Aging prison in Wisconsin needs replacing through a partnership

Wisconsin- Wisconsin Rep. David Steffen is interested in a privately built, state-run prison to replace the aging and overcrowded Green Bay Correctional Institution (GBCI). This new prison would improve safety for staff and inmates at the maximum-security prison, provide tax revenue for the host community and put Allouez land back on the tax roll. Because it would be privately-owned, the prison would pay property taxes, saving taxpayers about $150 million over a decade. Wisconsin’s other prisons are not taxable because they are government-owned.
Steffen said a new prison would ultimately need considerably fewer employees than GBCI because it would be more efficiently designed. The proposal calls for a new prison that would house about 1,300 inmates and open by November 2022 at a location in or near Brown County. The Green Bay-Luxemburg corridor could be a good spot because it is near a major highway, State 54/57, and would not need water and sewer lines added. GBCI would be sold to a developer or another interested party by Nov. 1, 2018, then leased back to the state until the new prison is ready. Inmates would remain at GBCI until they could safely be transferred to a new facility. At least 100 beds in the prison would be set aside for overflow inmates from crowded jails in Brown and Kewaunee counties.
Officials in Brown are considering a jail expansion that would likely cost the county more than $10 million. Part of the prison has been designated as a historic place. Steffen said he has met with a local preservation group, and that they would need to be partners in any redevelopment of the site.