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Epps receives letter asking to leave work centers open

AROUND MISSISSIPPI — Faith-based groups and advocates led by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU are asking Mississippi prison officials to drop plans to close four community work centers.

Inmates in the centers do chores for local governments. The groups sent a letter to Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps this week, saying the work centers give inmates a chance to learn skills that could help them once they’re released to the outside world.

Epps says closing the four centers is a budget issue. He also says fewer inmates are eligible for the program.

In April, Epps announced he will close community work centers in Rosedale, Yazoo City, Fayette and Lucedale by July 15. Epps says inmates at the four centers will be transferred to 13 other work centers that will remain open.

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