New Mexico fines prison company for inadequate staffing
The New Mexico Department of Corrections is fining GEO Group, a Florida-based private prison operator, $1.1 million for understaffing one of its prisons.GEO manages three of the four private prisons in the state, including Lea County Correctional Facility, where from September of 2010 to March of 2011 one out of every four jobs were vacant.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports:
GEO will pay the $1.1 million over several months, the corrections secretary said. In addition, GEO has agreed to spend $200,000 over the next calendar year to recruit new correctional officers for the Hobbs facility.
By contract, New Mexico can penalize The GEO Group and Corrections Corp. of America, the two firms that operate the private facilities, when staffing vacancies are at 10 percent or more for 30 consecutive days.
The settlement represents the first time in years — possibly ever — that New Mexico has penalized the out-of-state, for-profit companies for not adequately staffing the facilities they operate.
GEO is the second largest private prison company in the country, after Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and it operates over 60 facilities in 15 states. The company reported $1.2 billion in earnings and $58.8 million in profit during the first nine months of this year.
The Corrections Department has faced criticism in the past for failing to penalize GEO and CCA for understaffing their facilities in the state. Much of that criticism occurred under a previous corrections secretary, Joe Williams, who called the private prisons “outstanding” despite their high number of vacancies. As the New Mexico Independent reported at the time, Williams had also been hired by GEO as a warden at Lea County Correctional, the very facility for which the company is now being fined.
I have a husband in the Hobbs facility and it is not just understaffing going on. The medical is non existent. It took me three years to get a medical concern taken care of and even then it has not been finished. Men have died in this facility without any concern from the staff or public or higher ups. This facility has ignored my husband and our concerns for far too long.
berfoe they are all involved. They (all branches of our state govenment,all districts of the courts, the prosecutors,the lawyers, the public defenders,the police, all of them) are all part of the beast. Until "We the People" finally stop allowing our friends and neighbors to be victomized. Until We finally stop thinkin at least its not me. I mean what is it going to take berfoe "We the People" start standing up for our family, our neighbors, our communities. Because thats the only way we will ever get out from under the corperate veil that is pretending to be our lawful government. I pray for all the victims who have lost everything to a corperation who preys upon us all. How many will fall berfoe we all "wake up" Peace and Gods Speed. OUTLAW
Sometimes it feels like I’ve spent too much energy cihngarg forward when it would have been better to sit a spell. Thanks for the reminder.