In Minnesota Political Notebook: Minority leader may be major player, Forum News Service reporter Don Davis reports:
A Republican-backed plan to put some state prisoners in the privately owned Appleton prison remained in budget legislation the House passed early Friday, but its future remains dim.
Democrats, led by Gov. Mark Dayton, vow that they never again will allow prisoners to be housed in a privately owned facility, even though the GOP plan would require the state to lease the prison and run it like any other Minnesota prison with state employees.
Several attempts to ban privately owned prisons failed in the GOP-controlled House.
Minnesota prisons are overcrowded, and about 475 state inmates are housed in county jails. While Republicans want to send prisoners to Appleton, on Friday an agreement was announced that also could reduce future overcrowding issues: shorter sentences for some drug crimes.
The Corrections Corporation of America closed the Prairie Correctional Facility closed in 2010 after Minnesota and other states pulled their prisoners.
It's interesting to see Davis cite a lower number of offenders in county jails than the one that Appleton Option supporters used in Thursday night's floor debate. Also worth noting: none of the female offenders languishing in county jails who tugged at the hearts of Star Tribune readers in mid-March will be housed in Appleton, which is a male prison.
Bluestem looked at part of Thursday's debate on the private prison in Appleton in the post Placebaiting & its discontents: Rep. Tim Miller says opposition to private prison is about him.
Photo: The shuttered prison at Appleton.
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