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More voices against privatizing jail.

Jun 22, 6:18 PM
Alcatraz, Inc.

Privatization is only an option to study

A recent FLORIDA TODAY editorial misleadingly said I have "suggested Brevard County consider alleviating its jail problem through privatization."

Not true. What I did say was "If it works and saves the taxpayers money -- then it's OK with me."

As chairman of the county's Public Safety Coordinating Council, I requested a representative of a private corrections company to make a brief presentation to the council.

The council then asked the jail study consultant to include privatization as part of their study.

The community has a right to have various options with potential savings as well as costs fully explored. That is how you really look out for the taxpayers.

FLORIDA TODAY should know better than to condemn something before all information is evaluated and presented.

Ron PritchardCounty Commissioner
Merritt Island

Profiting from jails is basically immoral

It's immoral or downright wrong to profit from another's tradgedy.

Corrections Corp. of America, which runs privatized jails and prisons, is a publicly held company.

Imagine: Investors in suits down in the pits of the New York Stock Exchange are speculating on whether human beings will break the law, so that investors can make a gain a profit.

It is OK to bet on soybean futures, but not on human lives.

If the private sector rather than government can perform this task better, then it should take over control -- but on a nonprofit basis.

CCA has been around for many years, but recent reports on the idea that they could take over management of inmates at the Brevard County jail brings out the darker side of capitalism.

What a future for our grandchildren.

Charles Boyle
Melbourne Beach

Put trained deputies on corrections duty

A disaster is waiting to happen in the Brevard County jail, with some of the most experienced correction officers serving meaningless suspensions.

The need for the remaining corrections officers to work overtime has reached dangerous levels.

Officers are routinely working several 12-hour days each week. This could be deadly for all concerned.

The time clearly has come for Sheriff Phil Williams to take some of the many regular deputies who also are certified in corrections off patrols and put them to work at the jail.

At $35 an hour, for overtime hours, this solution also would offer a cost savings.

Eric Ellebracht

Corporate prisons want more inmates

The privatization of our jails shows corporate greed at its worst.

That's why I must respond to the half truths and distortions presented by Steve Owen, a Corrections Corporation of America spokesman, who recently wrote a letter to the paper.

He mentioned that government has been partnering with corrections companies for 20 years. He failed to mention that our prison population has exploded in the last 20 years. He also didn't say that his industry supports the politicians who initiated the three-strikes-and-you're-out laws in many states, as well as the politicians who insist on keeping the unnecessary drug war going.

Increasing the prison population is the only way their profits can grow.

When he talks about how his industry will save taxpayers' money, he didn't say that drug treatment is many times cheaper than the few percentage points his industry might save us.

We have a larger percentage of our population in prison than any other nation in the world. The majority are nonviolent offenders.

Corrections Corporation of America is a cause of our prison population explosion, not the solution.

Tripp Spring
Indian Harbour Beach!NEWSROOM/opedstory0623WJAILLETS.htm

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