Walnut Grove Wants Private Prison Reopened

WALNUT GROVE, MS (Ben Caxton) — Officials in Walnut Grove want the state prison system to reopen a closed private prison instead of spending money to rebuild part of the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. The state closed the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility in 2016, but the state is still paying $97.4 million in debt associated with the prison’s construction. In September Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall asked lawmakers in for $22 million to rebuild Unit 29 at Parchman, but Leake County officials say the state should instead shift some inmates to a reopened Walnut Grove. Hall says she will defer to legislators on the decision, but either rebuilding Unit 29 or contracting with a private prison operator would be costly.



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