Oregon officials say 3 more prisons needed

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon prison officials say they'll need to open three more prisons to hold 2,000 new inmates expected in the next decade.

The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/qm8SQP) that the cost of opening two prisons now sitting empty and building a third would be at least $608 million by 2021.

Department of Corrections Director Max Williams told a new state commission last week that he would need $157 million to build a prison in Junction City, $20 million to equip prisons in Madras and Salem, and then up to $70 million a year in extra operating costs.

But critics, including the Oregon District Attorneys Association, say the state is overestimating the number of inmates that will join the prison population.