From The Mississippi Link Newswire

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) is planning to close four of its 17 community work centers effective July 15.

MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps said inmate labor has saved the state thousands in free labor. Budget cuts will force 17 inmate work centers to close starting July 15 Epps said. (Photo by Monica Land)

Speaking to MDOC staff, MDOC Commissioner Epps said, “Tough times make you make tough decisions.”  A budget shortfall and fewer non-violent inmates eligible to be housed at community work centers are the reasons for the decision, Epps said.

Inmates at the work centers will be transferred to other MDOC facilities.  Community work centers staff will be offered positions at other MDOC facilities.

A goal of the MDOC is to provide the greatest amount of public protection while making the most efficient use of the state’s resources.  “Being a good steward of taxpayer money is part of my responsibility as commissioner.  Closing these four facilities will save taxpayers about $2.3 million,” Epps said.

Offenders in the community work centers contributed $17,772,600 in free labor to local, county, state and non-profit charitable organizations throughout the state during Fiscal Year 2012.

MDOC will close Bolivar County Community Work Center in Rosedale, Yazoo County Community Work Center in Yazoo City, Jefferson County Community Work Center in Fayette and George County Community Work Center in Lucedale.

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