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Appleton prison to lay off 120 as inmate numbers decline

APPLETON -- Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton is cutting its work force by just over half in response to declining inmate numbers.

The facility notified 120 workers on Friday that they would be laid off effective Dec. 1. It will leave a working staff of 110 in Appleton, according to Warden Tim Wengler.

The decision was forced when the private, 1,600-bed prison learned that the State of Washington would be removing 100 inmates, the warden told community representatives at a meeting on Friday. There are currently 342 inmates in the facility from the states of Washington and Minnesota.

The affected workers are being offered opportunities to transfer to other Corrections Corporation of America facilities with the promise of being able to return to their Appleton jobs when available. CCA is the owner of the Appleton facility. The company will also be hosting a job fair and job seeking skill classes as well as bringing Work Force Center representatives to the facility to assist the employees in the weeks ahead.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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