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Corrections Corporation of America Message Board

  • slowdiver67 slowdiver67 Mar 29, 2004 11:27 AM Flag

    CT inmates may be headed to OH

    February 23, 2004

    The next batch of inmates that Connecticut prison officials send out of state is likely to end up in a private prison in Ohio. Correction Commissioner Theresa Lantz told legislators this week that her department has issued a request for proposals seeking a provider with enough beds to hold all the inmates -which could number more than 2,000. But she said Corrections Corp. of America, which operates the Ohio facility, might be the only provider able to accommodate that many. Lantz assured lawmakers that like Connecticut, many other states are turning to private prisons to address their overcrowding issues. "Thirty-one states contract with private prisons, so it is not a unique phenomenon," said Lantz. "And I'm not saying that because I am trying to sell you on private prisons." She told members of the legislature's judiciary and appropriations committees during a joint hearing that she needs to find housing for inmates because the state's contract to house inmates in Virginia expires in 2005. She said the state's prison system does not have the capacity to absorb the 500 inmates currently housed there, even though the state's inmate population has significantly dropped since last year. As of January 2004, the state's inmate population was 18,523, including 554 inmates being held for the federal authorities. Last year, the figure stood at 19,216, including 368 federal detainees. John Ferguson, Corrections Corp. of America's chief executive, was quoted in the Tennessean newspaper in October claiming that his company's dormant facility in Youngstown, Ohio, which has 2,016 empty beds, would be an ideal site for Connecticut inmates. The company has roughly 6,800 empty beds in its 64 prisons around the country. His comments were in response to the legislature's approval last year of the governor's plan to send 2,000 more inmates out of state. (CTNow)

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