Prison Prepares To Shut Its Doors

Tuesday, March 20th 2007, 12:41 pm
By: News On 6

HINTON, Okla. (AP) About 190 employees at a private prison in Hinton are preparing to be without a job. A spokeswoman for Texas-based Cornell Companies says the company plans to close its Great Plains Correctional Facility in the first week of April. About 290 state inmates remain at the private prison from a population that was once 800 as recent as October. State corrections spokesman Jerry Massie says the remaining inmates are scheduled to be moved no later than April 6th.

State guards began relocating inmates after prison officials announced they would not renew their state contract in October. The bulk of Hinton's inmates were sent to the Lawton Correctional Facility, a private prison that recently underwent a 600-bed expansion.

The prison closure is sure to send economic shockwaves through Hinton, a Caddo County community of some 2,200 people.

Cornell officials say the will maintain a skeleton crew at the prison after the closure.