County developing strategy for state to use Appleton prison

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Minnesota’s Department of Corrections (DOC) will be seeking state approval for $85 to $100 million in bonding to add 500 beds to its Rush City prison facility in the coming year. The facility currently houses 1,000 adult males.
Before the state Legislature considers approving building new prison beds, it should consider first using the 1,600-bed Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, Swift County and Appleton officials believe.
 “Obviously with a closed prison facility in Appleton, we think there is a better alternative,” Swift County Administrator Mike Pogge-Weaver said at the board of commissioner’s meeting July 20. “So we made a request with CCA to discuss this. They are going to be out here in Swift County in early August so that we can kind of strategize together to tell our story. One of the things that we should look at doing is hiring a PR (public relations) and lobbying firm to help us craft that message.”

Photo: Appleton’s 1,600-bed Prairie Correction Facility has stood empty since early 2010. Now the DOC is planning to seek funds to build an addition to the Rush City prison facility at a cost of $85 to $100 million.

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