Prison closures would have negative ripple effect, says a Coos County Commissioner

COOS CO., Or- Governor Brown’s proposed budget plan released this week calls for the closure of three state prisons. But according to a county commissioner, the closure of these prisons will have a huge impact on the communities.

The governor wants to close Shutter Creek Correctional Institution in North Bend and Warner Creek Correctional Institution in Lakeview to help balance the budget. The facilities would be closed over the course of the next two years.
Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins says the decision came as a shock and doesn’t reflect a partnership between local and state government she feels should exist.

“It feels like a slap in the face because we just spent a lot of time in July testifying against the closure, talking about all the impacts, and we thought we were heard at that time. But clearly we weren’t. At some point the governor is going to have to decide if she cares about rural economies or not,” Cribbins said.

Cribbins says not only would locals lose jobs with the facilities closure but even if they were rehired by the state, it would likely force them to move out of Coos County. She says her county’s correctional facility also supplied inmate fire fighting crews that helped battle this summer’s wildfires.

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