Kentucky plans to make the private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), rich off of taxpayer money by locking up aging and sick people. This new prison plan will fill a CCA prison that closed after prisoners were relocated due to horrendous sexual assault allegations and penal reforms.
Despite the fact that Kentucky kicked CCA out of their state mere months ago, they are allowing the company to fill this empty prison to operate as an “assisted living and nursing facility.” Kentucky’s Department of Corrections has made it clear that this is not an initiative they requested or are behind.
So if the Department of Corrections did not request this facility, why is CCA — a for-profit PRISON company — getting involved with the “care” of the elderly and sick? It turns out that by reframing what is actually a geriatric prison as an “assisted living and/or nursing facility,” CCA can cash in on Medicaid reimbursements just like a hospital or nursing home. This means that they will be paid twice for imprisoning the elderly and sick -- once from the Kentucky Department of Corrections and again through Medicaid.
CCA has a history of abuse, human rights violations, and deaths in their prisons. So why are they being allowed to make double profits on the backs of vulnerable sick people, while other states are embracing policies that release the elderly from prisons? In fact, after the age of 50, people are significantly less likely to commit a crime. Carl Takei of the ACLU points to research that shows arrest rates drop to just over 2% at the age of 50 and are nearly 0% at age 65.
Does it make sense to inflict harm on those who pose no threat to society, while charging taxpayers double and making CCA shareholders rich? Kentucky kicked CCA out once. It's time to get this abuse-for-profit company out of Kentucky for good.