Kentucky is getting back into the private prison business

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky is getting back into the private prison business.

State officials have signed a contract with CoreCivic to reopen the Lee Adjustment Center in Beattyville. The prison will house about 800 inmates currently housed at the Kentucky State Reformatory in La Grange.

CoreCivic is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and was previously known as Corrections Corporation of America. It once operated three prisons in Kentucky. But state officials closed the last of its private prisons in 2013 following years of problems, including allegations of sexual abuse and a prison riot in 2004.

The contract will cost taxpayers about $16.8 million a year. Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley said that cost would be offset by the savings from closing much of the 80-year-old Kentucky State Reformatory.

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