NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico is leading the nation in its use of private prisons.
In 2019, records show half of New Mexico’s inmates are held in private prisons. According to a report by the Sentencing Project, the state has experienced a 72% increase in its private prison population since 2000.
Some states have outlawed the use of private prisons, citing quality and safety concerns. Private prisons also cost states significantly more.
The report does state that New Mexico is a little unusual because despite being more costly, private prisons have been heavily relied on for many years, unlike in other states that have bigger state facilities.