Last week, a YouTube video was posted that suggests private prisons in smaller cities are demanding more inmates. One New Mexico private prison is threatening to shut down if more prisoners don’t check it soon. (Video at bottom of page)
A private prison in Estancia, New Mexico, is threatening to shut down in the next 60 days unless the government sends 300 inmates to its facility. It demands more inmates in order to remain open. And, it appears to be echoing the sentiments of other private prison corporations in other small American cities as well.
But, this is no empty threat: Hundreds of people will lose their jobs and the government will lose huge annual taxes, Salon reports.
Located in Torrance County of New Mexico, the Torrance County Detention Facility is operated as CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. This New Mexico private prison is the 2nd largest for-profit inmate institution in the United States. It has been operating in New Mexico for nearly three decades.
New Mexico Private Prison Faces Layoffs and Annual Revenue Losses
Numerous prison reforms orchestrated by the government are taking their tolls on private prison corporations across the US. The Torrance County Detention Facility of New Mexico is a perfect example of this crunch in private for-profit prison industry.
If the New Mexico private prison fails to secure at least 300 MORE state or federal prisoners within two months, the facility might be forced to close down. Over 250 employees will be laid off as a result.
The small town of Estancia has a total population of about 1,500. It will also lose about $700,000 in annual taxes and utility payments if the for-profit prison closes its doors. Private businesses in neighboring counties surrounding the New Mexico prison will also witness about $300,000 in revenue losses.
“’This is a big issue for us,’ said county manager Belinda Garland. ‘It’s going to affect Torrance County in a big way. We hate to see this place closed.'”
Apart from the loss of jobs for employees and revenue for the county, the sheriff’s department will also be faced with other difficulties. They must arrange alternative housing for the 50-75 offenders arrested every month in Torrance County.
“’The reality is that we’ve been operating at a loss for the last four years,’ Chad Miller, warden of the Torrance County Detention Facility.”
New Mexico Private Prison Sued for Multiple Times for Human Rights Violations
A reduction in border arrests and reforms in the criminal justice system have driven down the numbers of potential prisoners in the US. And, private prisons in America are taking the hit.
On the offside, the Torrance County Detention Facility has, in recent years, had multiple claims of human rights abuses filed against it.
The operator, CoreCivic, has been sued a number of times for:
- Use of unnecessary force on inmates
- Sexual assaults
- Civil rights violations
- Preventable deaths
- Lack of proper medical care for inmates
This does not seem to be the main issue for now in the face of possible closure for county officials. Right now, the main issue at this New Mexico private prison is securing more bodies to fill the empty beds.
Video: Private Prison In Small Town Demands More Prisoners Or Else!
Watch the video below, uploaded to YouTube by Redacted Tonight on Sunday:
Do you believe that private prisons are only in business for profit? Many suggest these prisons are dangerous, as they do not protect or properly care for inmates. What do you think about for-profit private prisons in the US?
Share your thoughts with us about private prisons in the comments section below.
Charles Omedo has a degree in Mass Communication and a PGD in Digital Communication. He worked as a newspaper/magazine reporter and editor for many years. Now, he writes daily news articles for private clients. Charles has written for US/UK/Canadian/Indian clients on various niches. He currently writes prison news for loved ones of inmates on the Prison Rideshare Network.