Criminal Justice Press Release

12.30.14

ACLU Statement About Youngstown Private Prison Losing Contract to House Federal Inmates

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio—The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio released the following statement on learning that the federal Bureau of Prisons decided to end its contract with the private, for-profit prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which operates the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown. Currently, the prison houses about 1,400 inmates overseen by the Bureau of Prisons and 580 detainees for the U.S. Marshal Service.

“We are pleased that the Bureau of Prisons listened to our concerns about the mismanagement of the facility and mistreatment of prisoners, and decided not to renew its contract with CCA,” said ACLU of Ohio Senior Policy Director Mike Brickner. “However, we still are concerned that CCA will continue to house detainees for the U.S. Marshals Service at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown and operate the Lake Erie Correctional Institute in Conneaut, Ohio, for those imprisoned by the state of Ohio.

“As a just society, we have a responsibility to ensure that our jails and prisons treat inmates and detainees fairly and humanely,” Brickner said. “The track record of for-profit prisons run by CCA and other private companies is disgraceful, with increased violence and drug use, overcrowding, neglected medical care, and deteriorating facilities. These deplorable conditions were recently highlighted by the peaceful protest of 140 prisoners at the Youngstown prison in August. The culture of secrecy at private prisons leads to a lack of transparency and accountability to the public. We cannot stress this enough—the for-profit prison business is bad for prisoners, prison employees, communities, and taxpayers.

“We hope that the U.S. Marshals Service and the state of Ohio will follow the lead of the Bureau of Prisons and cancel their contracts with CCA.”