In August of 2016, the Justice Department announced that it would not be signing any more contracts to house federal prisoners or immigration detainees in private prisons. In recent years, the private prison industry has been booming. Today it is a multi-billion dollar industry that houses well over 100,000 inmates.
Originally designed to be a money saving measure, the Justice Department concluded that private prisons are less safe, more punitive and often don’t save much money. State run prisons, while often inefficient, have as their goals rehabilitation and protection of the public. Private prisons want to make money and if that means keeping prisoners longer or cutting back on services, so be it.
Even in state run facilities, inmate healthcare is often privatized. Today that means that most inmate healthcare has been relegated to private vendors.
Our investigations have revealed that private prison companies sometimes don’t maintain staffing as required by contract, cut corners and fail to deliver educational and substance abuse services. That means inmates when they are released are more likely to reoffend.
One jail official tells us that private prison healthcare means that inexperienced nurses are being forced to treat hundreds of inmates even though contracts call for better staffing and on site physicians.
Even though private prisons are being phased out at the federal level, they remain a fixture in about half the states. And federal whistleblower laws allow us to bring claims for events up to 6 years ago.
If you have information about fraud involving private prisons or prison healthcare, give us a call. We have helped our whistleblower clients receive over $100 million in awards. Big companies that are supplying these services include the GEO Group (Wackenhut), Corrections Corporation of America, Community Education Centers and Corizon.