Friday, August 03, 2007

C.C.A. Loses federal inmates again.

Cornell Corrections runs the old Bernalillo County Detention Center in Downtown Albuquerque. It is a 900 bed facility now called the Regional Correctional Center. After the new Detention Center was built the county leased the old one to Cornell who reopened it as a private facility. The bread and butter of the deal was the fact that Cornell would lease the majority of the beds to ICE, the Federal Immigration arm of homeland security. over a third of the beds are often taken up by these federal immigration prisoners. Cornell has messed up and the Feds are pulling the prisoners out of the facility. (subscription required for link)

Cornell used to run the Santa Fe County Detention Center in the late 90's and up to around 2001. Things got so bad at the time that all Federal Prisoners were pulled from that facility as well. The Santa Fe County Detention Center was over built at the time of construction with the promise that all the extra beds would be used by the Feds who pay a premium price for housing of their prisoners. When the Santa Fe County Detention Center was full of Federal Prisoners it made profits that have never been seen again.

I was very surprised when Cornell made the deal to take over the old B.C.D.C. and made the deal to house federal prisoners there. When Cornell left Santa Fe they left us with a Federal investigation into civil rights violations and an order that barred any federal prisoners from being housed in Santa Fe. Santa Fe taxpayers are still paying the bills for their mismanagement today.

I don't know if Cornell can break the lease with the county but if they can, watch out they will be on the run, if they can not then look out, until more paying customers can be brought in they will cut staffing and medical and anything else they can because the bottom line, profits will be the only thing that matters. Profits cannot be derived from the old B.C.D.C. with only 300 prisoners.
My guess is that Cornell will be looking at Bernalillo County to save them by sending more overflow and prisoners from the new facility which is often overcrowded. It will be a deal with the devil if that happens.

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