The Illinois Senate passed a bill that could halt the construction of a private prison in Crete. State Sen. Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) says when prisons are run like businesses they have a financial incentive to keep prisoners longer. Corrections Corp. of America, the company that would run the prison, has been criticized for lobbying for stricter criminal laws.
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“This is just a for-profit company …to come in to this state and do business,” Munoz said. “I don't know how they do it in other states but this is the wrong precedent to do it here in this state. When we have the federal authority here and state facilities that can get the job done.” State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) says he thinks the bill could have unintended consequences, such as affecting private contractors who do business with prisons. “It is a considerable expansion of this prohibition without use knowing for sure who it would affect,” Righter said. The company manages more than 16 facilities in 19 states. The measure passed the senate and is in the house awaiting a committee vote.