HARDIN, Mont. — The operator of the Two Rivers Detention facility in Hardin has called it quits after failing to negotiate a new contract.
Emerald Correctional Management was trying to renegotiate a contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to bring in inmates, but last October, the Bureau of Indian Affairs dropped its contract with the prison and pulled out as many as 250 prisoners.
Emerald Correctional Management CEO Steve Afeman said the future of the facility is unclear.
“We’d have loved to stay,” Afeman said. “But the BIA has decided that they want to run the facility themselves.”
BIA spokeswoman Nedra Darling said in an email said that the agency is looking at all of its options.
The Two Rivers facility was opened in 2007 and the Two Rivers Authority issued $27 million in bonds to build it.
The authority is an economic development agency of Hardin, but the Two Rivers Authority owns the building and the city of Hardin has no obligation to repay the debt.
The prison was empty for seven years before Emerald took over.
The bonds have been in default since 2008, the Billings Gazette reported (http://tinyurl.com/hveo6wf ).
Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com