A Private Prison Cutting Corners And Endangering Inmates? No F’ing Way!on October 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm
CityBeat details the abysmal conditions at the Ohio facility, the first privately owned state prison in the country:
The local fire plan had no specific steps to release inmates from locked areas in case of emergency, and local employees said “they had no idea what they should do” in case of a fire emergency.
The audit also found all housing units provided less than the required 25 square feet on unencumbered space per occupant. It found single watch cells held two prisoners with some sleeping on the floor, and some triple-bunked cells had a third inmate sleeping on a mattress on the floor.
Inmates claimed laundry and cell cleaning services were not provided and CCA could not prove otherwise, recreation time was not always allowed five times a week in segregation as required, food quality and sanitization was not up to standards, infirmary patients were “not seen timely,” patients’ doctor appointments were often delayed with follow-ups rarely occurring, the facility had no written confined space program, the health care administrator could not explain or show an overall plan and nursing competency evaluations were not completed before the audit was conducted. Many more issues were found as well.
This is what happens when you introduce a profit motive to what is supposed to be a government function: corruption, cutting corners, unsafe conditions. Why? Because the bottom line is the single most important thing. Period. All other considerations are secondary.
This is why the libertarian/conservative concept that corporations will somehow act in the best interest of the public is a childish delusion. Corporations will NEVER act in the best interest of the public if it is cheaper to screw the public. Libertarians and conservatives know this to be true because whenever liberals complain that corporations are doing terrible things to people, their response is inevitably “Well, regulations just punish success!” Translation: money is more important than lives.
My favorite part of private prisons? How some of them are guaranteed a minimum occupancy rate. How does one guarantee a steady flow of prisoners? Do we KNOW how much crime will be committed? Of course not. The only solution is things like mandatory sentencing and criminalizing everything under the sun. That’s not justice, it’s business and has no place in a free society.