Rocky Mountain News
....we actually have hundreds of beds open statewide. If we are going to fund recidivism reduction for long term cost savings...this is one way we can do it.
The Colorado Department of Corrections would close two prisons and sell 1,000 acres of land as part of the state's efforts to eliminate a looming budget shortfall.
The two prisons slated for closure are the Colorado Womens' Correctional Facility (CWCF) in Canon City and the Rifle Correctional Center (RCC) in Rifle.
CWCF has about 200 inmates, many of whom will move to the La Vista Correctional Facility in Pueblo, said DOC spokeswoman Katherine Sanguinetti. La Vista is currently under capacity.
The remaining female offenders will go to the Denver Womens' Correctional Facility, where officials plan to "double bunk" 76 beds. The facility already does some double bunking.
"It hasn't really been an issue at this point. We'll just double bunk a few more," Sanguinetti said.
About 23,000 inmates are housed in Colorado's 23 state prisons and six private facilities monitored by DOC.
The agency's budget this fiscal year is $761 million.
Closing CWCF will save more than $5.2 million in fiscal year 2009-10. That cost savings includes personal services and benefits as well as operating expenditures, according to prison officials.
Closing the RCC, which has 192 beds, will save an estimated $606,021 in operating expenses, plus the state would receive revenue from the sale of the property.