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Colo. prison population declines sharply


Tough decisions to be made about closures

Colorado’s prison population is diminishing so quickly that the state in the coming 18 months could close two to 10 prisons, depending on which facilities are chosen for closure.

“It looks like the whole system should be shrinking,” said state Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, at a recent legislative hearing.

Colorado already is at 7,500 fewer inmates than it once expected in 2013. It has closed three state prisons and stopped using two private prisons.

“We think that is a really, really big deal,” said Roxane White, chief of staff to Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Reasons for the ...