Family fights proposed closure of prison


John Price is fighting to keep his father’s name alive on a medium security prison in Cranston.

“It is my father’s name,” Price said Thursday. “He did give his life for the safety of all citizens.”

Donald Price, a corrections officer, was killed in 1973 by an inmate who stabbed him to death.

The facility he worked in was renamed in memory of him more than 25 years later.  Now, there’s talk of the prison being shut down and that doesn’t sit well with Donald’s son.

“Twenty-six years after my father was killed they named the building after him. Twelve years later, they want to close the building down,” he said. “To me that’s just not right.”

The union has been fighting the move, claiming the proposal to close is more about saving money instead of making public safety the priority.

A.T. Wall, the director of the state Department of Corrections, vigorously denies that claim.

“I understand that money is tight. I think we all understand that, but I think closing a prison down is not the smartest idea. They put a lot of money into it and now they’re going to shut it down? Twelve years ago it wasn’t called the Donald Price facility. Twelve years ago it wouldn’t have made a difference. Now it’s named after my father. They did something nice. Now they’re taking it away?” John Price said.

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