Torrance County, CoreCivic, ICE to re-open prison

The re-opening of the prison in Estancia is expected to be formalized in a special meeting of Torrance County commissioners May 15, paving the way for some 200 jobs.

Torrance County released this statement May 10: “The Torrance County Commission will consider an Intergovernmental Agreement that would reopen the Torrance County Detention Facility in Estancia during a special meeting this coming Wednesday, May 15th. The facility – owned by CoreCivic – will house detainees for the United States Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency – ICE.”

According to County Manager Wayne Johnson, CoreCivic has been recruiting employees and training new staff at the facility which can hold over 900 inmates and will require about 200 employees. He said they will also bring in trained staff from other facilities temporarily during the re-opening process.

Asked by The Independent about transferring Torrance County detainees to the facility, Johnson said it would take at least six weeks to begin moving prisoners.

Johnson told The Independent he had been informed by ICE, “This isn’t going to be long term stay for any of the prisoners. There might be some asylum seekers in this mix but they’re going to be male. There won’t be families.” 

CoreCivic representative Amanda Gilchrist told The Independent, “The company has no announcement of a new contract at this time.”

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