Six Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly filed legislation late last week that would, if enacted into law, forbid private corporations from running detention facilities.
The Georgia General Assembly’s website identifies State Rep. Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville) as the bill’s primary sponsor.
The bill defines detention facilities as prisons, jails, immigration detention centers, parole revocation centers, long-term and short-term youth detention centers, boot camps, and probation detention centers.
Officials with the Georgia Department of Corrections, according to its website, currently have contracts with two private prison companies — CoreCivic and the GEO Corporation.
“Combined, these facilities are contracted to house 7,974 offenders in four private facilities,” according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.
GEO officials did not return The Georgia Star News’ request for comment Monday.
CoreCivic spokeswoman Amanda Gilchrist referred us to The Day 1 Alliance.
The Day 1 Alliance is a trade association that represents the major companies who are involved with contractor-operated detention and corrections spaces.
Day 1 Alliance spokesman Alex Wilkes, in a text Monday said “there is no such thing as a ‘private prison.”
“This bill represents nothing more than a misleading political statement based on a false narrative about the services that contractors provide,” Wilkes wrote.
“Contractors have had a longstanding commitment to providing quality services on behalf of the Georgia Department of Corrections, in accordance with strict contractual requirements and guidelines that dictate all policies, procedures and protocols that must be adhered to in the management of our members’ facilities.”
According to the GDC’s website, the American Correctional Association and also the Medical Association of Georgia have accredited CoreCivic and the GEO Corporation.
“GDC has a full-time Private Prison Monitor onsite at each private facility overseeing operations to ensure that all contract conditions are met and that the facility operates with a continuous focus on sanitation, safety and security,” according to its website.
“Just as in GDC facilities, inmates work on full-time details and are afforded the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of educational classes and counseling programs.”
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