State Representative David Steffen unveiled details of a proposal Monday that would close the Green Bay Correctional Institution and construct a new maximum security prison in Brown or neighboring counties.
Steffen, along with other area leaders, spoke at a news conference at the Allouez Village Hall regarding the plans. Steffen said problems at the prison are not going away.
“Right now at the facility there’s about 1,096 inmates that are there…that is 143% over operating capacity,” said Steffen. “If we ignore this problem, it will become more expensive and more difficult the longer we wait.”
The lawmaker’s plan calls for a private company to build the new facility, with the state leasing and operating it. According to Steffen, leasing the prison would cost around $15 million annually, compared to $19 million a year to maintain the current facility.
Village of Allouez President, Jim Rafter, said he’s on board with the proposal. “By building on 60 of what some would call the prime acreage in the area, we could bring businesses and residents in a community that the community of Allouez has been asking for, for a long time.”
The bill asks that the prison closes November 1, 2018 and the new facility open no later than November 1, 2022.