[May 30, 2013] State officials announced Thursday that they will hold meetings in prison communities around Colorado next month, to discuss the likely closure of one or more correctional facilities.
These sessions come in advance of the release of a study which is likely to recommend which prison should be the next to close.
The prison utilization study was authorized by the General Assembly last yearlooks at how to more efficiently house Colorado’s declining prison population in fewer facilities, and to study the economic footprint those prisons have in their surrounding communities. It’s recommendations are likely to carry a lot of weight with state officials deciding which prison to close next, although they aren’t bound to its findings.
Because closing a prison can have a major impact on the local community, especially in rural areas, state budget director Henry Sobinet says it’s important to meet with local leaders about what may be coming.
We expect to hear from all the regions, pros and cons, depending on what the plan will be,” Sobanet said Thursday, “We wanted to give them a preview of the process going forward and for them to look us in the eye and talk to us about what’s important for them.”
Colorado lawmakers set aside three million dollars this year to help rural prison communities try to diversify their economies ahead of coming closures.
Upcoming prison study meetings: