Last updated on December 26, 2019
Matt Bevin is a corrupt Republican — redundant I know — who just keeps on giving, and giving, and giving. The latest: an “emergency” lease deal worth $41 million dollars to a private prison facility.
On his final day in office, now former-Gov. Matt Bevin signed a 10-year, $41 million emergency lease for a privately owned prison in Eastern Kentucky, bypassing the legislative committee that typically approves such contracts.
Members of the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee — tasked with overseeing emergency repair funds for state property and acquisitions of capital assets through property leases — learned of the signed lease for the first time in an email Thursday.
On Oct. 18, Bevin held a press conference in Floyd County announcing that his administration planned to lease a vacant 656-bed facility from private prison company CoreCivic, to be operated by the Kentucky Department of Corrections.
The governor, in the final weeks of a close reelection campaign, said the lease would create 200 jobs and help reduce overcrowding in county jails.
Wow. Two hundred jobs and only $41 million to spend for them. As noted above, too bad Bevin blew off the legislative committee responsible for approving this type of contract. And at least one of the members of that committe is not happy with Bevin’s move.
State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, a member of the committee, told The Courier Journal he was “floored” when he learned that the Bevin administration had bypassed the committee to sign the lease on its last day.
“Emergencies are for roofs caving in and fire damages and when you get prison riots. That’s an emergency.” McDaniel said. “Overcrowding is a known issue with a number of variables and a number of solutions … but it certainly wasn’t an emergency.”
You will notice that McDaniel is a fellow Republican. Did I mention that both houses of the Kentucky legislature are dominated by Republicans? Nothing like giving the middle finger again to your fellow Republicans.
And it doesn’t end there:
The Floyd County prison, formerly named the Otter Creek Correctional Facility, has been vacant since 2012 when former Gov. Steve Beshear decided to stop using private prisons owned and operated by CoreCivic, then known as Corrections Corp. of America.
The Otter Creek prison was infamous for multiple instances of sexual abuse by CCA guards against its female inmates, while abuse and mistreatment of inmates at the company’s Lee Adjustment Center in Beattyville reportedly led to a prison riot in 2004.
Faced with prison overcrowding and exploding costs, the Bevin administration started using the Lee Adjustment Center again in 2017, to the chagrin of criminal justice reform advocates who staunchly oppose private prisons.
So the same company that let women inmates be raped by the guards and created conditions for a prison riot is back in the black again with the state of Kentucky.
Governor Beshear is looking at this latest “Fuck You!” by Bevin, and he is being urged to cancel the contract.
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