by Robert Nott, Santa Fe New Mexican
March 4, 2021

Legislation that aims to shift New Mexico and its counties away from reliance on private detention center operators has inched forward, but the outlook for such measures is unclear as lawmakers head into the final two weeks of the 2021 session.

The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted Thursday to approve House Bill 352, which would prohibit the state or counties from entering into any new contract with a private company to run a jail, prison or juvenile facility.

The bill would allow companies operating four privately run prisons in state and county jails to continue until the end of their contracts — at least two of which, including extension options, could last until 2034.

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