Courts & Crime

Alaska switches prison contract; inmates to move to Colorado

Alaska's 800 inmates doing time in a private prison in Arizona will be moving to another private prison in Colorado by the end of the year.

There they will stay for three years until Alaska finishes building its own lockup in Mat-Su to finally accommodate the state's long-standing overflow.

The Alaska Department of Corrections is switching its $20 million-a-year private prison contract from the company that has held it for 15 years, the Corrections Corp. of America, to Cornell Companies, a Texas-based company the department already uses to run halfway houses in Alaska.

The prisoners will leave the Red Rock Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz., for the Hudson Correctional Facility in Hudson, Colo., about 30 miles northeast of Denver, sometime before Christmas, said Alaska Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt.

The state will save about $6 a day per prisoner from the switch, the commissioner said, for a total of approximately $1.75 million a year. The state now pays $65 per day per prisoner at Red Rock; it will be paying $59 per day per prisoner at Hudson.

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