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Myth and Reality with Core Civic Contract

Let's see if I understand this. My taxes just went up 17%, and the BOCC is giving a discount to a company that makes millions of dollars ($188 million) in profits and has failed to fulfill its contractual obligations.

This group had three people die under their "supervision." The Citrus jail has one of the highest death rates in the nation because CoreCivic fails to staff correctly. If the jail can't get more employees, perhaps they should pay more out of their high profits.

CoreCivic does not comply with several sections of their contract. The contract requires them to provide a law library. Instead, they insist inmates purchase "tablets" for access to the free law library, and if you don't have money to buy a tablet, there is no law library for you. I wonder if CoreCivic will make a profit on the tablets?

The contract requires CoreCivic to have a general library so inmates can read in their spare time. And inmates have lots of extra time. The jail has 700-plus inmates, and fewer than 70 attend once-weekly rehabilitation or education programs. There is nothing else to do. They sit in their cages, waiting to tell a judge their story. Most of these inmates are waiting for a court appearance. They have not been convicted of any crime.

As for the general library? CoreCivic responds to a FOIA request: "The facility stores general reading books in the chapel, and inmates can sign out books through the chaplain." That is not a library; it's a storeroom. When asked about the library, the County said they don't know if one exists.

I respect Josh Wooten when he said all companies have staffing issues, and CoreCivic is "working diligently to correct that problem." I understand him.

However, who says they are working diligently? I have yet to see an ad in our local paper. I've seen nothing on the radio or local TV. Wooten didn't share CoreCivic's recruitment strategy if one exists. They have posted their jobs on their website, but why would a company be aggressive in hiring when it can save money by paying fines, rather than hiring?

I guess paying the fines is far cheaper than hiring extra people to keep the inmates safe.

Thomas Mitchell


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