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Tag Archives: corrections

Prison system could save money with health care contract

JACKSON — The head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections says the state could save $2 million over the next three years by choosing a new private contractor to provide health care for inmates. The health services contract is one of several Department of Corrections financial pacts that are being redone after last year’s federal criminal indictment of former Commissioner ...

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Chairman: Contract bill going to governor was watered down

JACKSON — The Mississippi House on Monday passed the final version of a bill to tighten parts of the state contract process, but a House chairman said the Senate weakened it. House Bill 825 passed 102-16 and goes to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who has said he wants to bring more openness to government spending. Some representatives who voted against ...

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Warden who lives hundreds of miles from jail resigns

CORINTH — A lobbyist for a private prison company is resigning as warden of the Alcorn County jail in northeast Mississippi, a job he held while living more than 200 miles away in the Jackson suburb of Madison. Irb Benjamin told Alcorn County supervisors he will step down Dec. 1. That action came several days after two inmates escaped from ...

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Byrd succeeds Denmark as SMCI superintendent

LEAKESVILLE — Raymond T. Byrd has been named superintendent at South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville. Byrd succeeds Johnnie Denmark, who announced his retirement on Oct. 31. Byrd has more than 30 years of correctional experience with both private and state prisons not only in Mississippi but also in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Washington, D.C. Byrd most recently was a ...

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Criminal justice legislation passes, heads to Bryant

JACKSON — Legislation to make Mississippi’s criminal justice system more efficient and less expensive won final approval yesterday from state lawmakers. The House voted 105-13 and the Senate voted unanimously to send a revised, final version of House Bill 585 to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who is expected to sign it. If he does, it would become law July 1. ...

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Corrections spends $1.3M on netting in war on contraband

JACKSON — Mississippi corrections officials have added netting, body scanners and monthly prison searches to a growing list of steps to keep illegal cellphones, drugs, tobacco and other contraband out of prisoners’ hands. “We are in a new era where people will use any means to get contraband into prisons,” Commissioner Christopher B. Epps said in a news release. “Therefore, ...

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Criminal justice legislation moves forward

JACKSON — A bill that supporters say could make Mississippi’s criminal justice system more efficient and cut prison costs by hundreds of millions of dollars is one step from going to Gov. Phil Bryant. The House and Senate yesterday both passed the final version of House Bill 585. The House held it for the possibility of more debate, but there’s ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Debt Service is Big Spending

What are the big spending categories in Mississippi’s General Fund? Well, everybody knows education is number one. Education, which includes public schools, universities, community colleges, schools for the blind and deaf, vocational education, ETV and libraries, at $2.8 billion accounted for 56.6 percent of General Fund appropriations last fiscal year. Eh, is Medicaid number two? Well, sort of. Social welfare ...

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Hood wants settlement funds to go to prison, courts

JACKSON — Attorney General Jim Hood has sent a check to the state General Fund for $52,697,853.73 and a check for $11,167,097.00 to the State/School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan. The money, totaling $63,864,932.73, is the result of litigation involving eight cases as follows: GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (Avandia): $25,219,368.42 BASF Corporation et al (vitamin litigation): $22,509,978.76 LCD litigation: $3,844,417.09 Toyota: $433,542.74 Lender ...

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Farms, homeless shelters scramble as cold grips states

Farmers hustled to harvest citrus and protect strawberries, homeless shelters admitted all comers, Terrebonne Parish jail inmates got extra blankets and people were warned to protect pipes, plants and pets as arctic air smacked into the Deep South and temperatures plummeted in Louisiana and Mississippi. Shreveport and Monroe in Louisiana and Hernando all had morning highs in the 50s, with ...

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