Private, For-Profit Mental Health Care?

Scary as it may sound, that’s exactly what is being proposed in North Carolina.  A subsidiary of the GEO Group, GEOCare, is trying to take over mental health services for serious offenders for the entire state of North Carolina, which is also considering privatizing health care for its prisoners.  I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong if a private company that earns money by keeping people incarcerated longer would be in control of providing rehabilitation services to violent offenders.

But in all seriousness, this is a pretty terrifying proposition to me.  GEO has enough trouble managing normal prison populations, let alone high-risk prisoners.  As the executive director of the NC State Employees Association said, “it just boggles [the] mind that folks think a for-profit private company with shareholders can perform a more efficient, better service at a cheaper rate than state employees.”