May 13, 2013 3:55 PM by Zach Thaxton
Prisons. They are the economic lifeblood for much of southern Colorado. For three counties in particular, they are the top employer, top utilities user, and top taxpayer. Without them, community leaders say Fremont, Bent, and Crowley counties likely would not survive. But with declining inmate populations, the Department of Corrections has been forced in recent years to shutter some prisons, devastating small communities. In a News 5 special report, we're looking at the importance of prisons to the economy and livelihood of southern Colorado communities, and the risk/reward of putting such heavy reliance on an industry that's always necessary, but constantly in flux.