The private North Fork Correctional Facility at Sayre, Ok., closed yesterday in a dispute over a telephone contract, the Oklahoman reported. The city believes the facility will reopen. “You don’t spend $45 million to build a prison and pay $400,000 in property taxes each year, and then leave it vacant,” said Jack McKennon, Sayre’s city manager.
The building is owned by Corrections Corporation of America. North Fork warden Jody Bradley said Arizona correctional officials visited the prison several times. The Arizona officials “talked as if they liked what they saw,” but predicted it would take about 60 to 90 days to reopen the prison even if an agreement were reached.
North Fork’s 225-person work force has been dispersed. Fifty people already have been transferred to other corporation facilities nationwide.