Private prison companies strive to provide safe, humane facilities

To the Editor:

In “Groups Clamor for Divestment from Prison Company” (12/2), Tyler Hill describes a protest of the Yale endowments investment in Corrections Corporation of America.

Debate is healthy — especially when it is based on facts. Here are a few:

1. Private-prison operators have no say whatever in the racial make-up of offenders in their custody.

2. The length of a prison stay is determined by the judge and jury. The prison operator has no influence on either.

3. The legislature prescribes the length of sentence ranges, and private prison operators never lobby them on that issue.

4. Private prisons are subject to more audits, inspections and reviews than any publicly operated prison.

5. Most private prisons have state or federally paid monitors on site every day.

6. Forty-four percent of private prisons have attained the rigorous American Corrections Association accreditation, while only 10 percent of publicly operated prisons have that distinction.

The Association of Private Correctional and Treatment Organizations supports, and more importantly, provides, safe, secure, humane care and custody of inmates with a focus on treatment, education and rehabilitation.

Michael LoBue

Dec. 5, 2005

The writer is the executive director of APCTO.

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