CONCORD — State administrators want help deciding the best proposals for privatizing the prison system.
The Executive Council votes today on a $171,347 contract with MGT of America, Inc. of Tallahassee, Fla., to evaluate and analyze four proposals the state received from private contractors.
“The state received a host of responses from interested vendors, offering a wide array of options for facilities, design, construction, renovation, expansion and/or operation,” said Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon in information sent to executive councilors. “During the process of evaluating these varied proposals, it was determined that it would be beneficial to hire a consulting firm to assist in the evaluation, particularly in relation to the operational/financial analysis of the proposals.”
Hodgdon said MGT was one of seven firms the state reached out to. MGT responded June 5 and its proposal was accepted. She said the contract with MGT calls for its work to be completed by Oct. 31.
George Vose will be the project manager, Brad Sassatellie the contract manager, and Michelle Juarez the project sponsor.
The company’s website said Vose has more than 30 years experience in corrections, including as Massachusetts Department of Corrections commissioner and as director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.
The website says Sassatellie has over 26 years of experience in almost every facet of correctional management. He is the former chief executive officer of The Illinois Correctional Industries.
The two are part of the MGT’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Division.
The company was established in 1974 and primarily serves public-sector institutions, including recent corrections-related contracts with Massachusetts and Oklahoma.
New Hampshire asked for prison proposals last fall from private contractors.
The state’s request said a new prison should accommodate a minimum 1,480 male inmates and 154 female inmates, as well as 70 civilly committed people in a secure psychiatric unit.
The four proposals included privatizing the entire system — something no other state has done — and building a men’s prison only.
The vendors submitting proposals are Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America; Management & Training Corp., based in Utah; a partnership between CGL, based in Columbia, S.C., and CGL and Hunt Companies from Texas; and Florida-based The Geo Group.
The vendors have been looking at sites in Manchester, Concord, Lancaster, Northumberland and Hinsdale.
The Executive Council would need to approve any contract selected by the Corrections Department and Administrative Services, and lawmakers would have to be willing to fund the contract.
The request for proposals to privatize the prison system has been controversial, particularly with state employee unions who fear members may lose their jobs or be forced to work for less money and fewer benefits if private contractors take over the system.
Lawmakers have also expressed concerns about some of the plans; many want a new women’s prison included in any overhaul of the system.
- - - - - - - -
Garry Rayno may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.