New Mexico prison chief says private jails needed, for now – North Platte Telegraph

New Mexico is sticking with its approach to contracting with privately operated prisons — and possibly phasing them out as time and money allow, state Corrections Secretary Alisha Tafoya Lucero told a panel of lawmakers Thursday.

The top prison official under Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham voiced opposition to a bill that would make it unlawful for the state and local governments to contract with private prisons across New Mexico.

The bill from Democratic legislators including Rep. Angelica Rubio of Las Cruces would cut loose three private prison operators that oversee four New Mexico facilities — and nearly half of state inmates.

President Joe Biden this week ordered the Department of Justice to end its reliance on privately run prisons, directing the attorney general not to renew contracts.

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