|Counterpoint: Too harsh on private industry|
|By Corrections Corporation of America|
"We are greatly dissatisfied and disappointed with Corrections.com publishing a highly inaccurate, poorly sourced and egregiously biased OP/Ed Dungeons for Dollars, 4/7/08. The writer’s agenda is clear: to undermine the privatized corrections industry, treating the subject in a wholesale manner without regard to any of the benefits, best practices or innovations achieved through public-private partnership.
While we respect the relevancy of all voices in this ongoing debate – including those of government officials, community leaders, civic organizers, industry representatives and local citizens – printing such an imbalanced piece, without even an equally visible counterpoint, is inconsistent with your organization’s mission “to improve communication, notification and collaboration among professionals worldwide.”
The private sector plays a vital role in the corrections industry – and, by extension, in the financial and informational support of Corrections.com. This reality seems to have been dismissed by its editor, who featured such a slanted, if not hyperbolic, piece in a resource read, respected and supported by corrections leaders, executives, professionals, academicians and others.
We must emphasize that Mr. Dawe’s “figures” about the private corrections industry are outdated and inaccurate, which might account for his failure to plainly cite his sources. For example, the “53 percent turnover rate” mentioned in the article comes from The Corrections Yearbook 2000, which includes data almost a decade old, from 1999. Moreover, that figure was based on the responses of only 29 private facilities – a small percentage of the total number of correctional facilities operating nine years ago and, therefore, a statistically inaccurate representation of the industry.
On your Web site, CCNN states:
“Corrections.com always welcomes story ideas, and we encourage corrections practitioners to submit articles. Pieces from those outside the corrections industry also will be considered as long as they are relevant to the corrections field or help corrections practitioners.”
As we enter our 25th year as the founder and leader of the private corrections industry, CCA operates more than 65 correctional facilities nationwide with nearly 17,000 corrections professionals. On any given day, these dedicated men and women are responsible for the safe and secure housing of approximately 75,000 inmates, making CCA the fifth-largest corrections system in the country. These accomplishments certainly qualify CCA among those “corrections practitioners.”
As such, we find no relevance or help from obvious propaganda by a pro-union, anti-privatization, self-serving activist. It is doubtful that other vendors who advertise on your Web site and who partner with private corrections companies like CCA find this article useful either.
Further, we hope that the editorial staff at CCNN recognize and respect the vital role private vendors assume in the corrections industry and act accordingly – with better sourced features and more balanced opinion pieces that stimulate healthy debate, inspire industry improvements and, generally, more productively serve the interests of this audience.
Director, Marketing / Company Spokesperson
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA),
Editor's response: This opinion piece was submitted by Corrections Corporation of America after Corrections.com published "Dungeons for Dollars." CCA has and does advertise on the Corrections.com website, but it does not financially support Corrections.com in any other manner. Both "Dungeons for dollars" and the above opinion piece have been published because of the ongoing discussion about private and public correctional facilities.
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