New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

November 30, 2013

Privatizing county jail puts profit over safety

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

I was a former employee at Lawrence County Corrections for 11 years when I married and moved away, therefore resigning.

During my time there, I developed lifelong friendships with my former co-workers.

The entire facility always has been county operated. No jail can become a profitable jail without risking some security. How can it be logical for a county to consider basically giving a corporation the right to oversee daily operations and operational costs of the county jail?

What budget cuts are they looking for and at whose cost? I am sure any educated taxpayer understands that private prisons are about cutbacks. Now I must ask which is better: Having a secure facility or having a “tightly” budgeted jail saving a few cents? What is worth public safety?

I am in shock that elected officials even are considering this huge change without consulting the taxpayers. After all, isn’t it the taxpayers who not only elect but pay their salaries?

I wish all my former coworkers the best of luck, and if common sense is applied at all, the county jail will continue to be run by the county and not some for-profit private jail corporation.

Stephanie Gill

McVeytown, Pa

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