Opposed to a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia. —John S. Quarterman, et al.

A private prison in Lowndes County would be a bad business decision: it would not increase employment, it would be likely to close because of lack of “customers”, and it would drive away knowledge-based workers. The letter I read to the Industrial Authority Board and Staff Tuesday on behalf of some members of the community sumarizes appended documentation of all those and other points.

If you’d also like to sign, I’m still collecting signatures, and will periodically drop off more signed copies. Or, even better, write your own letter and send it to the Industrial Authority. Submit it to this blog and we’ll probably publish it.

Here’s the video:

Opposed to a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia. —John S. Quarterman
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Norman Bennett, Tom Call, Roy Copeland chairman, Mary Gooding, Jerry Jennett,
Andrea Schruijer Executive Director, J. Stephen Gupton attorney, Allan Ricketts Project Manager,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 18 October 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Text of the letter is appended; follow the link for the documentation.


To the Board of Directors of the
Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority,

We the undersigned are opposed to a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia.

A private prison would not increase employment in Lowndes County. It would not even save the state money. And it would have high risk of closing after or even before it opened, because of escapes and inmate disturbances, and most importantly because the state and federal governments can no longer afford to incarcerate so many people. That would leave us and the state holding the bag for any investment in building it.

Outsourcing public justice for private profit at taxpayer expense is not only bad business, we the taxpayers can’t afford to pay for it while public education is under increasing budgetary pressure.

As members of the local community, we do not wish to live in a private prison colony, with the attendant risks of inmate violence and escape, and the accompanying public opprobrium that would drive away the knowledge-based workers we claim to be trying to attract.

Finally, public justice should not be a matter of private profit.

Please find attached documentation for all these points.