Empty Colorado Supermax Prison Needs Inmates: Got Any Ideas?

October 13, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The State of Colorado is battling with a budget crisis, like many states around the nation struggling to provide essential services during a severe recession. Gov. Bill Ritter proposed last January, together with other cost-saving measures, delaying the opening of the state’s new $200-million supermax prison by one year, to July 2010, saving the beleaguered state $2.7 million.

Now, a Republican lawmaker wants to go one step further and sell the empty facility to a private firm. But Alan Prendergas of the Denver Westword blog, has some novel ideas of his own.

The new supermax prison is one of eight prisons inside a barbed-wire compound in Canon City. The State of Colorado certainly has a need for increased prison space. The older high-security facility, called the Centennial is near capacity and an unknown number of dangerous inmates are now housed in the county lockup.

Most lawmakers in the state, including the corrections director, are against selling the supermax building to a private company. And due to past problems and prisoner disturbances, state law prohibits private companies from running maximum security prisons.

Meanwhile the $200-million supermax prison sits empty, gathering dust. So, what is the State of Colorado to do? The Denver Westword has some suggestions:

“1. Spillover, minimalist housing for art sophisticates coming to Canon City to view Christo’s proposed installation project above the Arkansas River.

2. Austere retreat for former investment advisers, AIG executives, and peddlers of mortgage-backed securities seeking spiritual absolution for their part in the economic meltdown.

3. Detainment camp for 9-11 truthers, Obama birthers, Glenn Beckians, Californians who move here and then wonder why Colorado isn’t more like California, and any other annoying fringe types who need only this little nudge to confirm their secret hopes that yes, they are indeed living in a fascist state.”

A few more ideas to add to suggestion No. 3 come to mind: Let’s not forget deathers, extreme right-wingers who want to stage a revolution or coup against our government. And perhaps the controversial hate talk radio show host, Rush Limbaugh could use a nice quiet break away from all that hard work of hate-mongering and “spawning” others of his ilk.

And on a more serious note, President Obama has been stymied at every turn, by state lawmakers refusing to house detainees, as he attempts to close Guantanamo prison. How about offering up some space to hold detainees, while they await trial and beyond?

Got any ideas of your own? Let’s hear them.


7 Responses to “Empty Colorado Supermax Prison Needs Inmates: Got Any Ideas?”

  1. Old Man Dotes on October 13th, 2009 7:29 pm

    How about we send the top 5 levels of the Bush Administration there, pending trial for crimes against humanity, war crimes, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors?

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  5. Ahma_Daeus on October 15th, 2009 11:00 am

    Even if one does not ask or pretends not to see the rope and the flashing red flag draped around the philosophical question standing solemnly at attention in the middle of the room, it remains apparent that the mere presence of a private “for profit” driven prison business in our country undermines the U.S Constitution and subsequently the credibility of the American criminal justice system. In fact, until all private prisons in America have been abolished and outlawed, “the promise” of fairness and justice at every level of this country’s judicial system will remain unattainable. We must restore the principles and the vacant promise of our judicial system. Our government cannot continue to “job-out” its obligation and neglect its duty to the individuals confined in the correctional and rehabilitation facilities throughout this nation, nor can it ignore the will of the people that it was designed to serve and protect. There is urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of indifference, apathy, cynicism, fear, and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.
    My hope is that you will support the National Public Service Council to Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) with a show of solidarity by signing “The Single Voice Petition”

    Please visit our website for further information: http://www.npsctapp.blogspot.com

    –Ahma Daeus
    “Practicing Humanity Without A License”…

  6. Mary-Ellen on October 18th, 2009 8:35 am

    How is this for an idea? Send all CSP inmates to the new facility. Turn the old CSP into an educational facility for all the inmates that will be getting out in 3-4 years. Pull the teaching staff out of all Colorado facilities. This teaching staff will be comprise of inmates that have BA, BS, Masters and technical skills in a trade in their respective fields and are serving longer sentences. For their service they will see double good behavior time subtracted from their sentences.

  7. Jack Wilson on December 16th, 2009 1:09 pm

    I would load it up with those from the Obama administration who 1) haven’t paid their taxes 2) have given comfort to the enemy by providing terrorists with civilian trials and 3) who are increasing federal debt levels exponentially

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