Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

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.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

KUNC: Hudson Correctional Facility Opens in Colorado (2009-11-18)

KUNC: Hudson Correctional Facility Opens in Colorado (2009-11-18)
(KUNC) - Earlier this week federal officials toured an Illinois prison as a possible site to house Guantanamo Bay detainees. So far Colorado has not been contacted by the federal government for the project. But a recent medium-security private prison opening in Hudson yesterday could provide a glimpse of what could be gained by such a project.

The new Hudson Correctional Facility is a welcome economic boost for the town's 1,600 residents.

"The answer was pretty loud and clear," says Hudson Town Administrator Joe Racine, who says voters overwhelmingly approved zoning for the prison in 2007. "It passed 2:1."

Right now Hudson is a sleepy commuter town just off I-76, east of Fort Lupton. But officials like Racine expect this to change because of the $90 million dollar correctional facility.

"The biggest single tax revenue item from the prison will be property tax and that exact amount won't be known until we get the assessor's evaluation on the facility," says Racine.

Houston-based Cornell Companies Inc. brought in millions of dollars to fund a new wastewater treatment facility. They also paved several roads around the prison, opening the door for new development.

"It's a significant injection into southern Weld County into an area that hasn't seen a lot of growth," say Charles Seigel, spokesman for Cornell.

Seigel estimates the 1,250-bed prison will pump more than $7 million in salaries to the area annually. But national studies have shown that workers choose to commute to work when prisons are located in rural communities, which could reduce the economic impact on Hudson. Joe Racine says there will be a pay off for his town, though.

"The I-76 corridor like the I-25 corridor before us will see significant growth," he says. "We've already seen significant growth just down the road in Brighton."

That growth will first come in the form of prisoners, and they won't be from Colorado. Department of Corrections officials cite Governor Ritter's recidivism package and the economy for a slow down in the prison population. Cornell says the first 800 inmates to arrive in Hudson will come from Alaska. More are likely from around the country in the years ahead.


Anonymous said...

My opinion of anyone who lauds the funding of a dam prison as a method of developing a community has to have rocks in there head.
The question for Cornell, (private corporate prison) to answer is why dont they build and spend there money in there home state of Texas??
I still think that wharehousing people, (even inmates) for profit is slavery and needs to stop.djw

Barney said...

My undersanding is that eventually all of the inmates required to fill the 1250 beds were to come from Alaska. That being the case, why not build the facility in Alaska? It's not like they have a lack of open space. Placing inmates from Alaska in Colorado makes it virtually impossible for their families to visit and extremely expensive for them to make phone calls or otherwise remain in touch. Not right!!!!! It's bad enough to have a loved one in prison in the same state, but to move them this far away from friends and family is unconscionable.