After several phone calls, prison officials promised to follow up with her.
“They absolutely never did call, nor did they speak to the family,” Forbes said.
She said the inmate was placed in solitary confinement after attempting self-harm.
Rivers is one of 14 private prisons nationwide whose contract will not be renewed by the Department of Justice after an Aug. 18 announcement. The Department’s Office of the Inspector General reported private institutions had a higher number of incidents per capita for most categories than federal facilities.
Forbes said the difference can be attributed to a lack of accountability and oversight.
“It really makes it a dangerous situation for people that are going inside a private prison system, particularly people with chronic illnesses and serious mental health issues,” she said.
Rivers, owned by The Geo Group, Inc., has a capacity for 1,450 low-security inmates, about half non-citizens and half from Washington D.C., because it has no state prisons.
The other federal private prisons in the report house non-citizens in Criminal Alien Requirement facilities. Carl Takei, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, helped write a report on several of these prisons in Texas, some of which are owned by Geo Group.