Four companies state interest in private prison project

Posted: Sunday, January 28, 2001

KENAI (AP) -- Four organizations have formally expressed interest in building and operating a private prison in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

The four include Maranatha Corrections, Rise Alaska, Corrections Corporation of America, and Corrections Group North.

Maranatha Corrections is based in Bakersfield, Calif., and is under contract with the California Department of Corrections.

Rise Alaska is working in partnership with the municipality of Anchorage and the Alaska Department of Corrections in the construction of a new Anchorage jail.

Corrections Corporation of America, of Nashville, Tenn., owns and operates facilities across the United States, including the medium-security prison in Florence, Ariz., where Alaska houses approximately 800 inmates.

Corrections Group North was created by Kenai Natives Association, according to KNA spokesman Mike Slezak.

The four groups responded to a request for qualification, issued by the borough Dec. 15.

The borough assembly on Tuesday unanimously approved spending $150,000 to pay for professional services to assist borough administrators with the prison project.

Assembly members approved the first $50,000 draw on the money to hire a technical adviser, Richard Crane, an attorney from Nashville, Tenn. with a background in corrections and privatization projects.

Crane will assist in developing and negotiating the initial contract with the selected firm and review and assist in passage of legislation to authorize building the private prison.

Crane and borough personnel are scheduled to meet Feb. 1, with oral presentations from selected finalists scheduled for Feb. 12.

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