Sunday, May 22, 2022


The election fraud movement resurfaces on the campaign trail, Vice President Harris and abortion providers discuss an action plan, and as New Mexico's wildfires rage, nearby states face high fire danger.


Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate Primary still too close to call, a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill is headed to President Biden's desk, and Oklahoma passes the strictest abortion bill in the country.


From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Will Federal Immigration Crackdown Benefit NM's Private Prisons?


Monday, September 18, 2017   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The prison population is declining in most states - but not in New Mexico, and that's creating problems for elected officials. A privately run for-profit prison in Torrance County announced it would close at the end of this week because it doesn't have enough inmates.

At the same time, the latest prison population report shows that from 2012 to 2016, the number of men held in state prison rose by more than nine percent and the number of women inmates increased by more than 22 percent.

A longtime opponent of private prisons, New Mexico attorney Mark Donatelli, says saving money was one reason the government turned to private prisons but he worries that the Trump administration's increased detention and criminal prosecution of immigrants also could benefit private prisons.

"You know, in New Mexico, we still have the highest percentage of our state's correctional system in private-provider hands, and it was in part to reduce costs but it was also to play the government game of giving contracts to donors," he says.

In July, CoreCivic - a company that has operated the private prison in Estancia for nearly three decades, announced it would close the Torrance County Detention Facility by Friday. CoreCivic said 200 employees would lose their jobs at the prison unless it found 300 state or federal inmates to fill empty beds.

Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department had begun a phase-out of contracts with private-prison companies. When that decision was reversed by President Trump, their stock prices soared.

Donatelli says the aggressive tactics now being employed by ICE - the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency - likely means private prisons will be utilized.

"Sending people with no means of support back to Mexico and Central America?" he asks. "Is that really what they're going to do? If they don't do that, they're going to have to have private holding facilities, so you may see a shift from any kind of treatment activities to pure incarceration, more segregation."

The Bureau of Prisons says private facilities save taxpayers money because they cost, on average, $17 a day less per prisoner to operate. But studies have also found those savings are achieved primarily by hiring fewer correctional officers and paying them less.

get more stories like this via email

Over the past two years, pro-democracy groups say more than 30 states have proposed nearly 230 laws viewed as an attempt to undermine elections. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …


New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…

Social Issues

A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …

The Federation of Virginia Food Banks' seven regional food banks distributed approximately 165 million pounds of food in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…

Health and Wellness

Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…

The fatality rate for Black bike riders is 30% higher than for white bike riders, according to the League of American Bicyclists. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Today is National Bike to Work Day, and while it may sound "easier said than done," it may not be as daunting as you think. Enthusiasts said the …


Connecticut is celebrating its first estuary reserve, which will help identify environmental threats to waterways and natural resources. …

Health and Wellness

A new report urges states to take steps to minimize Medicaid coverage loss when the state of emergency for the pandemic comes to an end. COVID …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021