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McNally to CCA: Why wasn’t city told of prison incident as it occurred?



Published: Fri, August 15, 2014 @ 12:04 a.m.

Mayor to meet with CCA officials

By Burton Speakman

bspeakman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Mayor John A. McNally is meeting today with representatives from Corrections Corporation of America to talk about the company’s obligation to report information to the city in “unusual events.”

McNally said he certainly thinks the event, which started about 2 p.m. Tuesday and continued to 4 a.m. Wednesday, in which 140 inmates at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center on Hubbard Road refused to leave the prison yard in protest, qualifies as an unusual event.

CCA, based in Tennessee, owns NEOCC, and is one of two privately owned prisons in the state.

The city found out about the incident when the aunt of an inmate at NEOCC contacted the police department, and the department contacted the prison.

“The way things happened isn’t the way it’s supposed to happen,” McNally said. “We want to remind CCA of their obligations to the city under the terms of the agreement.”

It’s especially important to do this now with a new police chief and law director, the mayor added. The agreements have been in place for 12 or 13 years, he said.

After the meeting, McNally said he believes “the city will receive the type of notification it should from CCA in the future.”

The notification issue hasn’t come up because there haven’t been major issues at the prison, he said.

Up to this point, CCA representatives have declined to provide an explanation for the inmates’ refusal to leave the prison yard.

State Rep. Robert Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, said the prison is investigating the incident.

Hagan is a member of the Ohio General Assembly’s Correctional Institution Inspection Committee.

Hagan went to the prison Wednesday and attempted to speak with the inmates but was rebuffed so he wouldn’t interfere with the prison’s investigation.

The American Civil Liberties Union is working against attempts by CCA to secure a new federal contract to house inmates at the prison. The pact expires May 15, 2015.

Mike Brickner from the ACLU in Cleveland said the organization has been made aware of issues at the penal institutions, including a lack of programming for inmates, little training for staff, poor food and a lack of understanding of the rules by both inmates and staff.


Comments

1Tex(13 comments)posted 4 months ago

If memory serves, when six inmates, including four murderers, escaped from this prison, staff failed to notice they'd gone out through the fence. It wasn't until an inmate brought it to their attention that they woke from their siesta.

Then, rather than notifying law enforcement, CCA tried to capture the long gone prisoners itself, sending guards out to the surrounding woods like beaters on a wild game safari.

At that point, it was claimed, another inmate got hold of a phone and called 911 to raise an alarm about the departures. When the sheriff's deputies arrived, CCA searchers told them, rather than admitting the escapes, that they were conducting a drill.

It took a month before the fugitives were all rounded up, the last one in northwest New York state.

So, this week's failure to notify police about the problem was apparently hardly anything new.

Suggest removal:

2thirtyninedollars(319 comments)posted 4 months ago

Are you kidding telling anyone would affect their bottom line. They can't afford to pay the city or state to send in backup to help them.

Suggest removal:


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