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prisons & prisoners

UPDATE on Lakeview, Oregon proposed new prison

The Western Prison Project is preparing to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice demanding a thorough and comprehensive review of a new state prison in Lakeview, Oregon. Approximately six million in federal funds will be applied to construction costs of the $27 million facility. The group plans to seek a temporary injunction halting construction of the prison until a full assessment of environmental issues is done. Citing the threat to local residents' water and other issues, the group is demanding a full environmental review of the proposed prison in a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Justice.

"The biggest threat is to the water supply of the residents of Lakeview. But other concerns, including issues of solid waste, transportation, and geothermal resources have simply not been addressed. We're asking for a full review of the impacts of this proposed prison on the local community, something that should have been done years ago."

The proposed Warner Creek Correctional facility has been in the works since 1996 as part of a massive $1 billion prison expansion program for the State of Oregon, when six proposed prisons were sited in the space of six months under Oregon's emergency "super siting law."

Former Governor John Kitzhaber halted plans for construction of the Warner Creek Correctional Facility in 2002. But Governor Ted Kulongoski brought the project back last legislative session.

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