Sunday, November 15, 2009

Privatization - the answer to rights violations?

San Diego Correctional Facility image courtesy

The state's willingness to rely on privatized institutions as a partial contribution to population reduction might be a questionable choice when the final aim is improving medical and mental health in prisons. This is especially true when considering complaints regarding health care and improperly unreported deaths in privately-run institutions. The August 20 New York Times article raises important questions about record keeping, treatment, staff qualifications and staff presence at a Corrections Corporation of America institution designed to keep undocumented immigrants.

Currently, CCA runs two private correctional facilities in California: the low security California City Correctional Center and the minimum/medium security San Diego Correctional Facility. The former is advertised, in a Ventura County brochure, as a source of employment for 551 locals and a source of affordable land. The latter institution--just like the one featured in the New York Times piece--was recently sued over lack of medical care, as reported on the ACLU website.

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