Federal BOP Ignored Warnings About Private Prison Deaths

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The Nation reports that federal officials for years ignored internal warnings about deaths at private prisons. That conclusion was drawn from a trove of 20,000 pages of previously unreleased monitoring reports, internal investigations and other documents obtained through an open-records lawsuit. The documents show that the federal Bureau of Prisons was repeatedly warned of substandard care in private prisons by its own monitors but failed to act.

In February, The Nation reported that at least 38 men died in the BOP’s privately run prisons from 1998 to 2014 in the wake of inadequate medical care. Newly released files revealed that gravely ill prisoners had been left untreated or relegated to the care of low-level medical workers.

In some facilities, inmates went months without seeing a doctor. Some prisoners who required emergency care were not transferred to a hospital, in an apparent attempt to save costs. The new records show that BOP monitors documented the deaths of 34 inmates between January 2007 and June 2015 who were provided substandard medical care, including 14 at prisons run by Corrections Corporation of America and 15 in prisons operated by the GEO Group.

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