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Maggots Are The Only Ones Eating Well at Prisons Served By Aramark

The Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that maggots were found in prisoners’ food once again at the Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville during a pre-meal inspection. Last week, 1,000 prisoners at the facility dumped their meals to protest the abysmal quality of food provided by the private contractor Aramark. Corrections departments in Michigan and Ohio have fined Aramark approximately $570,000 this year  for unsanitary food conditions and supply shortages at multiple [Continue reading]

Another Mentally Ill Inmate Dies in Restraint Chair, Sparking Lawsuit

On Wednesday, the Tri-City Herald reported that Franklin County, Washington is being sued for allegedly ‘inhumane and barbaric practices’ that have put mentally ill inmates in harms way. The suit is being brought by Columbia Legal Services, a Seattle-based legal aid organization that is working on behalf of mistreated inmates at Franklin County Jail. Lawyers allege that Franklin County is one of the worst jails in the country. The mental health needs of inmates are ignored and they [Continue reading]

Study Finds Hispanics Disproportionately Incarcerated in Private Prisons

A new study out of Oregon State University found that hispanics are disproportionately incarcerated at state and federal private prisons. And that’s not counting federal facilities contracted to house immigrant prisoners. The combined population of hispanic and african american inmates in private prisons was also found to be 4% higher than that of public institutions, which researchers called ‘significant.’ They were, however, unable to confirm the source of this racial [Continue reading]

Arizona Death Row Inmate Given Lethal Injection 15 Times During 2 Hour Execution

The AP has another horrific botched execution story — the third one this year — this time out of Arizona. Records show that executioners “injected Joseph Rudolph Wood with a lethal combination of drugs 15 times during the nearly two hours it took for him to die.” Arizona execution protocol states that prisoners are to be injected with 50 milligrams of hydromorphone and 50 milligrams of midazolam. Wood was injected with 750 milligrams of each drug. Wood was only the 2nd [Continue reading]

Former Prisoners Face Significant Healthcare Challenges

The Medicaid expansion under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act allows states to give inmates across the country access to some health coverage that continues after they are released. But access to health insurance is just a small part of the health-related challenges inmates face on the other side. At CNN, Dr. Emily Wang writes that many former inmates with chronic health problems “have their first exposure to health care as adults in prison.” This is a sad [Continue reading]

Incarcerated Women in California Pen Open Letter Against GEO Group’s New Private Prison

In April, The Bakersfield Californian reported that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) signed a contract with private prison company GEO Group to re-open and operate a women's facility in Mcfarland, California. GEO Group will own and operate the 260-bed facility and is expected to make around $9 million per year at full occupancy. Unfortunately, due to the lack of public access to private prison contracts, most of the details are unknown. This week, a group of ten female prisoners from the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and the California Institution for Women (CIW) have written an open letter calling on "California state legislators to direct CDCR to cancel the contract with GEO and implement existing release programs instead of opening a new prison!" The prisoners write that they are being "shuffled around without regard for our well-being or our human rights" due to overcrowding. They note that CCWF's facility is currently operating at 185% capacity, and as a result, prisoners' access to critical services such as food and healthcare have declined. They are concerned, however, that women transferred to GEO Group's new facility will not see their treatment improve. [Continue reading]

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform Fights to Bring Out-of-State Inmates Home From Private Prisons

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform’s Suzi Wizowaty joined VT Dept. of Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito for an excellent talk on Vermont Public Radio about the use of out-of-state prison transfers to reduce prison overcrowding, and the impact it has on inmates, their communities and mass incarceration. Vermont currently sends over 500 prisoners to private facilities run by Corrections Corp. of America as far away as Kentucky (approx. 765 miles away) and Arizona (approx. 2,162 [Continue reading]

Idaho Officials: Missing Inmate Medical Records and $100k Drug Shortage Plagues Private Prison Transition

Idaho Correctional Center Earlier this year, the AP reported that the Idaho Department of Corrections would retake control of the state’s largest prison from Corrections Corporation of America amid a “decade of mismanagement and other problems at the facility.” That transition is now underway. Today, the Associated Press published new complaints by state officials who say CCA’s poor planning and lack of medical care for inmates has produced [Continue reading]

MuckRock’s “Private Prison Project” and the Need for Transparency

MuckRock announces “Private Prison Project.” Here’s why it’s so badly needed. Last week, Muckrock.com announced it was launching the Private Prison Project: a long-term investigation of the use of for-profit prison companies to accommodate America’s exploding incarceration rate. According to the website, which helps the public through the process of filing records requests to government agencies, the first step of the Private Prison Project will be to focus on [Continue reading]
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