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Senators push to reopen state prison in final week of the session, bucking correctional reform efforts in the House

The momentum came to an end Tuesday when the House Judiciary Committee voted 6-5 along party lines to kill the bill. Several of the committee members wanted to prevent the prison from opening so that the Department of Corrections would be pressured to transition inmates into community corrections and parole.


The proposed spending comes as the state’s prison population is expected to rise above 20,000 inmates as soon as next year, according to state economists, in part due to a “rapidly rising felony caseload.”


“I would characterize it as giving us a lot more flexibility and reducing the rush of overcrowding,” Sen. Kent Lambert, a Republican from Colorado Springs who is the only sponsor on the bill, told The Colorado Independent.


The bill would have made Centennial South Correctional Facility, which has 948 high-security single-bed cells, into an intake facility for new inmates.



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