Hawaii will remove its 168 female inmates from a privately run Kentucky prison because of charges of sexual abuse by guards, the New York Times reports. Forty inmates were returned to Hawaii on Aug. 17. This month, Hawaii officials traveled to Kentucky to investigate accusations that inmates at the Otter Creek Correctional Center in Wheelwright had been sexually assaulted by the prison staff.
Otter Creek is run by the Corrections Corporation of America, and and is one of several private, for-profit prisons, mainly in the South, that have been the focus of investigations over issues like abusive conditions and wrongful deaths. Housing a female inmate in Hawaii costs $86 a day, compared with $58.46 a day at the Kentucky prison. Four corrections officials at the prison have been convicted in recent years of having sex with inmates. Kentucky is one of only a handful of states where it is a misdemeanor rather than a felony for a prison guard to have sex with an inmate says the federal National Institute of Corrections.