Note: This post is part of our continuing coverage of the effort to re-open the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, a private prison owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). For earlier coverage, check out the links at the bottom of the post.
At 9:00 a.m. this morning, The Uptake will live-stream the first meeting of the Prison Population Taskforce meeting. Watch via this link: http://theuptake.org/live-channel/the-uptake-livestream-channel/
On Wednesday, Senator Ron Latz issued the following statement about the informal task force and process:
State Senator Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) has assembled a Prison Population Taskforce to review issues related to the growing prison population in Minnesota. Currently, over 500 inmates are housed in county jails across Minnesota. As a result, the Department of Corrections has requested over $140 million in a bonding to build a new prison housing until at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Rush City.
The Prison Population Taskforce is an informal group of legislators and stakeholders who will discuss the status of and solutions to the current prison population in Minnesota. Taskforce members include legislators from the House and Senate, officials from the Department of Corrections, public defenders, law enforcement, and associations of probations workers, among others.
The first meeting of the Prison Population Taskforce will be held on Friday, September 25th at 9:00 AM in Room 10 of the State Office Building. No formal action will be taken and the meeting is open to the public. The agenda includes a presentation by the Department of Corrections and a discussion on potential issues to address in-depth at future meetings throughout the fall and winter.
“It is imperative that the discussion on the complex and weighty issue of our prison population begin now. The legislative session begins on March 8th of next year, allowing only 10 weeks to tackle this difficult topic and huge request for bonding dollars,” says Sen. Latz. “Through the Prison Population Taskforce, it is my intention to have a public discussion prior to the legislative session on the possibilities of reform with those who understand the issue best. The Taskforce is going to take a hard look at the causes of our rising prison population and, with the input of the Department of Corrections and other stakeholders, identify areas of concern and solutions within the prisons system. It is my hope that after the taskforce’s work is done, Minnesota’s criminal justice system will emerge stronger and become the model for other states to aspire to.”
For our earlier coverage of the plan to re-open the Appletin prison, check out the links below:
Photo: Prairie Correctional Facility, the shuttered CCA prison in Appleton, which is being proposed as an alternative to expanding the state-owned and operated facility in Rush City. The public affairs/lobbying firm hired by Swift County insists that if re-opened, the Appleton prison would be operated by the state.
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