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]