EASTERN KENTUCKY BUREAU
PRESTONSBURG - Indiana is removing 620 inmates from a private prison in Eastern Kentucky -- a move that might force it to close, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee company that runs it said yesterday.
The Indiana Department of Corrections has notified Corrections Corp. of America of Nashville it intends to remove all of its inmates by May from the 656-bed men's minimum/medium security facility at the Otter Creek Correctional Complex at Wheelwright in Floyd County, said CCA vice president Louise Chickering. The prison employs 170 workers.
CCA operates private prisons in Floyd, Lee and Marion counties in Kentucky and is among several companies expressing an interest in Gov. Ernie Fletcher's proposal to privatize a new state-built prison in Elliott County.
Lisa Lamb, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Corrections, said commissioner John Rees recently told legislators the state might be interested in the Otter Creek facility as a women's prison, "down the road," if Indiana removes its inmates.
"Because that's our No. 1 need right now," Lamb said. "Female beds."