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Attorneys warn citizens to be wary of CCA prison



Published: Wed, August 15, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Attorneys warn citizens to be wary of CCA prison

EDITOR:

The last inmate was shipped out of NOCC on July 12. The prison is down but it may not be out. CCA is shopping for new contracts. If the company returns to Youngstown with more inmates the city must continue its present practice of monitoring the prison very closely. Why? Because CCA cannot be trusted to run a safe prison without stringent monitoring. We know. Two of our clients were murdered, 20 stabbed and six escaped before Youngstown and the federal court finally forced the company to abide by professional standards.

The city of Youngstown joined the inmates in our lawsuit and forced changes at NOCC that required the prison to be safe and fully staffed and to make sure CCA removed all inmates who were maximum security from the medium security facility.

The Youngstown Agreement is a model contract for every city in America to use whenever CCA comes to town. If a private prison operator will abide by the terms of the Youngstown Agreement, then they should be welcomed into the community. CCA did abide by the terms of the Youngstown Agreement. Youngstown had an independent monitor at NOCC everyday to make sure CCA was in compliance with the Youngstown Agreement. And they were. There were some problems over the years, but never anything that necessitated court intervention.

The people of Youngstown, whether employees at NOCC or its neighbors, were well served by the Youngstown Agreement. Make sure the Youngstown Agreement is never watered down. CCA tried to make changes to the Youngstown Agreement a few months ago. Some of those changes were dangerous: allowing the NOCC warden to "override" an inmate's security status by calling a maximum security inmate a "medium" security inmate; sending inmates to NOCC without enough advance notice and paperwork so Youngstown can verify that the inmate is truly a "medium," and housing male and female inmates at NOCC.

Classification of inmates is the key to safety. Preserve all terms that help the city guarantee that only medium security inmates return to NOCC. You should be proud of the Youngstown Agreement and make sure it remains in full force. Let us learn from the murders, stabbings and escapes -- hold fast to the terms and do not compromise safety in order to bring back those prison jobs.

ALPHONSE A. GERHARDSTEIN

JENNIFER L. BRANCH

Cincinnati

X The writers are counsel for the inmate class In Re NOCC.

LTV concerns retiree

EDITOR:

I'm writing this letter to the editor to let you know what's going on with LTV.

I believe that there is a conflict of interest involved between LTV and their consulting firm. There is (or was) a gentleman working for both LTV and their consultants. I believe that this is a conflict of interest.

Also, according to the tentative agreement, they are leaving our pensions up to the government. The government may cut our pensions.

The premium on our medical coverage is to be paid for out of a trust fund. Paying for our prescriptions is to be changed from paying $2 - $5 - $10 to a percentage of the prescriptions.

SAMUEL SHAPIRO

Youngstown




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