Private Prisons, Public Shame | Al Jazeera America
Last month the state of Washington contracted with the GEO Group, one of the largest for-profit prison companies in the U.S., to move up to 1,000 inmates from the state’s overcrowded prisons to its correctional facility in Michigan, thousands of miles from their homes and families. This makes family visits and connection with the community harder, though studies show that inmates who receive more visits are less likely to re-offend after release.
Incarcerated Michigan innocent Davontae Sanford – young, half-blind, developmentally delayed – was hogtied for endless hours by corrections officers. He had his shoes thrown out; a money order torn up; phone privileges arbitrarily revoked. And more.
That’s what in store for Washington state prisoners Ghosted to Michigan. That, and insufficient, low quality food.
Ghosting prisoners across state lines is likely a very profitable part of the Prison Industrial Complex. That it increases recidivism and reduces accountability is a very big deal, both suck up taxpayers dollars faster than a fleet of industrial vacuum cleaners.
An Oregon inmate Ghosted here that I’d previously written about – Jacob Barrett – will soon be on his way back to Oregon, according to one source. With the stunning number of suspicious deaths of Florida inmates, Oregon should have brought all its Ghosts home without anyone having to do or say anything, but getting to the promise of returning Jacob to Oregon took two hunger strikes on his part and no small amount of letter writing on activists’ parts.
[Update 7/20/15: Apparently, my source on Jacob Barrett being returned to Oregon was misinformed; it seems that Oregon is comfortable with the ever expanding stories of Florida’s abuse, neglect and murder of inmates. I have recently learned that Ghosting inmates is more dangerous than I’d perceived … please see posts about Darren Richardson, or posts tagged #RoughRide, #NickelRide, #CowboyRide and/or #OnTheDraft. The news from Michigan is dismal, too; knowingly-incarcerated innocent Davontae Sanford’s court proceeding, scheduled for last week, has been moved to October. Michigan’s contract with Aramark has been cancelled, they have switched to a different vendor rather than have prisons prepare their own meals.]