by Jolene Toves
Guam - There was overwhelming support today for Bill 172 that seeks to construct a new state of the art prison. The Department of Corrections facilities were built in the 1960's and even the newest buildings were built more than 20 years ago and are showing signs of wear and tear. Senator Brant McCreadie authored the legislation saying the new facility would not only maximize manpower, and reduce overtime but also ensure the safety of corrections staff, inmates and detainees and the public.
He said, "If we put $1.8 million (in overtime) and $700,000 together we're looking at over $2 million in savings and if we negotiate $118 per bed is what I think the cost is now, so if we can negotiate a cost that's even less than that, we could have more savings."
The Guam Economic Development Authority also testified at the hearing saying they are capable of assisting to ensure that the costs will reduced and the new facility will be able to house super max inmates. DepCor director Jose San Agustin also testified in support of the measure saying a new prison would help the department come into compliance with a decades old consent decree.