June 13, 2006

ID: more Texas private prison woe

Via the blog of an Idaho prosecutor, Thoughts on Justice, from KIFI:

Idaho Prisoners Stage Protest at Texas Corrections Facility

85 Idaho inmates housed in a Texas jail are on lockdown after a non-violent protest Saturday morning. The inmates refused to return to their cells inside the building after completing recreation time outdoors at the Newton County Correction Center...

Via e-mail from a former co-worker of mine, from the Idaho Statesman:
Idaho inmates escape from private Texas prison

Two Idaho inmates escaped Monday evening from a privately run prison in Texas, taking advantage of a disturbance in another part of the minimum- and medium-security facility to scale a perimeter fence...

The prisoners were among 419 inmates who were sent to the Newton County Correctional Facility in Newton, Texas, earlier this year...

From the Dallas Morning News: 1 prisoner caught, 1 at large after escape

The pair's escape is just the latest in a string of incidents involving Idaho inmates at the prison run by Geo Group Inc., based in Boca Raton, Fla. Idaho officials have traveled repeatedly to the former county jail in Newton to scrutinize the operation.

On April 7, six Idaho inmates complained of abuse, and one supervisor was fired while another guard was demoted after an investigation. On May 30, another inmate was doused with pepper spray. And last weekend, 85 Idaho inmates staged a strike, demanding butter for rolls, more TV channels and cheaper prices at the prison commissary.

Idaho corrections officials who have been to the Texas facility said it doesn't have the amenities of prisons in Idaho. It meets Idaho requirements, but "it's a very different cultural atmosphere than Idaho," said Jones, adding that disgruntled inmates unhappy with the move to Texas are one cause of the incidents...

The same damned facility: that privatizing prisons policy is working out really well for Idaho. How do you like this "money-saving" for-profit gulag archipelago now?

And the escapee out of Twin Falls County? He was my client. Suerte, Orlando.

Update: a local angle from the Beaumont, Texas Enterprise, Manhunt scours Newton County woods

Update: via Sean at Objective=Justice, the ACLU of Idaho is speaking out

"Inmate frustration and anger is constantly rising," ACLU Executive Director Jack Van Valkenburgh quotes just one of the stack of letters on his desk from irrate Idaho inmates now living at the Newton County Correctional Facility in Texas. "And the majority of the population expresses their anger, disappointment and frustration at the setting they find themselves forced to live in."

Go, Jack Van V.!