Shut Down Private Prison, Don't Try to Find People to Fill It!

  • target: New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez
The private prison corporation CoreCivic recently announced that it would shut down one of its detention facilities in New Mexico - unless authorities find 300 more inmates to fill its beds.

Torrance County Detention Facility does not currently house enough inmates to make a profit, and has been operating at a loss for the past four years. The facility mainly holds undocumented immigrants sent by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but fewer deportations and border arrests in recent years have hurt the prison’s bottom line.

If the prison closes, more than 200 people will lose their jobs and both the town and county will lose revenue. However, in order to save the prison, Torrance County needs to find a way to try and convict 300 more people in the next two months.

This is exactly what’s wrong with private prisons. If a local economy is dependent on the continuous detention of human beings, a fair criminal justice system is impossible. The only way to increase profits is to detain more people and keep people detained whether or not the punishment fits the crime.

Rather than trying to save the prison on the backs of human lives, New Mexico should let Torrance County Detention Facility close.

In fact, there are many other reasons the prison should be shut down. CoreCivic, the prison’s parent company, has been sued countless times for horrific infractions, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, deaths, use of force, physical assaults, medical care, injuries and civil rights violations.

Letting the prison close would show that New Mexico takes the human and civil rights of its residents seriously.

Please sign this petition demanding that Governor Susana Martinez stop efforts to fill Torrance County Detention Facility and let the prison close instead!
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