North Lake Correctional Facility Set To Reopen Again

The history of the North Lake Correctional Facility has been tumultuous.

Broken deals and lost contracts have forced it to open and close several times since 2005, causing instability for a community that needs good news.

The privately owned prison is set to re-open in October. The GEO Group has signed a 10-year contract with the federal government  to house up to 1,800 inmates.

“I am proud to have it here,” says Deborah Smith-Olson, chair of the Community Outreach Committee Board for the prison.

There is hope it will stay open this time.

“I think there has been some skepticism about how long they’d be open again but I’ve had all the assurance I need that they will be here at least this ten years and beyond that,” says Smith-Olson, “The Federal Bureau of Prisons doesn’t change their providers very often.”

The prisons 1,800 federal prisoners will all be non-US citizens convicted of crimes in the US.

“This will hold its own and be able to hold the contract,” says Smith-Olson.

Some communities may be turned off by a nearby prison but for Baldwin and Lake County, these 300 incoming jobs can be the influx they need.

“We’re not able to attract a large manufacturer. We have pretty much no manufacturing in the community at all within Lake County.” says Smith-Olson, “This is the kind of job that pays the full time salary with benefits.”

For security reasons they are not able to say exactly when the inmates are coming but they say they are coming soon and they hope to be fully operational in the coming months.