- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A state employees association wants Tennessee to phase out the use of private prisons in light of a decision by the U.S. Justice Department to end its contracts with private operators for federal prisons.

Tennessee State Employee Association President Bryan Merritt says state workers do a great job managing prisons, while private operators provide inferior service, less safety and security and debatable savings.

Merritt said in a news release that “last week’s Department of Justice decision to reduce, and ultimately end, its use of private prisons should have Tennessee considering taking similar action.”

Tennessee Department of Correction Commissioner Tony Parker responded that the state is satisfied with the services provided by private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America.

The private prison operator has 85 facilities in the country, including its national headquarters and eight other locations in Tennessee. The CCA also runs four state prisons, along with jails in Nashville and Chattanooga.

Parker’s statement said these private facilities “are held to the same high-standards” as all the state-managed facilities.


Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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