A mandate to reduce prison costs and a reduction in the number of women headed to prison have resulted in the closure of a state prison in Cañon City, Co., reports the Denver Post. Closing the prison, which has been home to some of Colorado’s most notorious female convicts, will save Colorado more than $5 million a year. Inmates have been transferred to one private and two state-run women’s prisons in Colorado.
In 2006, the number of women entering Colorado prisons was growing at a rate of 10 women a month. Today, it is decreasing by two women a month. Even after emptying the Cañon City women’s prison, there are more than 100 empty beds for women in Colorado prisons. The Cañon City prison, which has 275 beds, opened in 1968 with 90. At first, most of the inmates were middle aged and had been convicted of writing bad checks or drunken driving. The prison came to house inmates convicted of more violent crimes.