prison

Sarah Lazare – For-Profit Prison Accused of Subjecting Juveniles to ‘Disgraceful’ Conditions

A for-profit British private security firm whose human rights abuses have been documented around the world, from Israel to South Africa to the United Kingdom, stands accused by a grand jury of operating a horrific juvenile detention center in Florida where conditions are so poor, and hygiene so bad, that the prison “should cease to exist.”

The firm G4S operates the Highlands Youth Academy in Avon Park, Florida, where young men and boys from 16 to 19 years old are incarcerated. A riot at the prison two years ago prompted the investigation.

In a report completed in late June and unsealed earlier this month, referred to as a “presentment,” the Grand Jury of Polk County declared: “The existence of the Highlands Youth Academy in its current state is a disgrace to the state of Florida.”

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