Kentucky and Vermont did not have inspectors on site at the Lee Adjustment Center in the months before inmates rioted at the privately run Kentucky prison, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. Kentucky Corrections Commissioner John Rees said the state wants an inspector to work at the prison to make sure the Corrections Corporation of America runs it properly. Vermont officials, who had sent more than 400 inmates to the prison, have said inmates had complained of prison conditions, but Rees said an inspector probably could not have prevented the riot. Rees said the cause of the riot is under investigation.
Inmate advocates and prison experts said monitoring at prisons is vital to ensure that privately run facilities maintain proper staffing, educational and counseling services, meals, and medical attention for inmates. “There just is no substitute for having a monitor on staff every day, walking around with a clipboard, noticing what’s happening and what’s not happening, listening to the staff, listening to the prisoners,” said Judy Greene of Justice Strategies, a New York-based nonprofit criminal justice research group.