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MDOC halts sending new state inmates to local facility

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Updated: 11/14/2013 8:50 am
CORINTH, Miss. (WTVA) — A North Mississippi jail will not be receiving any new state inmates for the time being.

This comes after the Alcorn County Regional Correctional Facility was found to be in violation of Mississippi Department of Corrections regulations.

"This [is] MDOC policy that we have to go by, and I didn't. I violated that, which I admitted, I don't deny," said Charles Rinehart, sheriff of Alcorn County. "I was trying to help the inmate. Unfortunately, it bit me."

Rinehart admitted to granting a weekend pass to state inmate William "Danny" Whitaker, who died while staying at a relative's house in Alcorn County.

The state inmate was dealing with a number of medical issues and died on October 26.

"Of course, we're waiting on toxicology and other testing results from the autopsy to actually determine a cause of death at this time," said Jay Jones, Alcorn County coroner."

The sheriff wants to get this matter resolved as quickly as possible due to the revenue that is generated from housing state inmates at the facility.

"I talked with Mr. [Chris] Epps, the [state corrections] commissioner, and I will sit down and give him a written report correcting all this, and it will not happen anymore," said Rinehart.

That meeting is expected near the end of the month.

The inmate who died was one of six state inmates granted passes to leave and come back.

Until further notice, state inmates will not be given passes.

The sheriff says inmates who do work for the city and county will still get them.
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