Must-Read Story

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October 12, 2009 11:51 a.m.

You know we’ve been following the bizarre, sad and sometimes hilarious story of Hardin, MT and its crumbling deal with American Police Force to run its unused jail and it seems also become the town’s police force. But just how did tiny Hardin get saddled with this prisonerless prison and so desperate to pay for it that they were prey for a con-man like Michael Hilton and his potemkin private security firm?

That’s the story TPMMuckraker’s Justin Elliott looks at today.

It’s a town and prison version of the subprime mortgage collapse. And it’s not just Hardin, Montana. A consortium of private companies around the country has been searching the country for impoverished and desperate small towns and who set up complex economic development authorities to build prisons few of which will ever bring in the funds and jobs the prison building song-n-dance men promised.

Here’s our report.

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