By Associated Press - Wednesday, March 18, 2015

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - Leflore County officials are exploring other possible uses for the shuttered former Delta Correctional Facility after a bill to authorize placing state inmates there died in the Legislature.

House Bill 1044 died in the Senate after Corrections Committee Chairman Sampson Jackson, DPreston, declined to bring it up for a vote.

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports (https://bit.ly/1xbVy5b ) the bill would have authorized - though not required - the Mississippi Department of Corrections to reopen the facility to house state inmates.

The former Delta Correctional Facility, a 1,300inmate prison, was run by private operator Corrections Corporation of America before it was closed in January 2012. A portion of it continues to be used as the Leflore County Jail, though the majority of the space has sat empty.

Leflore County Chancery Clerk Sam Abraham said he was disappointed the bill failed.



For now, Abraham said, the county would be backing a bid by private prison operator Management and Training Corporation to house federal minimum-security inmates at the facility.

The same company had unsuccessfully bid for a similar federal contract in the past. This time around, Abraham said, the company was hoping to bring in close to 2,000 inmates, which would require significant renovations and additions to the prison facility.

Last month, the Leflore County Board of Supervisors tentatively agreed to sell the company additional land around the prison for an expansion should MTC win the federal contract. Abraham said a 2,000inmate federal prison would create about 350 to 400 jobs in the county.

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Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, https://www.gwcommonwealth.com

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