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Civilized Society and Private Prisons – Not a Match
By Chris Leo
Published: 10/29/2012

Cityscape In the effort forced upon state and local governments to cut operating costs. Some states are sadly and dangerously turning to the privatization of their government prisons. Inevitably, hungry, bottom line adventurers surface like snakes to take the public money. Many of these slimy private companies have had their contracts canceled after regulators, who thought they were saving money, found that as part of the process of cutting costs these private companies were employing untrained $8.00 an hour private guards. These are private guards totally unaware of what their responsibilities are in the event of an emergency. Even the smallest amount of perceived savings was eliminated from injured inmate lawsuits claiming poor staffing and even poorer training of the private guards. Further analysis has demonstrated where a private prison is run fairly well, there is little or no cost savings to the local government.

Although Correction Officers perform their duties out of the public view, they must be remembered as trained professionals. Similar to the government responsibility to maintain a trained police force; the same standard must hold true for Correction Officers.

Correction Officers are properly trained to deal with some of America’s worst murderer’s, child molesters, rapists, thieves, drug dealers, and gang members to name a few. These law enforcement professionals are confined inside the walls with these dangerous individuals for an entire eight-hour shift. With no weapons other than their sharp minds, they maintain law among the lawless.

Custody and supervision of incarcerated individuals must remain the role of government as a matter of humanity and decency. The government has a responsibility to maintain the custody and supervision of persons committed or sentenced to state and local correctional facilities. Selling prisoners and transferring government responsibility for profit is not the role of a civilized society.

Editor's note: Corrections.com author, Chris Leo, is a retired NYS Correction Sergeant and has been the government affairs professional representing law enforcement union’s, in the Albany statehouse, since 1999. Mr. Leo is responsible for fighting the private prison companies in New York and through legislation he ultimately guaranteed the outlawing of private prisons in New York. After four vetoes, Mr. Leo continued his pursuit and was successful with a law that prohibits private prisons in New York. To contact Chris Leo : chrisleo.leo@gmail.com


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  2. Fred Davis on 11/02/2012:

    Sounds a little bias.

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