Sunday, October 24, 2004

"Cloud-Cuckoo-Land" Proudly Run By Americans

Management and Training Corp. (MTC) is bidding to run prisons in Britain. MTC, and its Director Lane McCotter, were in charge of Iraq's prison system, including Abu Ghraib.

"There is no suggestion that McCotter was personally involved in the abuses at Abu Ghraib, but questions have been raised about whether the culture of the US private penal system influenced the environment that allowed the atrocities to occur.

McCotter, a Vietnam veteran, has a chequered record of running US jails. In 1997 he was forced to resign as a senior prison official in Utah after a scandal surrounding the death of a mentally ill inmate strapped naked to a chair for 16 hours. This year, Schumer wrote to Ashcroft, asking why someone with McCotter's controversial history was sent to Iraq."
Good question. In general, I would like to know more about the set-up of the prisons in Iraq. It is still not clear to me what role civilian contractors played and what their interaction with Army officers entailed.
"Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Mark Oaten expressed concerns that Britain's prison culture could be undermined by the arrival of American firms.

'The government is in cloud-cuckoo-land if it thinks privatising prisons will solve the mess. The problems of suicides, overcrowding and reoffending will not be solved by bringing in a private company from the US.'"
For more information on the US prison system check out Human Rights Watch.