Last Of Private Prison Employees Leave

Saturday, April 7th 2007, 3:50 pm
By: News On 6

HINTON, Okla. (AP) The last of nearly 200 employees at a nine-year-old private prison in western Oklahoma left an empty prison.

The Great Plains Correctional Facility once housed 800 prison inmates, but was unable to renew its contract with the Department of Corrections after months of negotiations.

The bulk of Hinton prison's inmates were sent to the Lawton Correctional Facility, a private facility that recently underwent a $23 million, 600-bed expansion.

On Friday only a skeleton crew of ten workers remained to man Great Plains and its surrounding grounds.

Prison Hospital Administrator Michael Maize says there was a group of people who clung to the hope that the prison would get new clients and stay open. That is expected to happen, but no one knows when.

Maize says the hiring of a new warden is a good sign that the facility could reopen soon.