A Mississippi prison known for gang violence and abuse officially closes this week.
Nine-hundred inmates at Walnut Grove Correctional Facility in Leake County, have been moved to other state-run facilities according to the Mississippi Department of Corrections. MDOC says it decided to shutter the prison because of budget cuts and a low prison population. The facility was under a federal lawsuit settlement over violence at the privately-operated prison. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU sued MDOC over the conditions. Attorney Jody Owens helped litigate the case.
"Walnut Grove currently is still under a consent decree and while the state has appealed Judge Reeves' findings, they are still obligated to have a federal monitor to monitor the facility. They're still obligated to provide documents and records to the plaintiffs, the Southern Poverty Law Center and I think that all those things together led to this facility closing," said Owens.
MDOC would not comment. Staff at the prison can apply for other jobs with the agency.