Jan 21, 2010 7:38 PM by Bea Karnes and David Ortiviz

Private prison in Walsenburg closing

A private prison in Walsenburg that employs 188 people will close, likely in April.

The prison is run by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and houses 700 inmates from Arizona. Arizona is ending all contracts for housing inmates out of state because of budget cuts.

CCA plans to offer transfers to affected workers while simultaneously trying to secure a contract with another state to house inmates at the facility.

“For more than a decade, we have operated Huerfano with the utmost professionalism and service – for the states of Colorado and, now, Arizona,” said Warden Robert Kurtz. “We are proud of the service we’ve provided to this strong government partner and will remain committed to safety and security until operations end.”

The CCA contract with Arizona ends in early March.

"We're going to have to get busy, we're going to try to create jobs, we're going to have to make the community not feel the blow so hard and that's what I intend to do," said Walsenburg's Mayor Bruce Quintana.




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