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USA: Experts urge Hawai'i govt. to secure prisoners' safety & other human rights protections in contract with private prison firm CCA

"Experts: Act Now To Improve The Contract With An Arizona Prison"

Hawaii’s dependency on for-profit prisons on the mainland shows no signs of waning.  Within weeks, if not days, the Hawaii Department of Public Safety is expected to award a new contract to continue housing hundreds of the state’s excess prisoners on the mainland for up to five more years with Corrections Corporation of America — the sole bidder.

Hawaii has little choice but to ink the contract with CCA, despite a history of problems at the company’s Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona — including the murders of three Hawaii prisoners and other legal troubles.  But some experts caution...[that] the state should take this golden opportunity to negotiate for new conditions...to better guard against contract violations...[and] to guarantee the safety of prisoners.  [Cites experts Shahrzad Habibi of In the Public Interest; Michele Deitch of Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at Univ. of Texas; Caroline Isaacs of American Friends Service Committee, Justin Jones, a former director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Carrie Ann Shirota, of Open Society FoundationsDaniel Gluck of American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii]

Marc Yamamoto, [of] the [Hawai'i] Department of Public Safety..., declined to comment for this story.

To be sure, the state’s current contract...isn’t entirely toothless...[It] follows best practices by spelling out the “scope of services” that CCA is required to provide [including prisoners' rights and grievance mechanisms].