St. Paul, Minn. - about 500 prisoners from Puerto Rico will come to Minnesota as early as this month under a deal that finally will fill a privately operated prison in Appleton built to create jobs.
Appleton officials said they had signed a multi-year contract to board prisoners from the commonwealth of Puerto Rico at the new Prairie Correctional Facility, the $28.5 million medium-security penitentiary that has been standing empty for four months.
Ninety-three Puerto Rican prisoners were flown to a prison in Florida, where they will be held while supervisors of the Appleton prison make final preparations, which include offering Spanish lessons to prison guards and arranging for a local cable-television company to bring Spanish-language television programming to the prisoners' cells. Officials will also hire 70 more workers for a payroll that already includes 85 people.
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