by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Five private companies have expressed interest in entering into a public/private partnership to build a new prison. Department of Corrections Director J.B. Palacios says Ironbridge Capital, Dick Pacific, GEO out of Australia, Lichmann & Associates, and a company in Nevada are being considered as the department proceeds with efforts to build a state-of-the-art prison, possibly at Sabanan Batea.
Palacios says officials are currently reviewing legislation that would allow for the design and construction of the facility similar to agreements made for the new schools that were built. "Those are the things we want to look at and ensure that when we start this process and the actual awarding that all those things are mitigated," he noted. "I guess the expectation is that there will always be some protest but if we can justify that the awardings are all follow procurement laws."
Palacios estimates the new prison facility will cost about $37 million that he says will be made with the department's annual budget.