Economic Impact of Prisons on Rural Areas | WBEZ
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Eight Forty-Eight

Economic Impact of Prisons on Rural Areas

The state of Illinois' bank account could soon see a hefty deposit. Yesterday, President Obama announced his proposed budget for next year. And nearly $240 million of it would go towards moving an estimated one-hundred Guantanamo detainees to the Thomson Correctional Center. The federal funds would pay for three things: purchasing the facility from the state of Illinois, making renovations, and paying for the first year's operational costs.

Local residents are mostly excited about the economic potential in the plans. But Marc Mauer says they shouldn't be so sure it'll be all positive. Mauer is the Executive Director of The Sentencing Project. It's an organization that works for sentencing law reform and alternatives to incarceration. He's also the co-author of the report, “Big Prisons, Small Towns: Prison Economics in Rural America.”

Music Button: Jack Rose, "Luck in the Valley", from the CD Luck in the Valley, (Thrill Jockey)

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