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Out with the old bad; in with the new bad

WALSENBURG- Corrections Corporation of America, the private prison company that runs the facility just east of Walsenburg, has announced it intends to transfer all of its current population of Colorado convicts to other CCA facilties in Bent, Crowley and Kit Carson counties, and replace them with 752 inmates from Arizona.

    CCA spokesman Allan Cramer said this is purely a business decision.  “These sort of things happen all the time.  It’s not something that is unusual,” he said.

    Under the current system with Colorado inmates, CCA receives $52 a day.  With Arizona inmates, CCA will receive $62 a day.  Currently, Huerfano County receives 50 cents an inmate per day, or $140,000 a year.  That amount is expected to stay the same.

    Personnel working at the prison are also expected to remain the same, with no additional hirings or firings. “There might be some procedural changes; doing things the way Arizona wants things done, but no big changes,” Cramer said.

    The big switch is expected to begin soon, and take four to six weeks.  It is not anticipated that the Colorado and Arizona inmate populations will mix.  As to how the inmates themselves feel about the matter, Cramer said, “I honestly don’t know how the inmates will take it.  I haven’t heard any big complaints.”  As to the inmates’ families that have moved to Huerfano County to be near their loved ones, Cramer assumes they will relocate to the other facility towns, and that some Arizona families will relocate here.  “It’ll be business as usual,” Cramer said.