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New Mexico taking over operations of another private prison

July 1, 2021 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — For the second time in two years, the state of New Mexico is taking over operations of a private prison.

The medium security prison in Santa Rosa, currently run by the GEO Group, is expected to be turned over to the state by November.

The state took over operations of the Northeast New Mexico Detention Facility in Clayton in 2019.

The New Mexico Corrections Department reportedly has entered into a lease agreement to transition the Guadalupe County Correctional Facility to a publicly operated facility, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Discussions between the state and GEO over the past few weeks led to the decision about the prison in Santa Rosa.

It comes amid a large decrease in prison population levels across New Mexico following a pandemic-related executive order to decrease inmate numbers by the hundreds.

Four of the 11 prisons in New Mexico, including the Guadalupe County facility, are privately run and hold 42% of the state’s inmate population.