US Justice Department Phasing Out Private Prisons –
Citing safety concerns, the United States will be allowing contracts with 13 private prisons to expire over the next 5 years. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates stated, “They do not save substantially on costs and […] they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.” An Inspector General report showed higher rates of violent incidents and rule infractions compared to government-run facilities. The stocks of private prisons dropped dramatically following the announcement. The Corrections Corporation of America stock dropped by 50% by Thursday, August 18th. A spokesman for the corporation warned of a potential trickle-down effect to state-run correctional facilities, where the majority of US prisoners are held. According to the Sentencing Project, there were 94,365 prisoners being held in private facilities overseen by states in 2010.
Source: BBC News
Devastating Earthquake Hits Italy –
A 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The epicenter of the earthquake was Amatrice, but tremors could be felt up to 100 miles away in Rome. Mayor Sergio Pirozzi stated, “the town is no more,” following the disaster. As of Thursday morning, the massive earthquake has claimed at least 240 lives and displaced thousands of people. The Italian government is asking for blood donations and the Red Cross requests people to turn off their WiFi passwords to make communication easier for rescue workers.
Please follow this link for ways to help the victims of the earthquake: IBTimes.com
Combat Helmets Made by Prisoners Defective –
According to a Justice Department Inspector General report, thousands of combat helmets made by prisoners for the U.S. military were found to be defective. Two types of helmets, including the ACH (Advanced Combat Helmets) and LMCH (Lightweight Marine Corps Helmets) were included. Both helmets are considered a “critical safety item,” and a defect helmet “would likely cause serious injury or death to the wearer.” Tests revealed issues including serious ballistic failures, expired paint, helmets being repressed, as well as the use of “unauthorized manufacturing methods.” Despite this, many rejected helmets were still sold to the DOD. Thankfully, there wasn’t evidence indicating that any military members were injured by use of these helmets, but monetary loss for the government was substantial. The facility that produced the ACH and LMCH helmets was shut down following the investigation.
Source: Office of Inspector General – U.S. Dept. of Justice