TOLEDO, OHIO—“Prisons for Profit,” which recently premiered at this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival will be shown at 6 p.m., August 11 at the Kent Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, 3101 Collingwood Boulevard, Toledo. The short documentary was produced by the ACLU of Ohio and directed by Cleveland filmmaker Craig Knowles.
“Prisons for Profit” examines the first 18 months in the life of the nation's first state prison sold to a private corporation. The short film chronicles the disturbing and often dangerous set of issues that unfolded after Corrections Corporation of America purchased the Lake Erie Correctional Institution in 2011 from the state of Ohio. These included rampant drug use, increased violence, and inadequate medical care, as well as the incompetence and confusion on the part of state and private prison officials. These problems are not uncommon in prisons for profit—where revenues drive decisions. Prisoners, prison workers and those living near the prison are the first to suffer from unsafe and inhumane conditions.
Following the screening, criminal justice advocates will informally discuss with the audience the growing number of private prisons in Ohio as the state is poised to sell another facility, the North Central Correctional Institute in Marion. Speakers include Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio senior policy director, and Tom Luettke, reentry coordinator of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. The event will be emceed by Sue Carter, local Toledo activist and ACLU of Ohio board member.
“Prisons for Profit” is free and open to the public. It also has been approved for a continuing legal education (CLE) credit and a continuing education (CEU) credit for social workers. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Auditorium A of the Kent Branch. The trailer for “Prisons for Profit” is available on YouTube. More information about private prisons is available at www.acluohio.org/prisonsforprofit.