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Canada: MTC defends ACA?

Midland Free Press
October 22, 2004
Letters To The Editor
"MTC defends accreditation"

Dear Editor,

Management and Training Corporation Canada is disappointed The Free Press would print raving inaccuracies from a zealot without, apparently, investigating the source.

I speak of the Oct. 15 'Letter of the Day' written by the executive director of Corrections USA.

In this letter, Brain Dawe of Thayne, Wyoming, offers a litany of fabrications and half-truths in an attempt to undermine a tremendous accomplishment.

Mr. Dawe, on behalf of Corrections USA, attempts to call into question the significance of Central North Correctional Centre's passing of the American Correctional Association (ACA) accreditation audit.

He would have you believe the audit is insignificant. He questions the credibility of ACA.

The credibility of the ACA review is validated by the hard work our CNCC staff put forth preparing for it.

You can ask any CNCC employee whether they felt the audit was insignificant or lacked credibility.

A simple call to ACA would have verified that the organization is a non-profit professional association open to all corrections professionals and agencies.

Its mission is to provide a professional organization for all individuals and groups that share a common goal of improving the justice system.

Standards set by ACA are used as a management tool by more than 1,500 correctional agencies.

On the other hand, a look at the Web site of the organization Mr. Dawe is paid by - Corrections USA- clearly states that its sole purpose for existence is to damage the reputations of privately operated correctional facilities.

The following are excerpts from the organization's 'Prison Privatization Resolution'.

"Therefore be it Resolved, that Corrections USA, and all organizational and individual members have a zero tolerance of prison privatization.

"Resolved, that no private prison guard, employee of a private prison, or supporter of privatization shall ever obtain membership in Corrections USA, or have any affiliation with this organization.

"Resolved, that member organizations of Corrections USA will never represent, or seek to represent, privately employed prison guards.

"Resolved, that Corrections USA will continue to fight prison privatization in communities, states capitols and the U.S. Capitol until the last private facility is closed."

This does not even consider the possibility there might be one single, well-run private correctional facility anywhere in the world.

Honestly, on its face, does this sound logical?

Is our community prepared to accept the notion that Central North Correctional Centre and its more than 300 employees have absolutely no value?

This is the point of view of Corrections USA and similar organizations.

Central North Correctional Centre is not perfect. No correctional facility is.

The internationally recognized ACA audit team was dispatched to CNCC to point out areas where improvements need to be made. CNCC staff is now working to make those few improvements needed.

But in searching for deficiencies, ACA auditors also discovered nearly every aspect of CNCC is well-run.

To have that tremendous accomplishment by our employees - proud citizens of Georgian Bay region - undermined by the rantings of organizations whose goals are to put all private correctional facilities out of business is ridiculous.

Let me close with two final questions:

1. What would motivate an organization to want to destroy an entire industry? I submit it is nothing more than greed. It is well documented that private correctional facilities are more economical than nearly all government-operated facilities.

In short, Corrections USA and similar organizations, want more money for their membership while privatized correctional facilities work to get better results and leave more money available to taxpayers to spend on other community concerns.

2. Why would Corrections USA be so consumed with destroying an industry that currently manages only about five per cent of the world's prison inmates? I submit it is nothing more than economic fear.

As the service and value of privatized corrections is discovered by more governments, perhaps more taxpayers will enjoy the benefits that only a few have now. Come to think of it, that sounds like greed as well.

Management and Training Corporation Canada is proud of the work its employees do within the CNCC facility and throughout the Georgian Bay region.

The irrational claims of Corrections USA and other activist groups will not deter that.

We look forward to continuing our service to this community for years to come.

Peter Mount, communication director
Central North Correctional Centre

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