An opinion piece by Robert Weiner and Jared Schwartz in The New Mexican mischaracterized contractor-operated prisons (i.e., private prisons) and the reasons states such as New Mexico choose to contract with them (“Justice for corporate bottom line,” My View, Nov. 11).

Over the course of my 31 years in corrections management, including more than two decades with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, I have seen the development of corrections service providers and currently serve as the Western Region vice president for the GEO Group, which owns and operates two correctional facilities and manages a third in New Mexico.

When private facilities were first developed, it was not to turn a buck as some argue. One of the catalysts for contractor-run facilities in New Mexico was the 1977 lawsuit Duran v. Apodaca, brought by an inmate who alleged that his basic constitutional rights were violated while serving time in a state-run prison.

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