McCreadie takes another route to build new prison - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

McCreadie takes another route to build new prison

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Introduced eight months ago, Senator Brant McCreadie is taking another route to get the ball rolling on the construction of a new prison after waiting almost a year to get the Department of Corrections Construction Initiative Act of 2013 on session agenda, he's decided to introduce a new bill.

With Bill 172 languishing in Senator Ben Pangelinan's Committee of Appropriations, McCreadie is hoping his new bill will get a fair shot at making it on session floor. "Bill 313 is still a bill to construct a new prison," he said.

But the legislation does differ slightly in that it removes mention of a mandated appropriation and instead gives the Guam Economic Development Authority the mission of finding the best financial route to build the new prison. "All we did was removed some mandates and gutted some of the previous bill from 172 and turned it into a bill that now gives GEDA the tasks of instead of us mandating a lease back, it gives GEDA the task of finding what's the best option to debt service, what's the best way to pay for it and who's the best qualified person to build it," he said.

The Department of Corrections has close to 750 people confined in their Mangilao and Agana facilities. That is way over their max capacity of 440 persons. DepCor's facilities were built in the 1960's. According to news files the agency has been under a consent decree with the feds for more than two decades. The fear of senators like McCreadie is that if the overcrowded and deteriorating conditions persist that doc could fall under federal receivership.

With Bill 271 going nowhere, Senator McCreadie is hoping that by changing the legislation it will finally move forward. "I Have no idea why the bill has moved forward. Hopefully what I've amended and some of the 6things that I've gutted this bill that are no longer in Bill 313 that were in 172 will allow the bill to work its way through the process sand move forward. In the legislature and if it means that this bill has to go through someone else's committee to achieve that then that what it has to do but my main focus and my main goal is make sure that we work together r to vet this process vet this piece of legislation and get it passed or not," he said.

We should note the governor as well as Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo recently made mention in their annual addresses to the people of Guam that there is a need for new prison facilities. The congresswoman went so far as pleading to find common ground to find federal funding.

"Its something that's not just important to myself its important to the congresswoman, the governor and its important to the public safety of this island and our community," he said.

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