Let's have a loud round of nasty PenileState applause for this corporate Penile Operator:
GEO Group of Boca Raton, Fla., the nation's second-largest for-profit prison corporation, ... posted a profit of $284 million last year. The Mississippi Department of Corrections pays GEO to manage this prison:
Jonathan Smith is chief of special litigation in the civil rights section at the Justice Department, which spent two years looking into conditions at Walnut Grove.
"To have a prison that's chaotic, poorly run, dangerous, didn't provide services, highly sexualized and highly violent really limits the ability of the state to turn those folks around, and to ensure public safety upon their release from prison," Smith said.
Among the conditions described in the report released last month:
- Prison staff had sex with incarcerated youth, which investigators called "among the worst that we've seen in any facility anywhere in the nation."
- Poorly trained guards brutally beat youth and used excessive pepper spray as a first response.
- The prison showed "deliberate indifference" to prisoners possessing homemade knives, which were used in gang fights and inmate rapes.
- Some guards had gang affiliations — a finding confirmed to NPR last year by former inmate Justin Bowling.
"A lot of times, the guards are in the same gang," Bowling said. "If an inmate wanted something done, they got it. If they wanted a cell popped open to handle some business about some fighting or something like that, it just pretty much happened."