OOPS: Private Prison Forced to Close by Biden Admin, No Place to Put Inmates

A private prison is struggling to find facilities to take in nearly 800 inmates before its contract with the federal government expires in three months, Cleveland.com reported.

CoreCivic operates the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, Ohio, through a contract with the U.S. Marshals Service that expired Sunday, Cleveland.com reported. The company received a three-month extension while it weighs options for current detainees, but it doesn’t expect the contract to be renewed beyond then.

There are “no safe or logistically viable alternatives for the Marshals Service,” CoreCivic said in a statement, Cleveland.com reported.

Since the early 2000s, CoreCivic has contracted with the U.S. Marshals Service to house inmates awaiting trial or sentencing in Youngstown, Akron and Cleveland, Cleveland.com reported.

Inmates were previously held at county and city jails that received federal funding through local budgets, according to Cleveland.com.

The Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, a private prison facility, has performed a majority of the pretrial detention services for federal courts in the area and is one of three private facilities that contracts with the state government, Cleveland.com reported.

“The President’s Executive Order of Jan. 26, 2021, regarding the use of private prisons, is currently under review by the U.S. Marshals Service, in close coordination with the Department of Justice,” U.S. Marshals Spokesperson Lynzey Donahue told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The marshals service declined to answer any specific questions related to the executive order.

President Joe Biden directed the Department of Justice to phase out contracts with privately-operated prisons on Jan. 26, the Associated Press reported. Over 14,000 inmates of the 152,000 who are federally incarcerated are being held in private detention facilities.

“This is a first step to stop corporations from profiting off of incarceration,” Biden said, the AP reported.

Officials are reportedly concerned that there may not be enough detention beds available to relocate inmates in northeast Ohio, according to Cleveland.com. The Northeast Ohio Correctional Center also holds around 850 people from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

“There are concerns about our ability to effectively represent our clients if they are moved outside the district,” the federal public defender for northern Ohio, Stephen Newman, said, Cleveland.com reported. “Access to our clients is very important.”

Cleveland criminal defense and civil rights attorney Terry Gilbert said “if you don’t have a substitute plan, then you have a problem,” Cleveland.com reported. “If they are going to terminate the contract, they better have some place that is safe – with health care, mental health and other programs, as well as access to private attorney visitation rooms.”

The U.S. Marshals Service did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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