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Published January 24, 2013, 12:02 PM

Bill: Move low-risk inmates to North Dakota penitentiary

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's corrections director is critical of a plan to move a minimum security facility south of Bismarck to state penitentiary grounds.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's corrections director is critical of a plan to move a minimum security facility south of Bismarck to state penitentiary grounds.

Leann Bertsch told the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday to consider alternative sites. She says the low-risk inmates are now at an isolated spot near the Missouri River and moving them into town and near the state penitentiary creates safety and security concerns for the prison and the public.

Backers of the measure want to shut down the Missouri River Correctional Center and use the picturesque property for a public park.

Bill sponsors say the move would cost about $12 million. Bertsch estimates the cost to be at least double that.

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