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  • mcprison mcprison Apr 26, 2000 4:59 PM Flag

    WHC: Jena for other inmates, not LA

    Wackenhut Corrections Plans Alternate Use for
    Jena, Louisiana Facility

    PALM BEACH GARDENS,
    Fla., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Wackenhut Corrections
    Corporation (NYSE: WHC) has informed the Louisiana Department
    of Public Safety and Corrections that it intends to
    contact other state and federal agencies regarding the
    conversion of its Jena, Louisiana juvenile facility to a
    facility for the housing of adult inmates or detainees.
    Wackenhut stated that it will cooperate fully with the
    Department of Public Safety and Corrections to ensure an
    orderly transition of the juvenile residents currently
    housed at the facility to other suitable facilities over
    a period of several months.

    During the
    transition period, Wackenhut will continue to follow all of
    the provisions of the Settlement Agreement recently
    agreed to by the State of Louisiana, Wackenhut and the
    United States Department of Justice.

    Dr. George
    C. Zoley, Wackenhut Corrections' Vice Chairman and
    Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We regret the need to
    take this action. We have enjoyed a close working
    partnership with the State of Louisiana in the operation of a
    large-scale adult prison for over ten years. We will ensure
    that the transition of our Jena facility will be done
    in a manner that is satisfactory to the
    State."

    "When we began this project one and a half years ago,
    we became embroiled in a long-standing federal
    lawsuit among the state, the Department of Justice, and
    private plaintiffs, involving the operation of the
    state's juvenile facilities. In addition, the private
    sector had come under harsh scrutiny as a result of
    problems that arose at a privately managed juvenile
    facility located in Tallullah, Louisiana. We have made
    extensive improvements to the Jena Juvenile Justice Center,
    a facility that we believe has met and continues to
    meet or exceed all constitutional standards.
    Nevertheless, we have reluctantly concluded that it would be in
    everyone's best interest for Wackenhut to seek an
    alternative use for the facility and to allow the State, the
    Justice Department and the private plaintiffs to resolve
    their differences with respect to the ongoing operation
    of the State's juvenile system without our further
    participation in the process."

    Dr. Zoley added, "Jena
    and LaSalle Parish have been very supportive of this
    project, and the economic development it has brought to
    the community. We will make every effort to ensure
    the continued employment of our staff at the facility
    throughout the transition period. We will, of course,
    continue to meet our obligations to the private owner of
    the facility as a lessee and to the community as a
    taxpayer."

    Wackenhut Corrections, a world leader in the privatized
    corrections industry, has contracts/awards to manage 56
    correctional/detention facilities in North America, Europe and Australia
    with a total of 40,704 beds. It also provides mental
    health services, including 436 beds at mental health
    facilities; correctional health care services; prisoner
    transportation; and electronic monitoring for home detainees. It
    is the industry leader in the international market,
    with awards or contracts for over 55 percent of the
    prison beds which have been privatized in countries
    outside of the United States.

    Wackenhut
    Corrections is a subsidiary of The Wackenhut Corporation
    (NYSE: WAK WAKB) and offers government agencies a
    turnkey approach to developing new correctional and
    mental health institutions that includes design,
    construction, financing and operations. It provides a broad
    spectrum of correctional services, which include adult
    corrections, juvenile facilities, community corrections and
    special purpose institutions.

 
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