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Mississippi: CCA to lose Delta CF!!!

By John Martin, Staff Writer July 14, 2002

State will assume control of Delta Correctional, state senator says

State Sen. David Jordan, D-Greenwood, says he met with Gov. Ronnie Musgrove about the prison last week and the takeover is a "foregone conclusion." Gov. Ronnie Musgrove plans to announce this week a state takeover of Delta Correctional Facility, according to state Sen. David Jordan, D-Greenwood.

The plan would save jobs of employees there and open 150 beds for Leflore County inmates, Jordan said.

He called the takeover a "forgone conclusion" after meeting with Musgrove in Jackson Thursday.

"The state will be able to absorb the employees from the facility," Jordan said. "According to the governor, we're going to be able to use 150 beds from the facility."

The word comes at a time when Delta Correctional employees fear losing their jobs and days after the county decided to build a new jail, to cost up to $6.5 million, in the Greenwood-Leflore Industrial Park.

Neither the Governor's Office nor county officials would confirm the possibility of an arrangement between the state and Delta Correctional. The Governor's Office did confirm that Jordan and Musgrove met.

"We are negotiating with the private prison companies, and as soon as we complete the negotiations a public announcement will be made,"said John Sewell, a spokesman for the Governor's Office.

Musgrove has canceled all contracts with private prisons, saying he can save Mississippi $6 million to $12 million. The Mississippi Department of Corrections is working with a $19.2 million shortfall. Some legislators, backed by a state attorney general's opinion, say the breach of contract is illegal.

County officials aren't ready to consider that dispute settled. Chancery Clerk Sam Abraham said that, while he has been in contact with state leaders, he is still concerned about the fate of the employees at Delta Correctional.

"I don't have any official word of anything at this point in time," he said Friday. "One of my biggest concerns is the employment of the hundred-and-some employees out there."

Jordan's announcement clashes with an MDOC order, which came in April, barring the county from using beds at Delta Correctional. A medium security prison, Delta Correctional does not have the capacity to house inmates convicted of violent crimes or awaiting trial. The county is trying to find somewhere to put its inmates since the existing jail is overcrowded according to a federal court order.

Starting in June, the state Attorney General's Office gave the county two years to build a new jail or face losing state inmates, which generate revenue.

Supervisors had looked into converting the prison into a jail facility, a transformation that would save time and money compared with building a new jail. Even if the county were allowed to use beds there, it would have to renovate the prison to separate misdemeanor offenders from felons, women from men and convicts from pre-trial detainees.

Without an official word from the state, the Board of Supervisors has not considered backing out of its intention to build a new jail.

"I'd be reluctant to comment on anything like that because nobody has communicated that kind of message to the board," said Robert Moore, president of the board.

At this point, the prospect of the county using Delta Correctional brings up a number of questions. "I'm not really sure who would manage it," said Abraham, who posed the idea to supervisors earlier this year.

"Would state manage it or would we manage it? Would we be guaranteed those beds forever or for two years? There are a lot of questions." And the county is running out of time to look for answers. Still, one thing is certain.

"We don't need to lose any more jobs in this county," said Abraham.

Mississippi: CCA looses contract!!!
Mississippi ends CCA contract for 1 prison
By GETAHN WARD Staff Writer

Corrections Corporation of America said yesterday that its contract to manage a Mississippi prison has been terminated.

Mississippi ended the contract for the Nashville-based company to manage the 1,016-bed Delta Correctional Facility in Greenwood, as part of a move to return privately operated prisons in Mississippi to state control.

The termination should have little financial impact, CCA said.

Mississippi's move aside, CCA said it is renegotiating a contract with the state to house up to 1,000 inmates at the 900-bed Wilkinson County Correctional Facility in Woodville, which it operates. CCA said it could provide no assurances that terms would be favorable, and the state could terminate that contract at any time.

The company also disclosed that it sold its interest in a juvenile facility in Dallas for $4.3 million.

Its shares fell 80 cents to $13.60.