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Order Up: State Strikes Deal With Arizona To House Inmates At New Castle

Prisoner_4We've already invited out-of-state companies to help themselves to more than $2 billion in Hoosier taxpayer dollars, so why not add a few out-of-state prisoners into the mix? Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

"With one state needing more prison beds and the other having room to spare, Arizona is sending up to 1,260 medium-security male prisoners to an Indiana state prison, officials in both states announced Monday.

"The first 104 prisoners arrived Monday evening at the New Castle state prison about 40 miles east of Indianapolis, Indiana Department of Correction spokeswoman Java Ahmed said.

"Ahmed said the New Castle prison, which opened in April 2002, currently houses 1,038 inmates, but has a capacity for 2,416, giving it room to accept out-of-state inmates.

"'That white elephant prison will now reach capacity, and we'll be able to hire a total of over 300 citizens in a community that could use the jobs,' Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said earlier in Indianapolis.

"While Indiana had space, Arizona had none. The Arizona Department of Corrections now has 36,000 prisoners in its system, which has permanent funding for 31,000 beds. Of the excess, 1,431 inmates are housed in 'provisional' beds at the Diamondback Correctional Facility, a private prison in Watonga, Okla. The department lost 1,500 temporary beds earlier this year when a private prison provider canceled two contracts in Texas.

"'We had no other option,' said Arizona corrections spokeswoman Katie Decker. 'We had to fly those people back and we're already overcrowded.'"

Comments

I question why the previous administration built a prison that evidently wasn't necessary.

I question why you don't want to talk about the issue at hand.

I question why all comments are beginning with "I question."

I also think opposition to this move is tough to back up. Anyone want to try it?

It was necessary. It just has not been used the way it was intended (mentally ill, sex offenders, etc). Largely due to unwillingness to spend operating dollars.

Why bring offenders in from other states who might just decide they want to stay in our fair state?

I think the main opposition to this probably won't come from Hoosiers; rather, it will be the family and friends of those prisoners who are being shipped halfway across the country.

I applaud the effort and expense that Arizona goes to in order to keep their criminals behind bars.

"I think the main opposition to this probably won't come from Hoosiers; rather, it will be the family and friends of those prisoners who are being shipped halfway across the country."

As my mom always said, "You should have thought about that before you did what you did."

"Why bring offenders in from other states who might just decide they want to stay in our fair state?"

I could be wrong, but because they offended in Arizona, they are likely to be released in Arizona. Especially if they are put on probation after their release.

Yea that Geo runs a heck of a ship out there. Some lady pulled up to the front gate with a fruadulent court document and drove away with one of their inmates just a month ago. The story is that this has happened twice. Not to mention the strangulation they had in August. Keep your eye on this ball.

In repsonse to the first comment about necessity...New Castle was slated to house Indiana's own prisoners who are/were still being housed in Kentucky. But, the legislature at the time included language in the budget that wouldn't release funds for the purpose of opening new beds in prisons...thus, the prison sat empty.

I overheard someone in the snack shop in the gov center this morning talking on the phone saying something along the lines of... "yeah, a bunch of them smoke [he had referred specifically to the new inmates], so were still trying to figure out what to do about that..."

Well, security was tight around the roads leading to the prison Monday night. Haven't seen that many sheriff cars letting speeders go by for a while. They were waiting on the prison bus to make sure nobody got off early!
New Castle is only an hour, if that, from Indy. With all the overcrowding in Marion Co. jails, what's wrong with housing them there? Oh, wait, their attorneys would be inconvenienced and so would they. Boo hoo.

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