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White House Asked To Close Leavenworth Detention Center

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Dan Margolies
The ACLU and public defenders in the region wrote to Leavenworth County officials and the White House urging them to shut down a privately-run pre-trial detention facility by the end of this year.

Public defenders and the ACLU sent a joint letter to the Biden administration declaring that the facility, privately owned by CoreCivic, is not meeting inmates' basic needs.

In January, President Joe Biden took the first step to make good on his campaign promise to end the use of private prison companies when he ordered the Justice Department not to renew contracts with them.

For inmates at CoreCivic Leavenworth, that won't happen until the end of 2021. That's not soon enough, according to those who signed a letter to Biden and Leavenworth County.

Citing violence that includes homicides, as well as limited food and medical attention and even showers, a group of ACLU chapters and public defender offices from around the Midwest say the constitutional rights of inmates are being ignored.

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Zach Wilson is the associate producer for KCUR's Up To Date.
Danie Alexander is the senior producer of Up To Date.