California signed a $30.7 million a year contract for five years with an international prison company to house prisoners at two low-level security prisons in the communities of Adelanto and McFarland.
“This is the second in-state contract with a private prison. Separately, the state has contracts for 8,500 prisoners kept in privately owned prisons in other states,” said department spokesperson Jeffrey Callision.
The Geo Group, a Florida- based company, “signed deals with the state to house 1,400 inmates – 700 of whom will be housed at the Adelanto facility,” according to the Daily News.
“The Adelanto facility will begin to accept inmates by the end of the year,” it was reported.
“For every 100 prisoner we release, 60 to 70
commit more crimes and end up back in prison”
George C. Zoley, chairperson and CEO of the Geo Group said, “We are thankful for the confidence placed in our company by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The reactivation of our Central Valley and Desert View Modified Community Correctional facilities will play an important role in helping meet the need for correctional bed space in the State of California.”
Last year, the state reportedly said, “it would end a contract with the Geo Group to house parole violators in McFarland, but Brown later extended the contract through fiscal 2016. The state terminated a contract for the Adelanto facility in 2011; only later renewing its agreement with Geo.”
Expanding a lease is one of the advantages of leased facilities. The state can enter into a new contract according to the need.
In spite of the state’s new contract with the Geo Group, State Senator Ted Lieu said, “I don’t believe simply expanding capacity will provide a durable solution to our prison overcrowding crisis. I hope the federal court will extend the prison reduction cap by two or three years. If they do that, then I hope we don’t need to complete the private prison contract.”
“For every 100 prisoners we release, 60 to 70 commit more crimes and end up back in prison. Simply expanding capacity doesn’t address that problem,” Lieu said.
Three of the largest detention centers in the country – a federal prison, the county jail and an immigration center are in Adelanto. “Any time we can put more people back to work, that’s a move forward,” the Mayor said.
The Desert View Modified Community Correctional Facility will hire 140 correctional officers to fill those positions. However, Victoria Mena, coordinator of an immigration program does not like the idea of having all these facilities in the community.
“There are no high schools, and the elementary schools are failing,” Mena complains. “It says a lot about the community and says a lot about where their priorities are. There are no after school clubs and no community centers. Instead it’s the hub of mass incarceration.” She wants to know, “what happens when people are released?”