Having worked in the Psycholgical Services Department of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for 18 years, I can attest to the disastrous effects of housing inmates out of state. Wednesday’s opinion letter in the ADN from writers Kevin McGee and Veri di Suvero was most accurate.
In the late 1990s, I witnessed the mental anguish imposed on inmates when they were bused hundreds of miles away from their families and other support systems. Then, after years spent in some backward for-profit prison, staffed by minimally trained, minimum-waged, non-caring staff, these same prisoners returned to their home state with even more emotional scars and feelings of hopelessness than when they were originally incarcerated.
Please don’t think for a second that for-profit prisons provide even minimally adequate medical and psychological services. Don’t believe that these for-profit prisons provide adequate release programs and training specific for Alaskans. What they do provide is a source of revenue for greedy investors.
Our new state administration conveniently ignores the facts and histories of other states that lived to regret their failed policies sending prisoners out of state. Reckless decision-making and greed should not be tolerated by the citizens of our great state. All Alaskans will pay the price for this ill-advised policy if it should be enacted.
— Eugene Wall
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