Minnesota will not lease a prison from a private corporation on Governor Mark Dayton’s watch. He made that clear on Thursday as reporters asked him about a bill that would reopen the privately owned prison in Appleton.
“It hasn’t been given any forethought,” said Dayton of the Republican backed bill which has been pitched as a economic boost to rural Minnesota.
Instead of opening another prison, Dayton said the state could look at expanding the prison in Lino Lakes. He also favored reducing prison sentences for low level drug offenders who were only making personal use of the narcotics.
On Wednesday, the House Public Safety Committee approved a bill calling for the state to lease the Appleton Prison. The party-line vote to approve the bill came despite impassioned testimony from the NAACP and other black community members.
Video at top: Governor Mark Dayton responds to a question about reopening the Appleton prison.