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Aug 25, 2010 8:27 PM by David Ortiviz

New high security prison opens in Canon City

Part of a new maximum security prison will open next week. It's located east of Canon City on Evans Boulevard, off of Highway 50.

The Centennial Correctional Facility will hold some of Colorado's most violent offenders, who've had trouble at other prisons.

One wing of the prison will open on Sept. 1, 2010. The wing can hold more than 300 inmates, with about 250 workers.

The prison has been years in the works, but state lawmakers didn't come up with the money to staff it until now. "It was a struggle to open this one tower--to get the staffing, everybody knows how difficult the state's budget is, but we had 3 homicides in 3 separate facilities in the course of 3 months last year in Colorado. We needed higher security," said Rep. Buffie McFadyen, (D) Pueblo West.

"The legislature saw our need. The legislature saw we had high security inmates that we did not have housing for," said Ari Zavaras, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections.

The cost to build the prison was $163 million. There are two more wings vacant and available, if the need arises.

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