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By December 3, 2013 Read More →

Private prison debacle

ccaCorrections Corporation of America has been charged with “criminally understaffing their jails.” This would not be happening if the prison was run by a government agency and the employees were represented by a union or association. So who needs a union? The employees of CCA do.

A for-profit prison company allegedly put an elderly woman in solitary confinement and prevented her from taking her medication, according to a lawsuit filed last month. Carol Lester, a 73-year-old who was serving time in a Corrections Corporation of America facility in New Mexico is suing CCA as well as Corizon, Inc., a private prison health care company.

Lester’s suit alleges that both companies began denying her medication for thyroid cancer shortly after she began her three-year sentence. Lester is serving time for embezzling funds to fuel her gambling addiction.

In addition to denying her proper medication, the suit alleges that the companies gave her medication that she was not prescribed which made her more ill. Despite fainting and a diagnosis of a possible heart condition employees refused to send her to a hospital.

After Lester complained about her treatment a group of state legislators and the head of health services for the New Mexico Department of Corrections came to the prison to speak with her.

It was after that visit that she was prescribed Zantac, an over-the-counter heartburn relief medication that has been known to cause false positive for methamphetamine use.

She then tested positive for methamphetamine and was put in solitary confinement where she alleges she was denied both her thyroid and heart medication.

Lester’s is just one of a huge group of lawsuits currently pending against both CCA and Corizon, Inc.

CCA was recently held in contempt for “criminally understaffing its facilities.” Corizon is also facing legal action including an incident where a prisoner that needed medical attention was allowed to die because Corizon employees decided an ambulance was too expensive.

Corizon Inc generated about one and a half billion dollars in revenue in 2011.

Posted in: The Job

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