New Hampshire Cancels Private Prison Bids, but Bill Prohibiting Prison Privatization Fails to Pass
After the state of New Hampshire hired a consulting group last year to help evaluate bid proposals for the “construction, operation and potential privatization” of the state’s entire prison system, it was determined that all of the bids “had deficiencies from an operational standpoint,” according to a report issued by New Hampshire’s Department of Corrections (DOC) and Department of Administrative Services (DAS). The report further found that the proposals were “non-compliant with meeting the Department of Corrections’ legal obligations.”
By April 2012, New Hampshire officials had received bids from four companies to build and/or operate a facility to house male prisoners and a “hybrid” prison that would hold both male and female offenders. The bidders included Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group, Management & Training Corp. (MTC) and the relatively unknown NH Hunt Justice Group LLC – a partnership between LaSalle Corrections, Hunt Companies and several other firms.
To evaluate the detailed and voluminous bid proposals, state officials organized three evaluation teams made up of staff from the DOC and DAS. Additionally, in July 2012 the state paid $171,000 to hire an “independent consultant” – MGT of America, Inc. – to assist with the review by evaluating the “operational and financial aspects of the vendors’ responses.”
Careful observers noted a glaring conflict of interest with respect to MGT: One of the MGT consultants evaluating the prison privatization bid proposals was George Vose, who previously served as Senior Vice President for Operations of Community Education Centers (CEC), a private prison firm that runs 17 jails and 34 halfway houses. Vose currently serves on CEC’s Board of Directors.