The Two Rivers Detention Center was promoted as the largest economic development project in decades in the small town of Hardin when the jail was built two years ago. But it has been vacant ever since.
City officials have searched from Vermont to Alaska for inmate contracts to fill the jail, only to be turned down at every turn and see the bonds that financed its construction fall into default. They even floated the idea of housing prisoners from Guantanamo Bay at the jail.
So when Hardin officials announced last week that they had signed a deal with a California company to fill the empty jail, it was naturally a cause for celebration. Town officials talked about throwing a party to mark the occasion, their dreams of economic salvation a step closer to being realized.
But questions are emerging over the legitimacy of the company, American Police Force.