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Minnesota Department of Corrections

December 14, 2011 AP
A former inmate in St. Cloud who says he suffered eye and skin damage after an adverse drug reaction is suing the state prison system's medical provider. Forty-nine-year-old Teddy Korf of Pine City has filed a federal lawsuit against Corizon Inc., formerly known as Correctional Medical Services. He claims that medical officials prescribed him a drug in 2007 used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy, even though he had no history of either. He says the drug had serious side effects that caused his skin to blister and slough off, and his corneas to deteriorate. He claims that medical officials prescribed him a drug in 2007 used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy, even though he had no history of either. Corizon attorney Charles Gross declined to comment to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Korf already reached a $275,000 settlement with the state Department of Corrections. His lawsuit asks for damages in excess of $75,000.

Prairie Correctional Facility
Appleton, Minnesota

Private prison company’s growth went hand-in-hand with political influence: Jon Collins September 26, 2011 Minnesota Independent

June 21, 2012 West Central Tribune
The market value of the privately owned Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton — its prison beds empty for nearly 2½ years — has been reduced by $7.5 million to a new value of $14 million. The reduction was approved Tuesday night by the Swift County Board of Equalization. But even that large reduction may not be enough to prevent the prison’s owner, Corrections Corporation of America, from seeking even greater tax relief by means of an appeal to the state. “They left, we hope, content enough not to appeal to the state board of equalization,” said Swift County Auditor Byron Giese. Assistant County Assessor Wayne Knutson had said the prison property should be valued at $22.5 million. The Corrections Corporation of America said it should be valued at $10 million. The Swift County Board of Equalization members agreed that the value of the empty prison should be reduced and members compromised with a market value of $14 million. It’s not known if Corrections Corporation of America will accept that $14 million valuation or if it will stage another appeal. The $14 million valuation is a far cry from the $42.9 million the county assessor valued the property at in 2010. That rate was also later reduced during a court appeal and binding negotiation — a process in which the county and Corrections Corporation of America has engaged ever since the 1,600-bed prison opened in 2001. “They have appealed every single time,” said Giese.

March 17, 2010 West Central Tribune
A tentative three-year tax agreement reached with the Corrections Corporation of America will mean lost revenues for Swift County, especially in 2011. Property taxes will likely increase to make up for a decrease in revenue that the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton had generated in the past, said Swift County Auditor Byron Giese. The prison, which closed in February, had appealed its $42.9 million valuation last fall, triggering a series of negotiation sessions. Following a closed meeting Tuesday, the Swift County Board of Commissioners approved a three-year deal that assumes the prison will remain empty in 2011 and hopeful that it will reopen in 2012, said Giese. The first part of the agreement includes a reduction in the 2009 valuation from $42.9 million to $32 million for the 2010 payable taxes. That translates into a loss of $50,000 in tax revenue to the county this year, which Giese said will have to come out of the county budget. “It’s something we have to deal with. It’s not insurmountable,” he said. Harder hit is the city of Appleton that will see $250,000 less in revenue. The Lac qui Parle Valley School District will have a decrease of $40,000 because of the lowered valuation of the prison, and the state will get $60,000 less Giese, said. The 2010 valuation, for taxes payable in 2011, will be lowered to $17.5 million. The financial impact on tax revenues for the local entities hadn’t been calculated with that low valuation. “Everyone will have to live with it and move forward,” Giese said. He said property taxes may have to increase 3 to 4 percent on each parcel to make up for the lost prison revenue: “Local taxpayers will pay more.” In the final phase of the three-year plan, the 2011 valuation for taxes payable in 2012 would increase to $21.5 million. “We’re anticipating that, hopefully, it’ll be open again,” said Giese, explaining why the valuation is scheduled to increase at that time. Corrections Corporation of America, which has other empty prisons in the system, has assured the county that reopening the Appleton prison is their number one priority. “It’s not good for any of us to have this thing closed,” Giese said. The board did express concern, however, that if the prison opens its doors again in a few months with the lower valuation that the county “could look like we have egg on our face,” said Giese. “But it would be a good thing to have it back open.” The tax plan was approved on a 4-1 vote, with Chairman Richard Hanson casting the lone no vote. Commissioners Gary Hendrickx, Joe Fox, Doug Anderson and Pete Peterson voted for the plan, which still must get final approval from Corrections Corporation of America and the courts. Another concern with the closed prison is the effect it will have on the 2010 Census. Ten years ago the facility had 1,400 prisoners that counted toward the county’s population. The population of a community is a factor in obtaining such things as federal aid. Giese said if the prison opens and the population increases in the future, the county could appeal the census count. The one bright spot financially for the county is that a $200,000 annual tax abatement that was part of the prison’s economic development incentive has expired after 10 years, said Giese.

