Welcome to Colorado’s Newest Prison, Which is Completely Empty Because Colorado didn’t Really Need it!
Welcome to Cañon City, Colorado is something many don't want to hear because it is home to nine state and four Federal prisons and penitentiaries. It is also the location of Colorado's newest, and emptiest prison.
A brand new prison in Cañon CIty, Colorado has no residents and was shut down because the state doesn't really need it, apparently. Colorado taxpayers, that's you and I, coughed up $208 million dollars for the new facility that no one can find residents for.
Colorado State Penitentiary II aka Centennial South, is a brand new building with just under 10000 solitary confinement cells. That's pretty much it, the place lacks a dining room, recreation area, no congregation place for prisoners, no classrooms - just a bunch of empty cells.
Critics said Colorado is putting too little prisoners in solitary confinement compared to the national average, but the state built the place anyway. Now it's just sitting there empty even though in 2003 most of the lawmakers in Colorado opposed to building it in the first place.
The prison was built even with the looming question of it was even needed, which apparently it wasn't, by being lumped in with another project that wouldn't pass the legislature, the University of Colorado medical campus. Former legislator Norma Anderson, the Senate majority leader and bill sponsor in 2003 said, "You couldn't get the votes for either one of them." At the time Democrats wanted the hospitals and Republicans the prison. "That's the only reason they were put together. It's very simple." adds Norma. At the time the number crunchers predicted the state's prison population would increase, instead it declined along with the crime rate and judges sending fewer criminals to 'The Big House'.
At least in an empty prison you don't have to worry about dropping the soap or getting shived with a toothbrush!