CANON CITY — Although the inmate population at the state's 20 prisons is declining, state officials have no plans to close another prison after closing the Colorado Women's prison here last year.
"The population is still declining every month. We are getting less court commitment and this is happening across the nation, not just in Colorado," said Katherine Sanguinetti, Department of Corrections spokeswoman.
Not counting private prisons or community corrections beds, the state has the capacity to house 14,832 inmates and the total population by the end of December was 14,426. That leaves the state with 406 open prison beds.
"Clearly, with the budget crisis in the state, the administration and the legislators have tough decisions to make and all options are on the table. But at this point, there are not plans to decommission another state facility," Sanguinetti said.
State prisons officials had considered closing the 192-bed Rifle Correctional Center prison last year but later decided that would not be in the best interest of the state, Sanguinetti said. According to the Colorado Department of Corrections fiscal year 2008 report, adult prisoner admissions rose 3.9 percent but releases increased 4.5 percent.
"The difference between admissions and releases has decreased in recent years, contributing to a slower expansion rate than in years past. The compounded admissions growth rate from fiscal year 2002 to fiscal year 2008 was 6.1 percent per year, while the release rate averaged 8.3 percent per year," according to the report.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
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.
Saturday, January 23, 2010