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Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CSP II Will Not Open In 2010

Pueblo Chieftain
CANON CITY - Because of budgetary concerns, Colorado State Penitentiary II will not open next July as initially planned, and at least one legislator thinks the prison should be sold.

Construction of the $162 million administrative-maximum-security prison at the East Canon Prison Complex is 80 percent complete and, so far, under budget, said Katherine Sanguinetti, Department of Corrections spokeswoman. The problem is finding the funds to staff it.

The initial plan was to open it in July 2010, but "it will not open in July or during the next fiscal year," due to budget concerns, said Sanguinetti.

Rep. Glenn Vaad, R-Weld County, will run a bill in the upcoming legislative session that proposes to sell the prison, perhaps to a private prison company. That suggestion has been met with a lukewarm response from corrections and elected officials.

"We will let the legislative process take its course," Sanguinetti said. There long has been a need for additional administrative-maximum-security beds as the state's only such lock up - Colorado State Penitentiary - has filled every one of its 756 beds, and the male inmate population historically continues to grow. The new top security prison was approved by the legislature and then Gov. Bill Owens in 2003 at a cost of $102 million, but a lawsuit delayed the construction, driving up the price.

The construction of the prison was funded by certificates of participation, but the state cannot afford to pay the nearly 500 workers it will take to staff the prison, which will house 967 high-risk classification inmates.

"There are operational issues we will have to deal with (until the empty prison building opens) - mainly physical plant and routine maintenance issues," Sanguinetti said.

Although the prison may not be able to open right away, and probably won't have a lot of buyers lining up to plunk down that kind of cash if the legislature does decide to sell it, the DOC usually finds a way to make use of its empty buildings.

Through Colorado Correctional Industries, the Colorado Women's Prison in Canon City, which closed in June, is seeing new use.

"We are moving some offices into Colorado Women's and Correctional Industries is using it for training classes for some Mexican corrections officials. They are training and learning from us and staying in a dorm at the prison and they also are getting breakfast, dinner and a box lunch there," Sanguinetti said. "This department is not wasteful."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very interesting article. Sanguinetti says it takes 500 employees run CSPII?? Wow, to guard 700 some inmates??
My question is, how many High risk classification inmates does Colorado have?? If there currently locked up in the old 500 some bed prison what on earth do you need 7oo more and 500 more employee's?
Also why is Colorado training Mexican corrections people??We all thought the Canon Womens prison closed to save money?
Under what statute of state law is the DOC authorized to be doing this?? I have said it before and i'll say it again, the DOC needs to take on a new direction, under new leadership who will actually do rehabilitation and actually release people, no more double jeopardy and get the prison population back to a sane level.
Those from foreign countrys who are here illegally need to be all sent home.djw

Barney said...

What are we doing paying to house and feed Mexican trainees? Do we provide room and board for Anglo/American prison employees?

Anonymous said...

Quote final paragraph: "We are moving some offices into Colorado Women's and Correctional Industries is using it for training classes for some Mexican corrections officials. They are training and learning from us and staying in a dorm at the prison and they also are getting breakfast, dinner and a box lunch there," Sanguinetti said. "This department is not wasteful."

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Okay. Sanquinetti let the lions cage loose on this one. Why does she make it a point to prioritize Mexicans to corrections occupations? Why are *Mexicans* staying in the dorm and receiving "training and learning" from CDOC? Is something going on politically that 'justifies' elevating Mexicans in CDOC positions?

I ask: Who caught onto this one? It should be very alarming to everyone. No matter what CDOC says to condone these actions (excuses), it can not be believed. Some Mexican judge(s) perhaps? Mexican sheriff(s); DA's? Why is the CDOC attempting to find favor among Hispanics? I will remain highly vigilant of this course of action on the part of CDOC. You, the reader, should also. I suspect Suthers (Republican) is rubbing his hands together in greed.

To present such a statement of blatant favoritism (questionable too), is an insult to the intelligence of those of us who know the machinations of the Colorado Department of Corrections. This includes all astute Hispanics.