The Colorado Department of Corrections is asking the state to add $11 million to this year’s budget to lease a private prison while it attempts to reopen a closed one in Canon City.
As The Denver Post reports, the department of correction’s supplementary budget shows it wants $10.9 million to open a 250-bed private prison because of an unexpected increase in prisoners.
Christie Donner, executive director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, said Colorado needs to study what is driving the rise in the inmate population and come up with alternatives to sending more people to prison.
In June, the department asked the Joint Budget Committee for an extra $15 million in its 2017-18 budget, $14.5 million of which was marked to lease a vacant private prison and staff it with corrections department employees. That request was denied.
In its most recent request, the corrections department warned that a crowded prison system could increase stress and racial tension and cause crowding at county jails.