The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 30, 2012

ACLU seeks probe of Conneaut prison

Recent death sparks request for investigation into problems

(Continued)

CONNEAUT —

On Thursday, Brickner — in a phone conversation — said the state had not yet responded to the ACLU’s call for action. The OHP is already investigating the inmate’s death and Brickner is hoping the probe will expand “more broadly.”

“The ACLU will continue to monitor these issues” to safeguard inmates, prison employees and the community, he said.

Earlier this week, CCA spokesman Steve Owen said the company works hard to clamp down on drugs and other contraband in its prisons. In a statement issued Thursday, Owen also disputed UCLA’s claims regarding private prisons.

“The ACLU continues to play politics with unfounded opinions, refusing to acknowledge the extensive evidence of partnership prisons’ positive contributions,” Owen said in the statement. “The simple truth is that CCA provides safe, affordable and dependable solutions to governments that face the very real and practical challenges of growing inmate populations, overcrowding, high recidivism rates and increasing budget pressures.”

ODNR officials could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

The CCA obtained the prison at the start of the 2012. It is the first state-built prison ever sold to a private security company. The LaECI houses an estimated 1,800 minimum- and medium-security inmates.

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