Nevada is poised to become the first state in the Trump era to ban private prisons

Nevada is poised to become the first state in the Trump era to ban private prisons

But in the meantime, they’re planning to send more inmates out-of-state

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Edited by JPat Brown

Three states currently have explicit prohibitions on the use of for-profit prisons for the housing of state and local inmates, and Nevada may soon become the first southwestern state to ban the housing private correctional facilities.

  • Blue - Authorizing statute
  • Black - No specific statute
  • Red - State/local use banned under statute

The legislation at play, Assembly Bill 303, is currently with the State Senate Judiciary Committee, which recommended that the bill pass; it awaits a hearing on the Senate floor. The Las Vegas Sun reported that its sponsor, a former correctional officer and North Las Vegas Democrat Daniele Monroe-Moreno, is hopeful about the bill’s chances - the legislation would allow the use of contracted private and public out-of-state facilities for the next five years to allow for time to renovate two of the Department of Corrections’ existing buildings.

The bill specifies that those prisoners which aren’t permanent Nevada residents will be prioritized when out-of-state housing occurs.

Among the other provisions of the section - which, in particular, is set to expire on June 30, 2022, leaving the in-state ban in place - is a bit permitting the acceptance of gifts and such to carry out the plan to return all Nevada prisoners to public, in-state facilities …

and a requirement that each prisoner have, at the very least, the ability to conduct video conference visits.

The videoconference industry is currently dominated by Securus Technologies, which provides telephone and video visit equipment and services to prisons nationwide, often splitting its profits with the jails and prisons providing their captive customers. Until recently, Nevada contracted with its subsidiary JPay for inmate phone services.

Nevada currently expects to send 200 inmates out-of-state during the transition.

For more on private prisons in your state, check out the Private Prison Project, and learn how you can get involved here.

Image via Flickr and is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0