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Prison Workers Have Criminal Backgrounds

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Colorado uses private prison companies to house many of its inmates. Last month, some guards were fired and charged with having sex with female inmates. Now, it turns out, that other prison workers have criminal convictions and that the companies did not do adequate background checks to find out. The company is G-R-W Corp. a private Tennessee-based company that runs five prisons in Colorado, including the one in Brush where the prison guards were charged with sex offenses. The Colorado Department of Corrections is passing the buck to the prison company.

State Corrections Department spokeswoman Alison Morgan said Thursday that five convicted criminals and three people whose backgrounds “merited further investigation” had been hired at the Brush Correctional Facility, a privately run women’s prison where several guards face charges of having consensual sex with inmates and smuggling tobacco into the facility. …She said it appears that fingerprints for the guards that were sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation were smudged or otherwise unreadable. The prints were sent back to the prison, which did not follow up, Morgan said. “That’s where the failure of leadership was,” she said. ….Morgan said the Corrections Department’s Private Prisons Monitoring Unit does not have the staff or funding to regularly conduct its own background checks of private-prison employees.

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