Panel approves $1 million to upgrade empty Colorado prison


Centennial South Prison Photo courtesy: RMH Group

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DENVER — A panel of budget-writing lawmakers has approved $1 million to upgrade an empty prison designed for solitary confinement.

But Colorado lawmakers would have to recommission the facility near Canon City before inmates could be housed there.

The Denver Post reports that the $208 million prison opened in 2010 but closed two years later as the state phased out use of solitary confinement.

The Joint Budget Committee approved the expense this week at the Department of Corrections’ request. The agency says it is running out of prison space and could use the Centennial South facility if it is renovated for general population use.

Lawmakers have resisted that idea in recent years. The House Judiciary Committee in May rejected a request for renovation funds. Civil rights groups also oppose the idea.

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