Private Prisoner Vans’ are an Injustice

In July of 2012, Steven Galack was arrested on an out-of-state warrant for failing to pay child support. He was packed up in a prisoner van run by small private company. From Florida to Ohio, he was crammed into the back of the small van with many other arrestees without a bathroom or room to lie down. The drivers of the van are on a strict schedule. If they are late to one drop off appointment the company starts to lose money. There is no time to pay attention to the men and women piled in back. No time for bathroom breaks, and definitely no time to stop and sleep. It was 90 degrees outside and the Air Conditioning in the van was faulty. Mr. Galack started to become delusional. He began to ramble, scream, and kept the rest of the arrestees awake during the ride. The van stopped in Georgia, and one of the two guards driving the van told the other arrestees “Only body shots,” as they began to take turns beating Mr. Galack. The guard noticed Mr. Galack was dead more than 70 miles later, in Tennessee. Subsequent investigations turned up no convictions, and no reform for the private van company. This is the current state of the extradition process in many Southern and Mid-Western states. The article below details several such incidents. The article does not mention that much is being done to fix the gross injustice of prisoner transportation, and the hellish conditions that it entails.

Cite: Eli Hager and Alysia Santo, The New York Times, 7/6/2016


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