Monday, August 15, 2016

For-profit prisons have more safety and security incidents than other federal prisons

For-profit federal prisons, which are primarily located in rural areas, have a higher rate of safety and security incidents than non-contract institutions, says a U.S. Department of Justice inspector general's report.

The inspector general looked at 14 for-profit prisons and 14 non-contract Federal Bureau of Prisons with comparable inmate populations and found that for-profit prisons had higher per-capita rates of contraband, lockdowns, discipline, grievances, telephone monitoring and overall incident reports. They also had higher rates of assault, including inmate on inmate assault and inmate assaults of guards. The only areas with fewer incidents in for-profit prions were sexual misconduct and positive drug tests. (Justice Department graphic: Inmates in for-profit prisons are eight times more likely to be caught with a cell phone)
Many of the inmates are Mexican and are serving time for immigration offenses, including "almost 22,700 low-security immigrant adult males with 90 months or less on their sentences," Joe Davidson writes for The Washington Post. The three companies—Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group, Inc. and Management and Training Corporation (MTC)—that contract the for-profit prisons all "cited their largely homogeneous inmates as a significant factor in prison misconduct."

CCA, the nation’s oldest and largest private prison company, told Davidson that "Our experience has been that the criminal alien population housed in contract prisons has a higher rate" of inmates who are a security risk. GEO "said the 'criminal alien' population 'responds as one to any issue, real or perceived," Davidson writes. MTC, which rejected the report’s findings, said in a statement: “Any casual reader would come to the conclusion that contract prisons are not as safe as BOP [Bureau of Prisons] prisons. The conclusion is wrong.”

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