New Mexico

New Mexico, Take Heed: More Prison Beds are not the Answer

Last week we learned that Curry County, New Mexico commissioners may be looking to strike up a deal with city officials in Littlefield, TX to alleviate an overcrowding crisis at their county jail.

 

The deal would allow Curry County officials to send overflow prisoners slightly over an hour away to the currently empty Bill Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield, TX.  The facility has been empty since 2009 after the Idaho Department of Corrections cancelled their contract with private prison operator GEO Group to house Idaho prisoners there.  Consequently, GEO Group pulled out as well, leaving the residents of Littlefield with increased taxes and fees necessary to pay back the $10 million the city borrowed to construct the facility in 2000.  

 

The Idaho Department of Corrections’ decision to sever the contract with GEO Group came in the wake of the death of Idaho prisoner Randall McCullough at the Littlefield facility, who allegedly committed suicide while in GEO Group’s custody.  McCullough’s death led to a massive lawsuit alleging “grossly inhumane treatment, abuse, neglect, illegal and malicious conditions of confinement, and subsequent cover up of wrongdoing” by the private prison company.

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A Double Dose of Privatization Pitfalls

A prison physician – Dr. Mark E. Walden - has been accused of sexually abusing at least 25 men incarcerated at two separate private prisons in New Mexico.  Alleged abuses began in 2010 and include excessive and inappropriate digital anal penetration and probing during examinations, according to lawsuits.  

The allegations against Walden point to a double dose of privatization gone amuck.  [node:read-more:link]

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