End Prisons-for-Profit
The Marshall Project
August 12, 2016

“On Thursday the U.S. Department of Justice inspector general released a scathing report on the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ monitoring of ‘contract prisons,’ a shadow network of private, for-profit prisons that hold about 11% of the nation’s 193,000 federal prisoners. Though presented in a bureaucratic, flat style, the inspector general’s findings are damning and outrageous. Sentence by sentence, the report shows how the bureau fails to impose basic standards of health, safety, and human decency on the private companies it pays to run these prisons. In one example, the inspector general recounts how a prisoner who told medical staff that he was having trouble breathing was refused immediate care and told to fill out a written request for an appointment. Untreated, he died. Afterward, the Bureau of Prisons conducted a mortality review that criticized this denial of care but did not propose any specific corrective action. As a result, the inspector general writes, ‘contractor deficiencies went uncorrected and corrective actions were delayed . . . putting other inmates at risk.’”

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