Company wants to build a mega-prison in county
By Leslie Berestein UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 20, 2008
The private prison company that operates a detention center for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Otay Mesa is proposing to build a nearly 3,000-bed mega-prison nearby. According to county records, Nashville, Tenn.-based has applied for a permit to build a “secure detention facility” in two phases on a parcel of about 40 acres northwest of Alta and Lonestar roads. A portion of the latter road has yet to be constructed.
The proposed prison would have 2,880 beds and would employ 375 people, according to an application the company filed.
It would hold more than four times the number of people that the immigration agency now holds in San Diego. The agency, known as ICE, contracts with Corrections Corporation of America to house up to 700 detainees – individuals awaiting deportation or a decision in immigration cases – at the company’s private San Diego Correctional Facility, which sits on land leased from the county.