Recently, officials from the Department of Justice, charged 13 Ector County Correctional Center employees with bribery. The private jail employees are alleged to have supplied federal inmates with contraband items such as cell phones, marijuana and tobacco in return for cash. According to a report by the Odessa American ("Federal Jail Employees Indicted," January 4):
"All 13 suspects were arrested Wednesday on bribery counts related to banned items smuggled to inmates in the federal detention facility. Investigators say the contraband included cellphones, charges, tobacco and marijuana. The cases go back to 2011."
The Ector County Correctional Center is a federal lockup facility operated by the Community Education Centers (CEC) and is housed within the Ector County Courthouse. According to recent reports the indicted employees were fired. Yet the prison has been plagued with previous scandals that we have noted before.
The investigation in to bribery charges demonstrates larger systemic problems that plague private prisons. Research shows that the problems associated with adequately staffing private prisons compromise public safety.
We will keep y'all posted on the developments of this case.