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NH Senate rejects bill prohibiting private prisons

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Proponents of a bill before the Senate that would prohibit New Hampshire from contracting out its prison system to private companies say corporations run prisons to maximize profits at the expense of human dignity.

But the opponents prevailed Thursday, defeating a bill banning privatization. They argued the bill would prevent the state from considering private prisons in the future. The bill was rejected on a party-line vote 13-11, with Democratic Sen. Lou D'Allesandro of Manchester voting with Republicans.

Backers of the ban said private prisons often raise incarceration costs and undermine the rehabilitation of prisoners because they make more money if their beds are full.

Sen. Chuck Morse, a Salem Republican, said that no private prison bids are currently before the state, making it unnecessary to legislate at this time.