February 2, 2010 KFGO
It's official. The Prairie Correctional facility at Appleton, in southwest Minnesota has closed. The private prison was the region's largest employer. 120 staff were laid off in December. The remaining 125 were out of jobs as of yesterday. Loss of contracts to house prisoners from other states with recession-related budget problems is blamed for the shutdown. Mayor Ron Ronning says it's a tremendous blow to the area economy, not only in lost jobs but in taxes and other fees paid to the city. Despite the bad news, Ronning gives prison owner, Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America high marks. The owner plans to spend 1.5 million dollars this quarter in upgrades, and has a plan to get the prison back in operation within 30 days if they can find prisoners to fill it. The private prison has a capacity of 16-hundred inmates.

January 19, 2010 AFL-CIO Now blog
In Minnesota, AFSCME and its correction officer members won a major victory in the fight against privatizing the state’s prisons when the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) announced it is shutting down its 1,600-bed Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton next month. Thanks to lobbying and pressure from AFSCME members, the state is placing more offenders in state-run facilities. The prison population at Prairie was down to just 250 at the end of 2009. Those inmates are being transferred to state facilities. Eliot Seide, AFSCME Council 5 executive director, says the union has been pushing government to take responsibility for corrections, not pass the buck to private corporations that profit from prisons. Tim Henderson, a corrections officer and president of AFSCME Local 2728, says the union successfully mobilized last year to block an attempt to shut down the state’s Moose Lake prison and transfer its inmates to Appleton. He says the state should not be “renting out its responsibilities.” We’ve been at war with the privateers, and we won’t stop until Minnesota places all of its inmates in state-run corrections facilities. Our efforts are paying off. A growing number of legislators are now convinced that privateers shouldn’t profit from prisons.

January 8, 2010 West Central Tribune
The upcoming closure of the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton will have financial implications for Swift County. This week the county received notice from prison owner Corrections Corporation of America that it had filed a tax appeal, claiming the property valuations and taxes due were too high. The appeal has become a normal practice since a 2003 out-of-court settlement between the county and Corrections Corporation of America. “It’s not a surprise. We knew it was coming,” said County Auditor Byron Giese. Every three years the county negotiates with the corporation, and they usually reach a three-year settlement, he said. The expected closure of the prison facility next month won’t change the negotiation process, but the final agreement could affect the county’s tax base. “It’s going to affect us, big time,” said Giese, adding that the county has retained the same attorney, Larry Harris, who negotiated the settlement for the two previous agreements. Whether the value of the facility will decrease once the prisoners have been moved out is “something that will have to be negotiated,” said Giese. The county is slowly starting to realize other areas, like its solid waste facility, that will be affected once the prison closes. The county facility, located in Benson, currently receives 7 tons to 8 tons of garbage a week from the prison, generating about $560 a week in revenue. When that waste stream ends, the county could lose $29,000 in annual revenue. Giese said the financial impact of the prison on the county’s finances are far-reaching. “There’s things we haven’t even thought of yet,” he said.

