County supervisor says private prison may soon have new life, despite loss of federal contract

Published 2:09 pm Thursday, June 27, 2019

A private prison facing closure in Southwest Mississippi may soon have new life with a new contract in the works, a county supervisor said.

Adams County Supervisor David Carter reported via a social media post Thursday afternoon that county officials had just met with leaders with Core Civic, the owners of the Adams County Correctional Center, and said the prison expects to continue operating, even expanding soon.

The prison announced in May that it was losing its contract to house federal inmates with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons after the BOP chose not to renew its contract for the more than 2,200-bed facility located on U.S. 84 east of Natchez.

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Adams County Correctional Center mostly houses prisoners who are illegal immigrants charged with re-entering the United States after deportation.

Its contract with the U.S. BOP is set to end July 31.

“They have a new contract being worked out,” Carter wrote. “… that will continue all operationgs. They have 352 employees and will need an additional 40, primarily in the medial area.”

Carter and other Adams County leaders had been lobbying to help Core Civic repurpose the facility and retain the jobs in the economically depressed corner of Mississippi.

“We appreciate Core Civic’s commitment to this area and look forward to their future here in Adams County.”

The prison opened in 2009 and brought much-needed jobs to Southwest Mississippi

In August 2016, the United States Justice Department officials announced that the Bureau of Prisons would be phasing out its use of contracted facilities, suggesting that private prisons were less safe and did not offer substantial cost savings for the government.

In May 2012, Corrections Officer Catlin Carithers was killed during a riot at the facility. During the riot, 16 other staff members and three other prisoners were injured. Employees were taken hostage during the disturbance, which ended when officials from the Mississippi Highway Patrol and BOP were able to end the situation.