The Kentucky Department of Corrections announced November 16 the reopening of the Lee Adjustment Center, a private prison facility citing “aging facilities and a growing inmate population.” The facility will be managed by CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).  Kentucky stopped using private prisons earlier this decade after sex abuse and mismanagement at CCA’s Kentucky facilities.

Kate Miller, ACLU of Kentucky Advocacy Director, had this comment:

“There’s no question Kentucky has to do something about overcrowding in jails.  In the face of this challenge, the Justice & Public Safety Cabinet is now reopening one of Kentucky’s private prisons, with a warning that projections show more spending on private prisons will be necessary unless the General Assembly adopts justice reforms in 2018.  We urge lawmakers to move swiftly to adopt research-based, proven strategies that will reduce jail time for low-risk, nonviolent offenders and reform outdated mandatory minimum policies that have pushed the corrections budget and inmate population off the charts.  We’re moving back to a system of private corrections that didn’t work in the Commonwealth because inmates were abused and resources mismanaged.  While the Department of Corrections is promising stricter terms in their contract with CoreCivic, we encourage rigorous public oversight of their operations.”