January 6, 2010 Star-Tribune
Hundreds of Pennsylvania prisoners who might have saved a cash-strapped private prison in western Minnesota from closing will go to state prisons in Michigan and Virginia instead. Those 2,000 medium-security inmates will be sent to under-used prisons that operate in similar fashion to what's being done in Pennsylvania, said Jeffrey Beard, the state's secretary of corrections. Minnesota had sent a proposal to Pennsylvania in hopes of keeping a private prison in Appleton open. That prison, which in past years had handled overflow from state-owned prisons in Minnesota and Washington, will close Feb. 1. Corrections Corp. of America (CCA), which owns the prison and runs 64 prisons in 19 states, is seeking a new state or federal contract to reopen the prison sometime this year. "A significant portion of that facility would have to be occupied" to reopen, said CCA spokesman Steve Owen. Pennsylvania's decision was a disappointment, he said. "Had that contract been secured, we could have kept Appleton open." Owen said his company had no advance notice of Pennsylvania's intentions when the decision was made in December to close the prison. It was an economic decision, he said, because occupancy at the 1,600-bed prison had dwindled to about 200 prisoners. The Minnesota Department of Corrections sent prisoners to Appleton in recent years when state-run prisons were full, but that need diminished with expansions in Faribault and other prisons, Deputy Director David Crist has said. Appleton also lost all of the inmates it once housed from Washington state. Kansas, Nevada and Oklahoma also asked for the Pennsylvania prisoner transfer, for which Pennsylvania would have paid all costs. Prisoners would remain in out-of-state prisons for three years. Pennsylvania's prison population stands at more than 51,000 in buildings intended to house 43,222 inmates. The Appleton closing will throw as many as 125 employees out of work. Owen said Wednesday that 18 workers from Appleton have thus far been hired by other CCA prisons. Appleton Mayor Ron Ronning, a prison employee, has said the closure will hit hard in the city of 2,700 residents.

December 26, 2009 AP
The closing of a private prison that once housed dozens of North Dakota inmates shouldn't affect the state's management of its prisoners, North Dakota's corrections director says. The Prairie Correctional Facility at Appleton, Minn., is shutting down Feb. 1. The prison, which is capable of holding about 1,600 inmates, is about 150 miles southeast of Fargo. Its owner, Corrections Corp. of America, which is based in Nashville, Tenn., said there has been much less demand for prison space from the states of Minnesota and Washington, the lockup's two primary customers. North Dakota's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation used the Appleton prison for several years to relieve overcrowding problems in North Dakota's system. However, the state hasn't sent prisoners to Appleton since the spring of 2006, said Leann Bertsch, the agency's director. The private prison housed more than 40 North Dakota inmates that year.

December 19, 2009 Star-Tribune
Three years ago, an inmate at the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, Minn., reported to a staff psychologist that a female kitchen supervisor sexually assaulted him in a storage room. While police investigated, prison officials placed the 42-year-old man in a segregation unit for a month, a move his attorney argued was retaliation for coming forward. The supervisor, Dorienne Homan, subsequently was charged and this past May entered an Alford plea to a count of fourth-degree sexual assault by a correctional employee. Under an Alford plea, a defendant asserts innocence but admits that there is enough evidence that the prosecution could likely win a conviction. She received no jail time. On Friday, when told that the inmate was now suing her and the prison, Homan maintained her innocence and expressed disappointment that "this issue hasn't been dropped." The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis this week, alleges that Homan, 36, reached inside the inmate's pants during a work shift and a day later asked if he wanted to have sex with her. When he said he wasn't interested, the suit says, Homan threatened to tell a guard the man sexually touched her. Feeling he had no choice, the inmate alleged in the suit that he gave in to her demands and had intercourse. A few days later, he told Homan that the assault caused mental and physical distress. According to the suit, she asked him whether he was going to "snitch" on her and said she had only joked about threatening to tell a guard about any sexual advances. During the criminal investigation, Homan was fired by Canteen, the food service that employed her for nine months. The inmate, referred to as John Doe in the lawsuit, suffered a lasting physical ailment from the assault, said his attorneys, Lori Peterson and J. Ashwin Madia. At the time of the incident, he was serving a sentence for a violent crime of a non-sexual nature and is continuing to serve it at Faribault Correctional Facility. "He decided to file the suit because he was frustrated this woman didn't get a more meaningful punishment or admit to what she did," Peterson said. "He's really angry and frustrated." Homan, of Odessa, Minn., was initially charged by the Swift County attorney's office with one count of third-degree and two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault by a correctional employee. Two of the counts were dropped as part of the plea agreement she reached in May. She is required to register as a predatory sex offender. "My family has been very, very supportive through all this," Homan said Friday. "The people who know me, they know I didn't do this." In the criminal complaint against Homan, she told authorities that she was never alone in the storage room with the inmate, a violation of prison policy. But prison surveillance videotape showed they were alone in the room for five minutes, according to the complaint. Homan's DNA was found in the inmate's underwear, the complaint said. Steve Meshbesher, Homan's criminal defense attorney, said Friday that she took the plea agreement because prosecutors offered the opportunity for an Alford plea, no jail time and unsupervised probation. "The risk of going to trial would be so much greater than the benefits of the deal we felt this would be something we couldn't pass up," he said. "So we took it and we are done with it."

