The big (empty) house

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A new prison set to open in Stewart County, Ga. next month will have everything a correctional facility could need … except prisoners. The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports in the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION that Corrections Corporation of America — the subject of a recent exposé in Mother Jones — is near completion of a $45 million medium-security prison that is apparently the result of a miscommunication.

“This was just a speculative project; we just don’t need the beds right now,” said Georgia’s corrections commissioner. The fact that there was never a written agreement for the prison’s construction did not deter CCA from building it. Construction is now at a standstill, with two-thirds of the facility completed.

This is bad news for Stewart County, which badly needs the 500 jobs the prison would create. As an alternative, CCA may apply to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house 1,500 illegal immigrants in the new prison. If that doesn’t work, look on the bright side: At least the building will keep that new-prison smell.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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