Palmer prison to close amid cost cuts

The Alaska Department of Corrections will close the Palmer Correctional Center to save money, commissioner Dean Williams announced Tuesday.

The news was first reported by KTUU-TV in Anchorage.

“To be real clear, the inmates in this facility are going to other facilities,” Williams told KTUU. “They’re not being sent out on the street. They are going to be moved to different places.”

The Palmer center is a medium-to-minimum-security prison that houses about 500 inmates. About 70 are expected to be shifted to Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm just north of Anchorage, which grows food for inmates statewide. Most other inmates will go to Goose Creek Correctional Center, a newer prison built nearby.

No inmates will go to out-of-state prisons.

The state expects to save $5.6 million per year with the prison’s closure, and by shifting prison employees to understaffed facilities, officials expect to save millions more in overtime costs.

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