Prison bill to allow CSPII closure introduced - The Pueblo Chieftain: Local News
DENVER — Bills were introduced in the Colorado Legislature on Wednesday to authorize closure of a Canon City prison and launch a study to guide future management of the state’s prison system.
A declining prison population and a shift toward treatment and away from administrative segregation (solitary confinement) of prisoners drove the General Assembly’s decision to close the south campus of Centennial Correctional Facility, also known as Colorado State Penitentiary II.
Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration, members of the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee and Southern Colorado lawmakers have expressed the need for a thorough assessment of the prison system to inform decisions regarding the course of corrections in the state for the next five years, including possible prison closures.
That study would be authorized by HB1336, sponsored by budget committee members. It directs the governor’s budget office to commission a study of corrections and authorizes spending $350,000 for the study.
It recommends seating an advisory group of stakeholders and experts versed in the operation of prison systems, and calls for quarterly reports on the subject from the governor’s budget office to the budget committee.
The system-wide study sought in the bill would assess the most appropriate and cost-effective use of state and private-prison beds, considering scenarios that range from growing or declining inmate population to risk classification of prisoners.