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  • mcprison mcprison Apr 19, 2000 1:34 PM Flag

    WHC to take back Jena soon 1

    Martin stressed that the agreement between the
    state and Wackenhut for the state to take interim
    operational control of the Jena prison is "all verbal" and
    that Wackenhut�s contract is still
    valid.

    "There�s been no revocation of the contract at all," she
    said. "It is a verbal agreement. The contract still
    holds."

    Houston said he "invited" the state to assume interim
    operational control of the Jena center "because there were
    some investigations that needed to be
    conducted."

    Utter said reports by U.S. Justice Department
    consultants are "the reason they took over." The reports
    alleged extreme violence at the Jena
    center.

    Houston said the state�s temporary takeover does not have
    an "ending date" or "exit date." He said Wackenhut
    will regain operational control "whenever they (the
    state) conclude what they�re doing now."

    White
    said the Jena prison is under the control of Warden
    Mike Roberts.

    "Ninety-five percent of the
    employees at the facility are Wackenhut employees," Houston
    said. "They report to the warden." Martin said more
    than 100 Wackenhut employees work at the
    prison.

    "To what extent is the Department of Corrections
    operating the facility?" Doherty asked.

    "We�re
    calling the shots," White replied.

    "The
    operational decisions are currently being made by the state,"
    Houston said.

    "Yes, we�re in operational control,
    but Wackenhut is there with us," said state
    corrections attorney Martha Morgan.

    Utter asked
    Houston who is liable if one of the juveniles at the Jena
    center breaks an arm.

    "It is a question we�ve
    had, and we�ve discussed it with the state," Houston
    said. "I can�t tell you where that is
    now."

    Houston also said any Wackenhut employee under
    investigation for alleged abuse at the Jena prison won�t have
    any contact with the inmates until the probe is
    completed.

    "That�s our policy," he
    said.

    Martin said the state pays Wackenhut $70 per day per bed
    at the Jena center, whether the bed is filled or
    not.

    "Wackenhut is being paid for 276 beds," she said,
    acknowledging that, before the state took control of the
    center, negotiations began between the state and
    Wackenhut over the pay issue.

 
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