December 6, 2009 INFORUM
Corrections Corporation of America plans to close its Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton early next year. Warden Tim Wengler notified the facility’s remaining 125 employees of the decision on Friday. The warden said it was difficult news to deliver, but that he remains hopeful of seeing the facility reopened. The company will continue to market the facility and will reopen its doors if a contract to house new inmates can be negotiated, according to Louise Grant, vice president of marketing and communications with Corrections Corporation of America at its Nashville, Tenn., headquarters. The state of Minnesota will remove its 200 inmates in the private prison at the end of January, and that will leave the 1,600-bed facility empty, company officials said. Minnesota and the state of Washington have been slowly removing their inmates from Prairie Correctional Facility this year due to the availability of space in their own prison systems. “It’s not anything we didn’t expect, but when you actually hear it, it’s a different thing,” said Appleton Mayor Ron Ronning. The mayor is among those who will be laid off. He has been with the facility for more than 15 years, having started just one year after its opening.

December 4, 2009 Marketwire
Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE: CXW) ("CCA"), the nation's largest provider of corrections management services to government agencies, announced today its intention to cease operations at the CCA-owned and operated Prairie Correctional Facility located in Appleton, Minnesota. The 1,600-bed facility will officially cease operations on or about February 1, 2010. During 2009, the Prairie facility has housed offenders from the states of Minnesota and Washington. However, due to excess capacity in the states' systems, both states have been reducing the populations held at Prairie. The facility currently houses about 200 offenders from the state of Minnesota. The state of Washington has removed all of its offenders from the Prairie facility, but maintains a population of approximately 125 inmates in two CCA-owned facilities in Arizona. The closure of the Prairie facility is not expected to have a material impact on CCA's financial results.

October 3, 2009 West Central Tribune
Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton is cutting its workforce by more than half in response to declining inmate numbers. The facility notified 120 workers Friday that they would be laid off effective Dec. 1. It will leave a working staff of 110, according to Warden Tim Wengler. The decision was forced when the private, 1,600-bed prison learned that the State of Washington would be removing 100 inmates, the warden told community representatives at a meeting on Friday. There are currently 342 inmates in the facility from the states of Washington and Minnesota. The warden and other administrators met earlier in the morning with employees at the facility, and have been meeting individually with those affected by the layoffs. The cuts go across the board, and involve administrative and correctional positions alike, according to the warden. The facility has been working hard to avoid layoffs since last spring when the state of Minnesota began to pare its number of inmates at the facility. The facility had avoided layoffs by reducing the two-week work period to 72 hours and by allowing workers to transfer to other facilities within the Corrections Corporation of America, the prison’s owner. The Nashville, Tenn., based company is extending that offer to all of the employees to be laid off. Steve Conry, vice president of operations for CCA, said Appleton employees were told they could transfer to other CCA facilities and maintain full pay and benefits with the promise they could return to their Appleton jobs when they become available. Conry said CCA could absorb virtually all of the laid off employees at other facilities, but realizes that many will be unwilling to leave families behind to relocate. He said the Appleton facility will host a job fair, and offer classes on job seeking skills as well as bringing in Minnesota Work Force representatives to assist the employees in the coming weeks. The company is also continuing to work hard to market the facility to other states, according to Conry. He blamed the decline in inmate numbers on tight state budgets and the facility’s location. He said nationwide, CCA has just opened a new facility in Georgia and is seeing lots of demand for housing inmates in the Deep South and the Far West. Appleton’s location in the Midwest puts it at a disadvantage right now, since many states are wary of the expenses associated with transportation. “It’s hard for those states to make decisions to go long distance,’’ he said.

