Mat-Su Valley Prison In Jeopardy of Decommissioned Due to High Costs
State lawmakers consider downsizing the project on the grounds that it's cheaper to house Alaskan inmates outside the state.
A $200 million prison under construction in the Mat-Su Valley was intended to bring prisoners back to Alaska after having previously been sent to the Lower 48. The prison project is in jeopardy of being decommissioned after some state lawmakers are reconsidering its high price tag.
The 1,500-bed Goose Creek Correctional Center, being built by the Mat-Su Borough near Point Mackenzie, was slated to open later this year. However, state lawmakers in Juneau are considering downsizing the project on the grounds that it's cheaper to house Alaskan inmates outside the state.
Lawmakers say the cost of housing about 1,000 prisoners at Goose Creek would cost around $50 million per year compared to $20 million for housing in states like Colorado.
The plan was for the borough to lease the Goose Creek Correctional Center back to the state but lawmakers say the project has turned into a stimulus project for the surrounding community, but at state taxpayers’ expense.