The results of a surprise inspection of the Lake Erie Correctional Institution (LECI) were released yesterday and they provide further evidence of what we already knew:  Kasich’s decision to sell the facility to private prison operator CCA  (the former employer of Kasich’s Corrections Director) was an amazingly bad idea.

Privatization of the facility under Corrections Corporation of America has lead to serious violations, safety issues for inmates and employees, an increase in drug use and crime in and around the prison and a dramatic increase in calls to local law enforcement.  We’ve discussed the big problems again and again here at Plunderbund.

According to the key findings of the latest inspection:

  • Inmate-on-inmate assaults increased by 187.5% from 2010 to 2012
  • Inmate-on-staff assaults increased by 305.9% for the same time period
  • Fights increased by more than 40% from 2011 to 2012
  • Disturbances doubled in comparison to prior years
  • Between 2010 and 2012 total uses of force increased by 24.1% and Use of chemical agents increased by 127.3%.
  • In the prior six months, 6.7% of inmates tested positive which is higher than the DRC average
  • An inmate recently died from a suspected overdose of an illegal substance (heroin)

It’s time for the Kasich administration to finally admit that their prison privatization experiment has been a failure. Privatization has put the prison staff and the local community at risk. It is time to return LECI to state control.

  • As a former ODRC employee (laid off Parole Officer), we predicted this. When you lay off all of the CO’s, make them reapply for their jobs at less pay (many lost rank), and hire people who are not dedicated to their work, this is what happens. CCA is running at less than required staff. A corrections officer has one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. All they want to do is serve and get home to their families every day. The whole thing is a travesty.

  • Rita, first the Prisons, Next it will be the Turnpike (by outsourcing) then he will have his way with the Teachers Union, and every other Union because there will be not a public sector union left with to Bargin or to pay his overbloated taxes. Just take a look at what he and his Republicans have done to the Ohio Pension System, Need I say More?

  • Steve Owen

    We’re proud of the work CCA has done together with the Ohio Department of Corrections (ODRC) to provide inmates at the Lake Erie Correctional Institution (LaECI) with safe, secure housing and quality rehabilitation programming at a significant savings to taxpayers.

    In reviewing last week’s progress report from the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC) – which takes a nearly 3-year statistical review of the prison’s operations, spanning different facility operators and significant shifts in inmate behavioral across the entire Ohio correctional system – it is worth noting recent facts that speak to the current level of safety and security at the facility:

    The facility is more secure.
    – Since assuming ownership and management of the facility, CCA has made significant security upgrades to LaECI at the company’s expense.
    – These enhancements, which are ongoing, include adding and upgrading security cameras throughout the facility and adding or upgrading security fencing.

    Gang activity is down.
    – According to ODRC data, overall gang activity at Lake Erie decreased from 20.6% in January 2012 to 16.5% in January 2013
    – In January 2012, ODRC classified 21 gang members as disruptive at Lake Erie. However, only 4 were labeled disruptive in January 2013

    Criminal incidents are down at the facility.
    – The Ohio State Patrol, the agency responsible for criminal investigations at LaECI, recently reported that the number of incidents was down in 2012 compared to previous years.
    – While attempts to introduce contraband into correctional facilities is a nationwide challenge, Lake Erie management and staff have worked closely with local and state law enforcement officials with positive results that include thwarting attempts and successfully arresting and prosecuting those individuals.

    We are pleased CIIC inspectors found our facility to be clean with minimal need for maintenance. As the progress report also notes, CCA has worked very closely with the CIIC and ODRC to develop a thorough plan of action (POA). ODRC officials have reviewed and approved our POA, and noted substantial completion or progress already made to date. Late last year, both a re-inspection by the ODRC and an extensive audit from the independent American Correctional Association (ACA), in which the facility earned a 99.06%, confirmed our commitment to ensuring that LaECI is operating at the highest quality.

    We will continue to work with the ODRC and CIIC to meet any inspection-related goals that are slated for completion, and we remain committed to providing the best service possible for our government partners and the taxpayers they serve.

    About CCA Lake Erie Correctional Institution

    LaECI is a 1,800-bed, multi-security facility owned and operated by CCA. The facility houses male inmates for the ODRC. Based on CCA’s ownership of LaECI in 2012, CCA will contribute nearly $1.2-million in tax revenue, with more than half of that going to the Conneaut Area Consolidated School District and the Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus.

    Steve Owen
    Senior Director, Public Affairs – CCA

  • So, as a Public Affairs officer for CCA, the company you work for, are saying that your statistics are correct and that the figures stated above are incorrect??? Imagine that……

  • soccer dad

    Todd don’t listen to these Nazis and their propaganda! They are vultures! I went through the privatization and its a dangerous place! Nothing will change as long as pockets are getting fatter….until something significant happens. Its just a matter of time. I hope and pray one of my brothers in gray don’t get hurt or worse before all this goes down! Their blood is on kasicks hands! People of Ohio need to stand up to this and see through the lies before its to late! The job we do is dangerous and stressful! But we do it, we get into those trenches every day risking our personal safety so that the people of Ohio can rest easy knowing that we have these maggots off the streets so that Ohio can be safe for our children. We are not money mongers! I do this job every day and struggle to make ends meet like everyone else! So before you judge a state c/o (correction officer) make sure you thank him for keeping the worst criminal offenders, sex offenders, home invaders, murders, locked up where they should be so the public can be safe. These private prisons do not care about yours, or my saftety, they care about money. The peoples hard earned dollar going into the pockets of these (for profit prisons) by the way Ohio…Utah, and Tennessee thank us because every dollar we give them goes to those states because that’s where these companies are from…you think you are saving money? These companies take their profits out of Ohio and the money is going to MTC (Utah) and CCA (Tennessee). Think Ohio…for our sake don’t sell off your state any more.

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