By Kristen Johanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nearly 300 long-term Vermont inmates have been transferred to a Pennsylvania facility because of overcrowding – and it could end up benefiting the Commonwealth.

A new ‘out-of-state’ housing contract between Pennsylvania and Vermont has brought 269 prisoners to the Keystone state’s Camp Hill correctional facility, just outside of Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania’s prison system has more than 5,000 empty beds and is essentially renting the space the Vermont.

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Under the new deal, up to 400 inmates can be brought in from New England to stay.

Vermont will pay the Commonwealth $72 a day per inmate.

Vermont has had an over-crowding problem the last few years, and originally sent the prisoners to Michigan, but because that contract was up and they had to be moved.

The contract lasts for three years with an option to extend for additional years.

Some of the inmates could also be housed at Philadelphia’s Graterford prison.

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