BREAKING: New Hampshire drops bid to privatize prisons
A view of the State Prison for Men in Concord; September, 2011. (John Tully/ Monitor Staff)
State officials said today they are canceling a bid to privatize the state’s prisons because none of the four vendors could say how they would comply with New Hampshire court orders that govern inmate care and treatment.
“The proposals exhibited a lack of understanding of the overarching legal requirements placed upon the (Department of Corrections) relating to the court orders, consent decrees and settlements which, in large part, dictate the administration and operation of their correctional facilities and attendant services to the inmate populations,” read a decision today issued by the officials from corrections and the state Department of Administrative Services.
The state’s decision also said those requirements for medical and mental health care appeared “to be too great a burden for the vendors who did not fully understand the mandates and did not adequately address them in their responses.”
Officials from both state departments have worked on the privatization bids for more than a year and said yesterday deciding to abandon the bid was not taken lightly.
The four companies that submitted bids said they would build a new men’s prison or a new hybrid prison that housed men and women. None of the vendors proposed building only a women’s prison, which the state has described as it’s greatest correction need. Nor did any of the vendors submit bids to build and own a prison that the state would lease, which is the only privatization option Gov. Maggie Hassan has said she would have considered.
Stay tuned for more coverage in tomorrow’s Monitor.