Prison cutbacks face opposition
and Huerfano officials ask governor to reconsider early release program. Crowley
Commissioners in Bent,
Ritter announced the Accelerated Transition Pilot program in August. By June 30, an estimated 2,720 inmates out of 3,400 eligible for parole will be on the streets, saving the state $19 million in prison housing costs. The next year, another 3,000-plus inmates could be released.
But Bent County Commissioner Bill Long said that the lion's share of the proposed reduction would come from the private prisons in
Long said the proposed releases will impact the private facilities which were built at the request of the state. "If they do what they have been talking about in the last few days, which is 5,000 to 6,000 inmates possibly being up for parole, that will empty virtually every private prison in Colorado that has Colorado inmates," Long said.
"I guarantee that this will be an absolute disaster for
The Crowley County Correctional Facility in Olney Springs and the Bent County Correctional Facility in Las Animas are key parts of their local economies with more than 200 employees at each facility, Long said.
"We receive property tax, telephone revenue and other benefits from the
facilities," Long said.
Long explained that the Huerfano County Correctional Facility in Walsenburg and the Kit Carson Correctional Facility in
Currently the Huerfano facility is full of inmates from
"That would be another facility that was built primarily for