Friday, October 28, 2016
A Human Shell Game? The Justice Department closed this troubled private prison. Immigration authorities are reopening it.
Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post reports on an interesting immigrant detention twist. When the Justice Department announced two months ago that it wanted to end the use of private prisons, Cibola County Correctional Center was exactly the kind of facility that officials desired to shut down. After a history of questionable deaths and substandard medical care, the New Mexico facility lost its contract. In recent weeks, it was emptied of inmates. But the vacancies won’t last for long. As soon as this week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is going to begin moving immigrant detainees into the facility under a new set of agreements with Corrections Corporation of America. The country’s immigration enforcement agency is expanding its use of for-profit prisons, even while another government agency says the facilities are less safe and effective than government-run prisons. The move illustrates the difficulties of ending the government’s reliance on private prisons and jails, especially as immigration authorities deal with an influx of detainees.