AUGUSTA — Maine will build a new pre-release center on the grounds of a former minimum-security prison under an agreement struck by the governor and local lawmakers.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ announcement Friday follows a showdown over the future of a minimum-security prison that began when then-Gov. Paul LePage emptied the prison last spring.

The 150-bed prison lost funding last summer and has long faced shutdown efforts. Supporters said it provided jobs and prison labor.

The pre-release center will house up to 50 minimum-security prisoners and employ 15 staff. Maine approved a 2016 bond to help fund a pre-release center in Washington County.

Republican Sen. Marianne Moore said the new facility will serve the state and economy though it won’t be at the scale of the former prison.

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