Conneaut: Lake Erie prison gets security, safety check

3:06 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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CONNEAUT -- State prison officials in Ohio are visiting the lakeshore prison that became the nation's first privately owned state prison last year to see whether dozens of safety, health and security issues uncovered in a recent audit have been fixed.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America was rebuked by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for conditions identified in a September audit of Lake Erie Correctional Facility.

The management review found mildew in showers, an unmarked urine specimen on a desk, and general conditions where both staff and inmates reported feeling unsafe.

Prisons department spokeswoman JoEllen Culp said state officials were re-auditing the facility Wednesday and Thursday.

CCA took over the prison on New Year's Eve in a deal worth $73 million. A spokesman said CCA will fix the problems.

CCA also oversees another federal prison facility in Ohio -- the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center -- on Hubbard Road in Youngstown.

That is the facility where both former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and his driver Michael Gabor were taken when the jury convicted them on March.

Both were moved from NOCC early this fall.

As a full-service corrections management provider, CCA specializes in the design, construction, expansion and management of prisons, jails and detention facilities, as well as inmate transportation services through its subsidiary company TransCor America.

The company is the fifth-largest corrections system in the nation, behind only the federal government and three states.

CCA houses more than 80,000 inmates in more than 60 facilities, 44 of which are company-owned, with a total bed capacity of more than 90,000.

CCA currently partners with all three federal corrections agencies -- the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 16 states, more than a dozen local municipalities, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

WKYC-TV/The Associated Press

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