The FBI has launched an investigation into the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) over the way it runs an Idaho prison that has such a reputation for violence that inmates dub it “Gladiator School.”
If you get lemons make lemonade? If you have an underperforming incompetent private prison, maybe you could get some fairly competent cage fighters out of the deal? After all, you’re not saving any money doing the privatization game. Why not just settle for what meager benefits there are to be had?
FBI investigates Idaho prison run by private corporation | Al Jazeera America
The Nashville, Tenn.-based CCA has operated Idaho’s largest prison for more than a decade, but last year, CCA officials acknowledged it had understaffed the Idaho Correctional Center by thousands of hours in violation of the state contract. CCA also said employees falsified reports to cover up the vacancies. The announcement came after an Associated Press investigation showed CCA sometimes listed guards as working 48 hours straight to meet minimum staffing requirements.
In January, Idaho officials announced the prison may be handed over to state control because of its staffing issues.
This isn’t the first time the CCA, and private prisons in general, have come under fire in Idaho and elsewhere. Rights groups have long held that private prisons are run without sufficient oversight, often leading to increased violence and prisoner maltreatment.
In Idaho, a 2008 state-run study obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union found that there were four times as many prisoner-on-prisoner assaults at the state’s CCA-run prison than at Idaho’s other seven prisons combined.
And a 2010 NPR investigation suggested that CCA won out on state contracts in Arizona because of its close connections to politicians in the state.
Officials and opponents of private prisons have also argued that privately run prisons are inefficient. A 2001 study by the Justice Department, for example, found that “the cost benefits of privatization have not materialized to the extent promised by the private sector.”
Still, despite such findings, the privatization of prisons has continued mostly unimpeded.