Taxpayers fund the operations of private prisons in Oklahoma, just as they do state and federal ones — but they largely don’t have access to the same information and records about those private facilities.
According to a report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, private prisons avoid greater public scrutiny because they are not subject to the same federal Freedom of Information Act and state open records law requirements as government-run prisons.
"We find ourselves unable to develop any information about these facilities," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW. "They can hide under the rug civil rights violations, how prisoners might be harmed or have died, or employment issues or understaffing. There's sort of nothing they can't hide."