Mississippi closes part of prison, citing guard shortage

Mississippi's prison system says it's closing parts of a south Mississippi prison because it can't hire enough guards.

Posted: Oct 29, 2017 3:03 PM
Updated: Oct 29, 2017 3:03 PM

By JEFF AMY
Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi's prison system says it's closing parts of a south Mississippi prison because it can't hire enough guards.

Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall announced Friday that her department has closed some units at South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville and moved 400 prisoners elsewhere.

The inmates will be moved to two other state prisons, 15 county-run regional jails and three private prisons statewide.

Hall says it's likely that the prison system will close more units at three state-run prisons. She says the starting yearly salary for correctional officers, just under $25,000, is not enough to attract applicants to a sometimes-dangerous job, when other options pay more.

Hall says the move is necessary to make sure employees and inmates are safe. She says the Corrections Department is aggressively trying to hire employees.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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