Friday, October 29, 2010

Private Prison Cash

Check out my story in today's New Mexican on contributions to the gubernatorial candidates from the sin and punishment industries

Long and short of it: Diane Denish is leading in gambling, liquor and cigarette money. But Martinez is ahead in private prison cash.

NPR ran a story yesterday about the private corrections industry -- including companies that run some prison facilities here -- helping draft Arizona's controversial immigration law.

Locking up more undocumented people means opportunities for more business for the private corrections industry.

While the GEO Group -- which has given $33,000 to Republican  Martinez and $2,500 to Denish -- was not the main focus of the NPR piece, it's mentioned at the end of the piece. GEO presdent Wayne Calabrese is heard telling investors, "I can only believe the opportunities at the federal level are going to continue apace as a result of what's happening. Those people coming across the border and getting caught are going to have to be detained and that for me, at least I think, there's going to be enhanced opportunities for what we do."

We'll see during the next legislative session whether GEO and other prison companies push such a bill in New Mexico.