Walnut Grove mayor: Prison closure could cripple MS town

Walnut Grove Mayor Brian Gomillion says the state’s closure of a private prison could be crippling for his town, and the lack of a heads up that it was coming is “a finger in the eye.”

“I was having a good Friday,” Gomillion said on Monday. “One of my employees was off and texted me, ‘Prison closing!!!’ … Before I could call the city attorney, (a reporter) had called me. You’d think out of common courtesy someone would have told me before they sent it to the news media.”

The Mississippi Department of Corrections announced on Friday that it would close the privately run Walnut Grove Correctional Facility in September and transfer its 900 inmates to state-run facilities. MDOC Commissioner Marshall Fisher said he made the decision because of state budget cuts and a declining inmate population.

Clarion Ledger
6/13/16