D1A Sets The Record Straight In Santa Fe New Mexican

August 5, 2020

August 4, 2020
Santa Fe New Mexican

A recent My View (“Mass incarceration fueled by for-profit prisons,” Generation Next, July 3) seeks to blame private-sector corrections contractors for the serious issue of mass incarceration. However, the facts show that public-private partnerships have actually helped states like New Mexico serve the interests of incarcerated men and women.

Private-sector contractors house just 8 percent of the U.S. prison population nationally and have zero say on the length and nature of prison sentences in New Mexico. The reason these partnerships exist is that starting in the 1980s, conditions got so bad in public corrections systems — overcrowding, aging facilities, declining services and more — states turned to the private sector for help. For over 35 years, our members have worked with Democratic and Republican state and national leaders to be part of the solution. Banning contractors in New Mexico would greatly exacerbate existing problems in the state’s correctional system.

There’s no doubt there are important criminal justice issues to address, but this critical discussion must be based on facts.

Alexandra Wilkes
Day 1 Alliance
Washington, D.C.


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