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PLN editor appears on Anderson Cooper 360 re private prison escapees

CNN, Jan. 1, 2010.
PLN editor appears on Anderson Cooper 360 re private prison escapees - CNN 2010

On August 9, 2010, PLN editor Paul Wright appeared on Anderson Cooper's show on CNN (AC360), to discuss private prisons in the context of a recent escape from an MTC-operated facility in Arizona.

A transcript of the show, which is available at the following link; Paul's comments are indicated by "[PW]":

00:08:42 They're on the run, they won't go lightly, that's what a marshall says about this pair, John McCluskey and Cassalynn Mae Welsh.
00:08:56 She threw tools over the fence helping him and tracy province escape.
00:09:03 Province has been captured today near Yellowstone National Park.
00:09:10 McCluskey AND Welch are believed to be driving a gray Nissan Sentra.
00:09:17 Accomplice charges have been announced against McCluskey's mother and ex-wife.
00:09:27 The search area extends all the way to Canada.
00:09:29 Up close tonight, the spotlight is on the privately run prison they broke out of.
00:09:39 Former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes.
00:09:41 Let me start with you, tom, what does a manhunt like this look like on the ground?
00:09:46 Where do you think it is at this point?
00:09:50 One of the first steps is to look at family members to see if the fugitives attempt to link up with a family member to obtain money and assistance, and that's exactly what you have here with McCluskey going to his mother and getting some undisclosed amount of funds from her, the difficulty that creates, investigators also try to determine are they using credit cards, where is the locations where those cards were used, say to obtain gasoline or bus tickets or train tickets or some other funding.
00:10:21 And so if they have cash in hand that eliminates that electronic trail until they run out of it.
00:10:29 It also will create the problem of when they run out of funding, acts of violence to continue having vehicles, having the ability to move around.
00:10:37 These folks broke out of a privately run prison.
00:10:42 Are privately run prisons less well controlled?
00:10:45 Are they easier to break out of?
00:10:48 [PW]: Yes, actually the 20-plus year history of the private prison history has been significantly unsafer than federal run prisons.
00:10:54 Why?
00:10:56 [PW]: Because the whole model is premised on cutting costs.
00:11:00 [PW]: The biggest expense is the staffing.
00:11:07 [PW]: One of the ways private prison companies cut the costs, they understaff their prisons, pay their employees less, give them little in the way of benefits, which leads to high staff turnover.
00:11:18 [PW]: They have less employees that are less well trained and less of them.
00:11:23 [PW]: And this case is just another in a long history of escapes, murders and other incidents that endanger public safety, that's been the calling card of the industry.
00:11:37 These two compare themselves to Bonnie and Clyde.
00:11:40 Why is that significant?
00:11:42 The reason that would matter, if they truly believe that, Bonnie and Clyde wanted to be notorious, they wanted to kill people and be known for being violent, for being dangerous and being famous.
00:11:56 As opposed to, an escape where they're trying to escape by stealth and sneak away, sneak out of state, sneak out of the country if they can undetected, the Bonnie and Clyde if that's true, not just something that McCluskey hyped himself with, it would be significant.
00:12:11 Yeah, I'm not sure how he would know that information unless it's something that came from the other two.
00:12:17 Certainly they would have tried to get as much information.
00:12:22 Do we know if the two who were apprehended are talk something.
00:12:24 We don't know.
00:12:25 We know they will be looking for his cooperation to see who McCluskey may be in contact with.
00:12:34 Should criminals with violent records be held in private prisons?
00:12:39 [PW]: I think the better solution is eliminate the private prison industry.
00:12:44 [PW]: This is not the first time we've had an experiment with private prisons, private prisons have been around for a long time.
00:12:50 [PW]: They were abolished in the 1920s basically over public outrage, corruption.
00:12:57 [PW]: Incidents like this that endanger public safety.
00:13:03 [PW]: They made a comeback in the 1980s, and we're seeing that time after time after time public safety is endangered.
00:13:06 [PW]: What we have here is a case of [private] profit, public safety is at risk.
00:13:10 [PW]: Families like the Haas', who were murdered when these people escaped from prison.
00:13:17 [PW]: That's the type of thing that endangers public safety.
00:13:19 [PW]: Prisoners are also at risk.
00:13:21 [PW]: These [private] prisons have much higher rates of assaults, murders and escapes that endanger everyone.
00:13:27 [PW]: This business model is one where profit and fiduciary duty of the company is to their shareholders, not to the taxpayers that pay their salaries, unlike the FBI or public prisons where they do have a duty to the public.