and thieves are more likely to escape a private prison than a government-run institution, according to a nationwide study by researchers at the Federal Bureau of Prisons Office of Research and Evaluation.

Just this month, an inmate pleaded guilty to murdering Gary and Linda Haas, an Oklahoma couple on vacation in August 2010. He and two others had escaped from Arizona State Prison, which is run by Management And Training Corporation. Arizona's Department of Corrections issued a scathing assessment of the poor security and undertrained corrections officers. They actually ignored the alarm that sounded when the inmates cut the fence to escape.

Florida lawmakers want to turn nearly half of Florida's prisons over to a corporation -- though violent inmates have escaped from prisons run by GEO Group Inc. and the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the two companies vying to run Florida’s privatized prisons.

Here are just a few of the delightful things that happened in money-making prisons:
In February 2008, a notorious rapist escaped for two days from a civil commitment center in Arcadia, Fla, according to the Tampa Bay Times. GEO Group ran the facility, which treats sex offenders too dangerous to be released. The escapee, Bruce Alan Young, is a former nurse convicted of raping seven female patients while they were sedated, including a 15-year-old girl at Citrus Memorial Hospital.

Two years ago, three dangerous inmates escaped from the Allen Correctional Center, a GEO facility, in Kinder, La. The Town Talk tells us government law enforcement officers brought them in.
CCA mistakenly released nine inmates from the Bay County Jail Annex in Florida in 2007. Six inmates escaped from the CCA-run Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in the summer of 1998. Four were in prison for murder and one was serving time for armed robbery. One of the inmates eluded capture for more than a month.
See why this is a bad idea? You can sign this petition to oppose prison privatization in Florida here.