Private Delta prison to shut down next year

GREENWOOD — Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said a privately run prison in Leflore County will close in January.

Epps said the state and Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America mutually agreed to cease operations. How the decision affects operations of the Leflore County jail at the same site is unclear.

“State law requires private prisons to operate facilities more cost effectively than the state. So, it was difficult for CCA to match our savings as required by law and increase its revenue. While I am disappointed to see them leave, I understand. CCA has worked hard to remain open and has been a good corporate partner,” Epps said in a statement.

Epps and CCA officials said plans are to cease operations of the 1,172-bed Delta Correctional Facility in Greenwood Jan. 15, 2012.

“CCA sincerely appreciates the partnership it has had with the state and the community of Greenwood, Miss., for more than seven years and it is certainly with deep regret that we find ourselves unable to renew the contract, said Damon Hininger, CCA’s president and CEO.

“At this time, however, the need by the Mississippi Department of Corrections for beds/services at Delta no longer exists. CCA will work with the Mississippi Department of Corrections and Leflore County to assist with the transition of inmate populations to other facilities,” he said.

Epps said the Mississippi Department of Corrections would begin moving the current 900 inmates from the state-owned Delta facility to other facilities in the state in December 2011.

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