Officials push back on warning of prison closures



SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The governor’s office and legislative officials are pushing back against a memo warning of the potential for multiple prison closures and hundreds of layoffs.

New Oregon Department of Corrections Director Colette Peters told corrections staff in an email last week that 350 to 400 jobs were at risk.

But a spokesman for Gov. John Kitzhaber tells the Oregonian ( ) that the memo does not reflect the governor’s recommendation.

Two co-chairs of the Legislature’s budget committee also say such drastic cuts are not on the table. They’ve floated a proposal to close one prison in Salem and eliminate 100 jobs, sending inmates to other institutions.