Montana town eyes Guantanamo prisoners; fed officials sceptical

Montana town eyes Guantanamo prisoners; fed officials scepticalSan Francisco  - A remote town in Montana has come up with a new proposal for its empty jail - turning it into a replacement for the US government's notorious facility in Guantanamo, Cuba.

But the proposal has met scepticism at the federal level.

According to the Billings Gazette Friday, officials in Hardin, Montana proposed the site as a Guantanamo replacement since they have been unable to secure contracts for inmates since the 27-million- dollar facility was completed in July 2007.

The 460-bed private jail was constructed by the town's development authority, which hoped to make money by contracting it out to overcrowded prison systems in other states.

So far it has sent details of the facility to all 50 states, but has not received any offers in return.

US President Barak Obama has ordered the Guantanamo facility to be closed, but officials have still not located any suitable alternative site for housing the approximately 240 Guantanamo inmates.

Initial reactions to the Montana plan do not appear encouraging. Montana senator Max Baucus came out quickly against the plan, saying "bringing terrorists into our state is a clear and present dangers to everyone who lives here."

US Marshal Dwight MacKay is also opposed to the plan saying that the local law enforcement and justice system is not designed to deal with such dangerous inmates. "These are not the normal Joe Six-Pack meth users," MacKay told the paper. "This is a different league of people that can be considered a national threat. We have to take the proper steps to ensure the safety of our community, the safety of our courts."(dpa)