September 6, 2009 Minnesota Public Radio
Residents of the western Minnesota town of Appleton are concerned about the future of one of the town's main employers, a private prison. The institution is operating at far less than its capacity of 1600. Prairie Correctional Facility's population is less than a third of that. The number of workers at the prison has also fallen by about a third, to around 250. Appleton Mayor Ron Ronning can see the impact of the decline from two sides--he also works at the prison. He said the town needs the jobs the prison provides and says the facility is important to city government because it contributes about a million dollars a year in revenue. "It's a livelihood for Appleton," said Ronning. "It's one of the biggest sources of incomes that we have in our budget." One reason for the decline is the state of Minnesota decision to move hundreds of its inmates out of the prison. Sarah Berg with the Minnesota Corrections Department said the state reduction will continue. Right now the Department of Corrections has about 200 offenders at the Prairie Correctional facility," she said. "And with our expansion at the Faribault prison we anticipate reducing our numbers at Prairie. But with population growth we expect to be using Prairie more in the future."

August 12, 2009 West Central Tribune
Hopes that inmates from Alaska could fill empty beds at the Prairie Correctional Facility were dashed on Monday. The Alaska Department of Corrections did not select the facility to hold its prisoners being housed outside of the state, according to information from Prairie Correctional Facility. “The Prairie Correctional Facility management and staff are obviously disappointed,’’ a news release from Prairie Correctional Facility on Monday stated. Published news accounts indicate that the Alaska Department of Corrections is entering into a contract with Cornell Corporation Inc. to house up to 1,000 inmates at its new facility in Hudson, Colo. The Alaska Department of Corrections is not renewing a contract it had with Corrections Corporation of America, which owns the Appleton facility. Corrections Corporation of America has been housing Alaska inmates in its Arizona facilities under the contract. Officials in Appleton were hoping that negotiations between the corporation and the Alaska Department of Corrections would bring inmates to fill empty beds. The 1,600-bed facility has seen its inmate numbers decline as the state of Minnesota begins transferring its inmates to state-run facilities. The Appleton prison also holds inmates from the state of Washington. To avoid layoffs, the Appleton facility adopted a new work schedule this summer. Hourly employees work 72 hours in every two-week pay period instead of the customary 80 hours. Salaried employees have also reduced their work schedules by taking one-week furloughs. The facility is one of the largest employers in Swift County, with 249 employees at the time the reduced hours were implemented in June to avoid layoffs. It has also worked to avoid job losses through attrition.

June 19, 2009 Morris Tribune
A $20 million difference of opinion in the market value of a privately owned prison in Appleton could end up in court. The Swift County assessor set the 2009 value of the property at $42.9 million. A representative of the Corrections Corporation of America told the Swift County Board of Appeal and Equalization on Tuesday the property should be valued at $23.7 million. The board, which is comprised of the members of the regular Board of Commissioners, denied a request to lower the property values. That will likely result in the prison filing a court appeal, said Auditor Byron Giese. Once that happens, then the county and prison officials can begin a negotiation process that will hopefully result in a value that all parties can agree to. If the two entities can’t agree on a number, “then we spend a whole bunch on money of attorneys and appraisers,” said Giese, and the case will be decided by a judge. Unlike residential property values that are set each year, Swift County and the prison have agreed to go through the complicated process every three years to establish a three-year schedule for the valuations. During the last round in 2006, the prison filed an appeal in court and then the two sides negotiated an agreement, said Giese. The county spent about $5,000 in legal fees. The commissioners are hoping a similar smooth scenario takes place this time. In 2003, a different approach was used. At that time, each entity hired appraisers and attorneys and negotiated an agreement without court intervention. Ironically, that method cost the county about $125,000 in legal fees. Giese said it’s actually easier to negotiate an agreement once an appeal has been filed in court, than doing it outside the boundaries of the court. Also, he said, when an agreement is negotiated during a court appeal, the settlement is binding. In 2006 the property value of the prison was set at $24 million. In 2007 it was $28 million and in 2008 it was set at $32 million. Although prison populations are decreasing and the prison is currently at 55 percent capacity, during the last three years it’s been at about 98 percent capacity, said Giese. That historical data was used to determine the 2009 rate.

