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Montana nearing another 2-year contract with private prison

by Associated Press
| June 10, 2021 1:25 PM

HELENA (AP) — Montana's Department of Corrections is wrapping up negotiations on another two-year contract with Tennessee-based CoreCivic to operate and expand a 600-bed private prison in Shelby, Corrections Director Brian Gootkin said.

The company's current two-year contract to operate the Crossroads Correction Center expires at the end of the month, the Montana State News Bureau reported.

The prison in Shelby can no longer house federal inmates after President Joe Biden ordered federal agencies to phase out private prison use. Federal inmates will instead be held at the Cascade County Regional Detention Center in Great Falls.

State inmates that had been housed in Great Falls will be moved to Shelby as part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit the regional jail filed seeking to recover per diem costs the regional jail said it was owed by the Department of Corrections.

The new contract with CoreCivic calls for additional programming, treatment and educational opportunities at Crossroads, along with expanding the prison by about 170 beds, Gootkin said.

CoreCivic is remodeling an area of the facility for additional beds and will add a third bunk to some cells, Gootkin said.

The prison opened in 1997.