Las Vegas Sun

April 30, 2017

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Nevada plans to send some inmates to private prisons

CARSON CITY — Nevada is running out of space to house prison inmates and is planning to send 200 convicts out of state, a budget subcommittee was told today.

The cost of housing an inmate at an out-of-state, private prison is nearly $32,000 a year, compared to $20,000 in a state facility.

In fiscal 2016, Nevada housed an average of 12,890 prison inmates. The projections are for 14,006 next fiscal year and 14,247 in fiscal 2019.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said he was opposed to sending inmates to private prisons.

James Dzurenda, director of the state Department of Corrections, said, “If we keep them in state, we don’t have the room.”

In another prison-related issue, Gov. Brian Sandoval has proposed giving an extra 5 percent pay increase to correctional officers.

John Borrowman, deputy director of the Department of Corrections, said the pay bump would make a “huge statement” in support of correctional officers.

The 5 percent raise would be on top of a 2 percent increase for all state workers.