PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Due to what officials say is 'inadequate staffing', the fourth Mississippi Department of Corrections work center has closed within a year.
According to Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher, the Jackson County Work Center in Pascagoula closed on April 15 until further notice.
"This center closed for the same reasons as the others – inadequate staffing," Fisher said. "We do not pay enough to attract enough people to work at these centers, and I don't have enough staff to share from other locations."
Several key positions were vacant when the center closed, including case manager, commander and supervisor jobs. Seven correctional officers employed at the facility were reassigned to other units who are short staff.
Twenty-two offenders were moved to other facilities.
"There may be more centers closing, depending on MDOC's 2017 budget," Fisher said. "I will shut down centers or programs before I lay off employees."
Seventeen work centers existed a year ago, and MDOC says they are now down to 11. Locations in Leflore and Simpson counties were converted into technical violation centers, which serve as an alternative to incarceration.