Berlin prison study offers guidance for vendors


Vendors interested in finding out how much potential business there will be when the new federal prison opens in Berlin next year can find some guidance in a study released by the Procurement Technical Assistance Program of the New Hampshire Department of Economic Development.The study, which examined purchases of $3,000 or more made in 2008 by several facilities of similar size to the Berlin facility, attempts to estimate what the new North Country prison’s potential buying power.The $276 million Berlin prison, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, will include a medium-security facility with space for 1,152 men as well as an adjacent 128-bed minimum-security “camp.” The five facilities reviewed through the Federal Procurement Data System were: Elkton, Ohio (total prison population of 2,479); Ray Brook, N.Y. (total population 1,233); Otisville, N.Y. (total population 1,234); Fairton, N.J. (total population 1,509); and Greenville, Ill. (total population 1,501).The study, the researchers wrote, “is an attempt to provide some insight into the frequently asked question: ‘What will they buy?’”According to the study, “What will they buy?” could cover everything from garlic powder to garbage removal services to grenade launchers, based on the data in the report.The study also points out that products and services are bought in various ways, including five-year and one-year contract awards, and semi-annual and quarterly or on an as-needed basis.Among the categories of purchases, the study found: • Spiritual, food and utilities services, which include special food items and chaplain services. This was the largest purchasing category, with a total of $18.2 million in goods and services. • Medical and education expenses. A total of $16.5 million in purchased services were recorded. • Equipment, other and inmate items, which includes such things as attorney services and personal toiletry items. A total of some $2 million were purchased by the five prisons. • Clothing, transportation and construction, including bed linens, fuel costs and structural materials. The five prisons spent some $1.5 million in this category. • Electronics, repairs and office goods and services totaled about $1.2 million among the prisons.The Berlin prison is expected to be populated with inmates in early 2011 and will employ some 300 correctional officers and support staff.A copy of the report can be downloaded at – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW
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