Delta City Council members have sent letters to Governor John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Department of Corrections urging continued support of the Delta Correctional Center.
The prison population in Colorado has declined dramatically, and efforts to "right size" the prison system have included closures of two prisons and cutbacks at other DOC facilities.
To determine the most appropriate and cost-effective uses of available private and state prison beds going forward, a prison utilization study was initiated. In January a consultant toured the Delta facility and met with local officials, who stressed the positive economic impact of the correctional facility from work crews, payroll, and goods and services purchased locally.
The letters signed by Mayor Ed Sisson encourage continued support of the Delta Correctional Center. The letters state, "The DCC has a positive impact on our economy through its payroll, its patronage to 131 local vendors and its work release program. The payroll and vendor payments account for a direct impact of over $5,000,000 for Delta County. This positive impact has a multiplier effect that helps keep our local businesses open while the fragile economy recovers.
"In addition, the work crews at DCC provide an average of 150,000 hours of service valued at $954,252 per year. In the City of Delta alone, the financial benefit of the work release program is over $130,000 annually (figured at minimum wage). If the DCC were closed, the cost to replace the lost labor support would be well over $250,000. Beyond the City of Delta, this partnership directly benefits 34 other local, state and federal partners. Labor provided by the DCC work crews has allowed federal partners to better leverage grant dollars, which has resulted in the completion of projects that would otherwise not be possible. Even more important are the job skills, work ethic, and sense of accomplishment that are learned by the work crews as they finish each job. This is invaluable, as research has shown, these programs reduce recidivism, which in turn reduces overall costs.
"The city understands tough decisions need to be made regarding Colorado's correctional facilities. Our only request is that you recognize fully the impact such facilities have on the communities in which they operate. The Delta DCC has a unique relationship with the community that is worth preserving. If this value is considered, we are confident this facility will remain open and fully operational."blog comments powered by Disqus