Official neglect in Mississippi: A cautionary tale for Arkansas | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Official neglect in Mississippi: A cautionary tale for Arkansas

Posted By on Sun, Jun 8, 2014 at 8:10 AM

click to enlarge screen_shot_2014-06-08_at_8.08.30_am.png

Many in Arkansas are cheering the state's political evolution to be more like Mississippi in Republican control. That may be inevitable. But I hope it comes with fewer of the predictable side effects.

Eat breakfast before reading the New York Times account of gruesome conditions in the privately run Mississippi prison for inmates with mental illness. 

The 1,362-bed facility is one of five private prisons in the state system; Mississippi, like other states, has turned to private operators to cut costs. But advocacy groups that oppose the trend say the for-profit companies often economize at the expense of inmate and public safety. They point to private prisons in several states that have had problems with violence, abuse or escapes that official reports attributed to understaffing, lax security and poorly trained corrections officers.

Arkansas once turned down that road, then reversed course after problems of its own with private operators. The economy inevitably proves illusory. In the meanwhile, public officials are insulated from inhumane treatment and other failures of their contractors. It's a message that resonates beyond prisons, be it health insurance, education or many other endeavors. Public programs are too important be farmed out beyond ready accountability. And it's a pipe dream to believe that a private operator hoping to earn a healthy profit margin is going to produce a better service for less without shorting someone.

The video above comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU, which have filed a federal lawsuit over conditions in Mississippi.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • 'Million-Dollar Thursday': A visit to Sherwood's hot check court

    We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016
  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation