Kern County Detention Facility Will Stay Open Without Local Government Buy-In

After months of speculation as to whether The Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield would shutter, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement say it will stay open for at least another year. ICE is directl y contracting with the company that owns Mesa Verde, the GEO Group, to operate the facility, according to documents submitted to the Federal Business Opportunities, or Fed Biz Opps, website this month. The $19,377,500 contract will expire on March 18, 2020, citing “unusual and compelling urgency.” Since 2015, the GEO Group had an intergovernmental service agreement, or IGSA, with the city of McFarland to run the facility. In December McFarland pulled out of that agreement , bringing into question whether Mesa Verde would stay open because of a state law that limits involvement between for-profit detention facilities and local agencies. SB-29 , or the Dignity Not Detention Act, says cities, counties, and local law enforcement can’t amend or create new contracts with for-profit


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