The mother of the Idaho inmate who committed suicide because of allegedly squalid conditions at the Geo Group's Dickens County facility will testify at a hearing tomorrow before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, AP reports (10/10). Excellent! I mentioned yesterday I hoped she could testify. AP's John Miller writes that Ms. Noble:
blames Idaho and The GEO Group, Inc. — the Florida-based private prison company that runs the Dickens County prison in Spur, Texas, where her son slashed his throat — for neglecting to monitor deteriorating conditions that Idaho officials now concede may have contributed to his suicide. Payne, 43, a convicted sex offender, was kept alone for months in a cell with a constantly wet floor, bloodstained sheets and smelly towels.The assessment by the Idaho Department of Corrections and Ms. Noble's complaints sound hauntingly similar to allegations about Geo's Coke County unit from TYC's Ombudsman and Executive Director, don't they? Welcome to Texas Prison Bidness.
"It's what I have found out about GEO, the filth, and people being taken away from their families," Shirley Noble told The Associated Press about her reasons for testifying. "They can't afford the fares to go visit. They can't afford the excess telephone bills."After Payne's death, Idaho Department of Correction officials investigated and called Dickens the worst prison they'd ever seen.
I'm glad to hear Ms. Noble was able to come to Texas on such short notice ... this should make for compelling testimony tomorrow morning at the capitol.
See prior related Grits coverage:
- Geo lobby pressure inspires hearing on private prisons; what should they discuss?
- Rosy financial outlook for Geo, or will debt and scandals be its undoing?
- Meet the Geo Group: Texas' largest private prison contractor
- Scandals involving Idaho inmates in Texas Geo prisons
- Suicide aftermath reveals squalor at private rural Texas prison
- Mother of deceased inmate sues over Texas Geo unit conditions
- AG should investigate possible Geo Group fraud
- TYC closing Coke County private prison unit
- More on TYC ending Geo youth prison contract
See also the Dallas News, "Jail operator Geo's trouble's not limited to Coke County youth lockup."