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New Mexico official sets private prison transfer timeline

Jul 10, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The top prison official in New Mexico says a privately run lock-up that is expected to transfer to state control this year has continuously struggled to maintain staffing numbers.The comment from Corrections Secretary Alisha Tafoya Lucero during a legislative hearing this week comes as officials set Aug. 3 as the day when they and the GEO Group will begin the three-month process of transferring the Northeast New Mexico Detention Facility in Clayton to state management.A spokesman for GEO Group, a Florida-based company that currently operates three out of 11 prisons in the state, made the decision to end its contract to run the prison owned by the town of Clayton because of difficulties recruiting and retaining workers.Lucero told lawmakers that the facility was having "a difficult time maintaining safe and reasonable standards," but did not elaborate.