|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
Friday, August 7, 1998
Washington, D.C. – Last night the House approved an amendment authored by U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) to strengthen the screening process for inmates sent to the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center (NOCC) in Youngstown, Ohio. The amendment was attached to legislation appropriating funds for the District of Columbia. Traficant also secured an agreement from the House Appropriations Committee to commission an in-depth General Accounting Office review of security and management procedures at the troubled Youngstown prison. "Many of the problems at NOCC can be directly linked to the fact that high risk inmates were incorrectly and illegally sent to the facility," said Traficant. "I intend to keep working to ensure that only low and medium security inmates are sent to the prison."
Last night the House approved the fiscal year 1999 District of Columbia Appropriations bill. The Traficant amendment, which was approved on a voice vote, states that none of the funds in the bill can be used to transfer or confine inmates classified above the medium security level by the federal Bureau of Prisons to NOCC. In addition, Traficant secured an agreement from the Appropriations Committee to include language in its report accompanying the bill directing GAO to review NOCC's security and management procedures, and report back to Congress within 120 days. The GAO is the auditing arm of Congress. Earlier this week, Traficant passed an amendment to the fiscal year 1999 Commerce, State and Justice Appropriations bill requiring the federal Bureau of Prisons to conduct a detailed study of the private prison industry in the U.S.
The Youngstown prison is run by Corrections Corporation of America. The facility houses inmates from the D.C. prison system, which has been plagued for years with overcrowding. Last year, Congress ordered the District of Columbia to gradually close its main prison in Lorton, Virginia over the next several years. The bulk of D.C. prison population will eventually be housed in the federal prison system.2009