The Alaska Department of Corrections is planning to send hundreds of inmates to prisons outside of Alaska. The department says in-state prisons are near capacity and opening the shuttered Palmer Correctional Center will take too long. The state’s prison population has increased by 5 percent since the criminal justice reform legislation, SB 91, was repealed last year.
North Pole Republican Senator John Coghill championed SB 91. He says he’s not surprised by the decision to send prisoners out of state, but he says it will likely cost the state money in the long run: