Aug 012012

By Nick Worth
A public meeting with Department of Corrections officials regarding a proposed private prison in Win-slow will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16, at the Winslow High School Performing Arts Cen-ter.
The meeting will be run by the DOC, which is required to have a public meeting in the communities where they plan to build correctional facilities.
“A year ago the DOC was looking at 5,000 new beds,” said Winslow City Manager Jim Ferguson. He said that through research done by the American Friends Service Committee, DOC officials found out they only needed 2,000 beds, since the inmate population has not been growing as much as was expected.
“LaSalle Corrections has submitted a bid on a facility for 1,000 beds,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said he was pleased with citizens’ attendance and support at the last meeting, which was held a year ago. He said there were more than 400 people at that meeting, and the overwhelming majority in atten-dance was in favor of a new prison in the town.
Ferguson urged Winslow citizens to also attend this meeting to show their support.
“Our citizens need to engage in the public process and let the DOC know how they feel about the pro-posed prison,” said Ferguson. “That’s what good governance is all about.”