Industrial Authority Executive Director Andrea Schruijer told me to expect their board to say something at their 2PM Thursday board meeting about the private prison Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) wants to build on US 84 at Perimeter Road. If they don’t give CCA another extension, the contract expires March 13th.You may recognize the wording from the petition. You can always write your own letter with your own reasons.
There’s still time to contact them, (229) 259-9972. Or go to their board meeting at 101 North Ashley Street, 2PM Thursday February 23rd.
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.
John S. Quarterman
lives in Lowndes County