June 5, 2009 Park Rapids Enterprise
Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton is avoiding layoffs by cutting hours for all of its employees. The action comes in anticipation of declining inmate numbers. Workers at the private prison will work 72 hours in every two-week pay period, instead of the customary 80 hours, according to Warden Tim Wengler. Salaried staff will see a similar reduction by taking one-week furloughs. The plan was outlined to the facility’s 249 employees Wednesday. It’s expected to remain in place for three or four months, as the prison expects to see many of its Minnesota inmates transferred back to state-owned facilities. Wengler said the plan to reduce hours avoids layoffs for 40 some employees.

May 14, 2009 Morris Sun-Tribune
The State of Minnesota continues to slowly pluck its inmates from the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, but what it takes with one hand could be returned with the other. Officials at the privately owned facility in Appleton are hopeful that legislation to repeal Minnesota’s short-term offender law will be signed into law. If so, state prisoners who now complete the final 180 days of their incarceration in county jails could be serving that time in the Appleton facility. The numbers vary, but there can be as many as 300 or 350 short-term offenders in county facilities at any one time. They could help make up for some of the long-term Minnesota offenders the facility is now losing, said Timothy Wengler, warden of the Prairie Correctional Facility. He cautioned that even if the short-term offender law is repealed, it could be weeks or months before the Appleton facility sees some of the offenders now being sent to county jails. The Minnesota Department of Corrections is carrying out plans to move its inmates in Appleton to its own facilities, primarily to the newly remodeled and expanded prison in Faribault. Those plans are the cause of concern in Appleton, where the Prairie Correctional Facility is one of the largest employers. A large crowd of people, many of them employees of the facility, voiced their anxieties in February at a town meeting hosted by local legislators. Wengler said the state has been removing its inmates in small numbers based on programming needs for the individuals. The facility currently holds 442 Minnesota inmates, down from 542 earlier this year. The drawdown hasn’t occurred as rapidly as originally feared, he said. Along with inmates from the state of Washington, the Appleton facility currently holds 855 inmates. Staffing levels at the facility are currently at 235, which he described as right where it should be for the current inmate population. The facility has a capacity of 1,600 beds, and the warden would like to see the beds filled and staffing increased again to 353 positions. It is currently working aggressively to market the available beds to other states. It recently sent a contract proposal to one interested party. The facility has been able to manage the loss of Minnesota inmates without cutting jobs. The facility has been able to reduce staffing costs entirely through attrition, Wengler said.

