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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.

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

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Legislators Disagree About Prison Sale

Pueblo Chieftain
CANON CITY - A proposed bill that will suggest the state sell Colorado State Penitentiary II because it cannot afford to staff it is getting reaction for local lawmakers.

Construction of the $208 million administrative-maximum-security prison is well underway at the East Canon Prison Complex, and it should be complete by next spring. Because the state cannot afford to staff it in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, Rep. Glenn Vaad, R-Weld County, will run a bill that proposes to sell the prison, perhaps to a private prison company.

"Well, I don't think that's a very good idea," said Sen. Ken Kester, R-Las Animas. "One, it is a high security prison and two, it is located in that complex with (six) other state prisons.

"I'm not in favor of mixing private and state prisons in short distances from each other. We have four private prisons in the state and that is probably all we need - they've been a big help to us when we run out of room."

Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, agreed. "I respect Rep. Vaad very much, but his proposal is very bad. There are inherent safety issues. We don't allow private prison contractors to run high-custody beds, and the entire complex is a secured area," McFadyen said.

When the prison is complete, it and neighboring Centennial Correctional Facility will run off the same control-room system as well as share a kitchen.

"I don't know of a private prison company that would be able to afford to purchase CSPII, let alone foot the very significant cost to run it," McFadyen said.

Kester said he favors holding onto CSPII.

"There is probably going to be a time we need it, and we need to have it available," Kester said.

"He (Vaad) is a very nice person, and I like him a lot, but he has the wrong idea this time," Kester said.

"I don't believe the bill will pass. I understand his intent, but public safety is the job of the state," McFadyen said.


Anonymous said...

I said in 2007 that this prison would cost $200M and I was publicly criticized by Ari Zavaras, in Fort Collins, that it would only cost $140M. Who is right now? Who lies to the legislature and the public? Despite budget cuts, who has the only state department that proudly boasts that it never cut one of its 6500 employees in the last 10 years?mpc

Anonymous said...

McFaden is another one who needs to quit uttering about public safety. Its not an issue with inmates being released. What she aand all the other so called experts need to do is clean up the streets of downtown Denver so one could safely walk the streets at night.
As for the prison that you spent over 200 million on, why the hell did you vote for building it when you know we dont need it?
Why not release all the non violent offenders and offer them treatment. Move all the murderers and rapists to new max security prison and close the rest. Turn a couple into treatment centers to help the thousands you have already screwed up. djw

Unknown said...

According to my son (who is an inmate with only 5 months left until his sentence discharge date), the early release program bagan and abruptly ended with the one release of 10 poorly selected inmates. These people lie at every turn. These early releases were not to have included violent offenders or sex offenders, yet out of 23,000 inmates, they could not chose 10 who did not fall into those prohibited categories?!?!?
What the public is not taking into consideration is that these people were going to be released within weeks anyway. Any reoffending they were to do would have only been delayed by days or weeks, not eliminated. WHAT A SAD JOKE!!!!!!!