Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled convicts. We need the cash.
The company that has operated a private prison in Estancia for nearly three decades has announced it will close the Torrance County Detention Facility and lay off more than 200 employees unless it can find 300 state or federal inmates to fill empty beds within the next 60 days, according to a statement issued Tuesday by county officials.
“This is a big issue for us,” Torrance County Manager Belinda Garland said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s going to affect Torrance County in a big way.”
People who work at the prison will be unemployed. The remaining prisoners will be shipped somewhere else, likely to a prison that’s already crowded. The only people who won’t be harmed are the ones who profited – financially, politically, both – from the mass incarceration scheme that was branded as the War on Drugs.
Jonathan Burns, a spokesman for CoreCivic — formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America — had this to say about the closure:
“The city of Estancia and the surrounding community have been a great partner to CoreCivic for the last 27 years. CoreCivic is grateful for the support the community has shown through the years and we’re honored to have been a part of that community. Unfortunately, a declining detainee population in general has forced us to make difficult decisions in order to maximize utilization of our resources.”
It’s good to know that the grossly bloated locking up people sector of the economy isn’t meeting quarterly projections, but I’m surprised Rebranded Prison, Inc. is so worried about a slight drop in human units. Between Il Yammering Yam and his craven Republican Congress there are sure to be ever increasing numbers of people who are guilty of something and need to be locked up.