February 21, 2009 Morris Sun Tribune
Anxiety levels are running high in Appleton, where workers at the Prairie Correctional Facility are fearful that a proposal to transfer inmates to the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault will cost them their jobs. “Devastating’’ is how Appleton Mayor Ron Ronning, himself an employee of the private prison, described the consequences to his community should the facility be closed or mothballed. The mayor was among well over 120 people, most of them employees of the facility, who packed the Appleton Civic Center on Friday morning for a town meeting hosted by State Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, and State Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock. Mayor Ronning said he feared that Appleton and the surrounding rural area could see a major exodus of jobs and suffer the economic strife that gripped it during the farm crisis of the 1980s, when businesses shuttered their windows and homes were left vacant. The 1,600-bed Appleton facility is currently housing 542 inmates from Minnesota and another 525 from the state of Washington, according to Tim Wengler, its warden. The state of Washington has been slowly reducing its number of inmates. Joan Fabian, commissioner of the state Department of Corrections, has proposed moving the Minnesota inmates at Prairie Correctional Facility to Faribault, which has recently been expanded by 80 beds and is being remodeled. It would continue to use the Appleton facility on an “as needed basis,’’ according to Kubly. The loss of the Minnesota inmates would force Corrections Corporation of America, owner of the Appleton facility, to pare its staffing accordingly, Wengler told the Tribune. He said CCA is working aggressively to contract prisoners from other states, but acknowledged that it is proving difficult. It is currently negotiating with Alaska, but he noted that nearly every state is facing serious budget deficits and looking at ways to cut costs. The Appleton prison currently employs 269 people, down from a high of 370 positions. It has been paring its work force through attrition, and has not hired since last July, according to Prairie Correctional Facility officials. The Department of Corrections has provided testimony at the Capitol claiming that moving inmates to Faribault would save money, according to Kubly. Information provided by the department indicated that it costs Minnesota $77.11 per day to house an inmate in Appleton, when transportation and other costs are added to the daily contract cost with the private facility. The DOC claims it can house inmates at Faribault for an average of $55.38 per day. Those numbers were challenged at the town meeting. Swift County Commissioner Gary Hendrickx told the legislators that the DOC’s annual report for 2008 showed that its average inmate costs at Faribault were just over $109 per day. Kubly said that he has met with Fabian, who said the DOC’s figures comparing costs at Appleton and Faribault are the “marginal costs’’ and do not include all of the fixed costs. Appleton prison officials said the state is saving money by using the private facility, while inmates are receiving services every bit the equal of that offered by the state system. Wengler told the Tribune the state can save $25 million a year by keeping its inmates in Appleton.

September 30, 2008 Star Tribune
From where Toinette Gliem sits she can watch all four wings inside one of Faribault prison's new living units. Computer technology allows her to lock and unlock doors, explore corners of the wings with video cameras, even switch lights and water on and off. ¶ "There's a lot more control," said Gliem, 25, who works at computers designed to detect trouble. "It's just good all around. It's safer for the inmates, it's safer for the staff." Because of legislative appropriations totaling $129 million over the past three years, this sprawling medium-security institution in southeast Minnesota is rapidly transforming into the state's largest prison, already rivaling Stillwater. New, more secure buildings are opening while others are being remodeled or razed. As the landscape of this former hospital for the developmentally disabled changes, the Minnesota Department of Corrections has begun shifting an additional 600 inmates to Faribault. By the end of 2009, the prison will house 2,025 men. "In our old buildings, we had four, six, eight guys [per room] in some of those dormitories," said Connie Roehrich, Faribault's warden. "Too many people, too many problems." Many of the new inmates will come from Prairie Correctional Facility, a private prison in Appleton, Minn., where the state rents about 770 beds because of crowding at the state's eight adult prisons, said David Crist, the DOC's assistant commissioner of facilities services.

April 20, 2006 AP
Appleton, Minn. Swift County has raised the valuation of the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, Wis., 128 percent. Officials from the privately-owned prison are contesting the valuation, which increased from $14 million in 2005 to nearly $32 million in 2006. Warden Daren Swenson met with Swift County Assessor Edward Pederson earlier this month. Swenson says under an agreement reached with the county three years ago, the prison's property taxes are currently at $670,000. If the 128 percent increase goes into effect, they will pay nearly $1.5 million next year. Prairie Correctional Facility is owned by Corrections Corporation of America.

January 25, 2006 AP
A private Minnesota prison is giving North Dakota more time to find space for inmates who have been housed there. The Appleton prison, operated by Corrections Corporation of America, notified North Dakota in November that it no longer had room for North Dakota prisoners. As of early this week, the state still had 48 prisoners in Appleton, which is more than 300 miles from Bismarck. North Dakota warden Tim Schuetzle said the Appleton prison has given North Dakota until the end of March to find another place for them. CCA offered to take some prisoners to another prison it operates in Colorado for the same price per day, per inmate - $54, Schuetzle said. But the Colorado lockup is about twice as far from Bismarck as the Minnesota prison, and the Colorado prison will only take 27 North Dakota prisoners, he said.

