Revision: March 11, 2020, 1:53 p.m.
HB 1272 - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 1272
SPONSORS: Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. Harriott-Gathright, Hills. 36; Rep. Meuse, Rock. 29; Rep. Berch, Ches. 1; Rep. King, Hills. 33
COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety
This bill prohibits the state or county department of corrections from transferring the housing of prisoners to a correctional facility operated by a private or for-profit entity, except when a corrections emergency exists.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
11Mar2020... 0863h 20-2713
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
I. The management and operation of a correctional facility involves functions that are inherently governmental. The imposition of punishment on errant citizens through incarceration requires state, county, and local governments to exercise their coercive police powers over individuals and is thus distinguishable from privatization in other areas of government.
II. Issues of liability, accountability, and cost warrant a prohibition of the ownership, operation, or management of correctional facilities by for-profit private contractors.
VI. The commissioner may enter into contracts with the state’s counties, the governments of other states, [and] the federal government, [and] or other appropriate [private] government agencies or facilities and make proper and necessary arrangements with them for the transfer and reception of inmates and allow transfers to state prisons of any person. Any person who is confined awaiting trial on a felony charge may be transferred to the state prison from the county correctional facility, upon the recommendation of the superintendent of the county department of corrections, and with the approval of the county commissioners of said county. The superintendent may transfer a prisoner, without the approval of the county commissioners, if the superintendent determines the transfer is necessary for public safety or emergency reasons. The county commissioners shall review any such transfer at their next regular meeting. If the county commissioners reject the transfer, the prisoner shall be returned to the facility from which the prisoner came as soon as practicable.
VII.(a) The commissioner may order the assignment and transfer of persons committed to his or her custody to correctional facilities of the department or correctional facilities operated by state governments in other jurisdictions, or public facilities under contract with the department. The commissioner shall not enter into a contract with a private or for-profit entity for the sole purpose of housing state prisoners.
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a), if the governor, upon recommendation of the commissioner, declares by executive order that a corrections emergency exists that requires the commissioner to enter into a temporary contract with a private or for-profit entity to secure provisional housing for displaced prisoners, the commissioner may enter into such a contract, pending approval of the governor and the council. Temporary contracts entered into under this section shall not permanently or indefinitely replace a correctional facility operated by the state of New Hampshire or a contract with another publicly-operated facility.
III.(a) No county department of corrections shall enter into a contract with a private or for-profit entity for the sole purpose of housing county prisoners. Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a county department of corrections from contracting for select services that are provided inside of a county correctional facility.
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a), if the county commissioners declare that a corrections emergency exists that requires the superintendent to enter into a temporary contract with a private or for-profit entity to secure provisional housing for displaced prisoners, the superintendent may enter into such a contract, pending approval of the county commissioners. Temporary contracts entered into under this section shall not permanently or indefinitely replace a county correctional facility or a contract with another publicly-operated facility.
4 Applicability. This act shall not apply to a contract entered into prior to the effective date of this act by the commissioner of the department of corrections or a county department of corrections with a private entity for the housing of prisoners. Upon the expiration of any such contract, the commissioner or the county shall transfer housing of such prisoners to a state correctional facility operated by the state of New Hampshire or another state government, or a federal correctional facility operated by the federal government, or a county correctional facility operated by a county. This act shall not apply to contracts for goods and services which are ancillary to the housing of prisoners such as medical or educational services, or repair and maintenance contracts.