December 6, 2005 AP
A private prison in Minnesota can no longer take inmates from North Dakota, the North Dakota prison warden says. Warden Tim Schuetzle said the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, Minn., is filling up with Minnesota inmates and can no longer house North Dakota prisoners. "Sometime over the next month or so we'll be moving the North Dakota inmates out of Appleton," he said. "That creates problems for us because we don't have any space at our prisons here." He said arrangements are being made to house prisoners at another privately run prison in Burlington, Colo. "But it's twice as far for us to transport inmates so it's more expensive," Schuetzle said.

November 15, 2005 Casper Star Tribune
When Idaho shipped 302 inmates to a private Minnesota prison last month, it was only easing overcrowding: The state's prisons remain above capacity, and Department of Correction officials appear likely to ask for a nearly $8 million cash infusion during the upcoming 2006 Legislature to handle the overflow. With a two-year contract, it'll cost Idaho about $1.1 million more to lock up its prisoners at the prison in Appleton, Minn., run by the Corrections Corporation of America. That's based on figures given by state officials on Oct. 27, when they said it would cost $53 per day in Minnesota, compared to $48 in Idaho. State prison officials, including prison system director Tom Beauclair, are arguing that this added burden, which doesn't include the cost of transporting inmates or keeping their records from afar, is another reason why Idaho should invest $160 million in new prisons. As a stopgap measure, Beauclair is expected in January to ask legislators for another $7.9 million for the current fiscal year to cover the cost of housing overflow inmates both out-of-state and in county jail cells. "Obviously the governor would prefer not to have to send folks out of state," said Mike Journee, spokesman for Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, in an interview with The Spokesman-Review newspaper. "That's a costly remedy for the situation."

October 21, 2005 AP
More than 300 Idaho inmates will be housed in Minnesota under an agreement with a private prison company, Idaho Department of Correction officials announced Friday. The inmates will be transferred from Idaho facilities to the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, Minn., by the end of the month. Housing the inmates in Minnesota will cost Idaho taxpayers $53 per inmate per day, officials said. It costs about $48 per day to house an inmate in an Idaho prison.

September 8, 2005 Pioneer Press
Lawmakers must step up with cash to expand prisons in Minnesota if the state is to safely house the growing inmate population. We read with interest Bill Salisbury's piece in Tuesday's Pioneer Press on the upcoming tab for housing the state's prisoners and sex offenders, estimated at $140 million if the departments of Corrections and Human Services get all they say they need. The article hammers home a point we've been making for more than a year: If legislators stiffen sentences, they must also provide funds to house the increasing number of prisoners that result from their policy decisions. Corrections has been given some short-term relief as Wisconsin has withdrawn its prisoners from the Corrections Corporation of America facility in Appleton, which opened up about 1,300 beds. The expansion of the Faribault prison, which was part of the bonding bill passed in the last legislative session, will add a little more than 1,000 new beds. And expanding current facilities makes the most economic sense. According to Benson, expansion of existing facilities would result in long-term costs of about $45 a day per prisoner. By comparison, private jails, such as the CCA facility in Appleton, cost $55 a day to house each prisoner, but the real cost is closer to $70 a day when you factor in transportation and administrative costs, Benson said. Building a new facility is even more expensive.

July 24, 2005 Twin Cities
Better late than never for Faribault and Stillwater projects included in the bonding bill that finally passed last session.
The state finally passed a bonding bill in the last legislative session that included money to address some of these long-standing problems. The largest single project in the bill was $85 million to expand the Faribault prison, adding more than 700 beds. About $3.5 million was also committed to building a new 150-bed high-security lockup at Stillwater. Corrections is getting some relief due to the fact that Wisconsin is pulling its inmates out of the privately run Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, Minn., which will open up about 1,300 beds. But expanding Minnesota's existing facilities is by far the cheapest way to add space.  According to Benson, expanding existing facilities results in long-term costs of about $45 a day per prisoner. By comparison, private jails, such as the Appleton prison, cost $55 a day to house each prisoner, but the real cost is closer to $70 a day when you factor in transportation and administrative costs, Benson said. Building a brand new prison can be even more expensive.