Marshall County Correctional Facility (MCCF)
Marshall County Correctional Center (MCCF) is a for-profit prison in Holly Springs, Marshall County, Mississippi, managed by Management and Training Corporation (MTC) on behalf of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The minimum/medium-security prison facility has an authorized capacity of 1,076 and is on 17 acres (6.9 ha) of enclosed area. The prison property has a total of 47 acres (19 ha). The Marshall County Correctional Facility is one of three private prisons operated on behalf of the state as of March 2017. In November 2014, Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps resigned a day before he was indicted by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on corruption charges for bribery and taking kickbacks. Commissioner since 2002, he was known for reducing the use of solitary confinement in state prisons, and reducing prison populations after supporting passage of a 2009 bill allowing earlier parole for non-violent offenders with a low risk of recidivism. Cecil McCrory, a business man and former state legislator, was indicted for bribing Epps in return for having prison-services contracts steered to him and his clients. He had worked as a consultant for MTC, GEO Group, and Cornell Companies, which had previously operated private prisons in Mississippi. By November 2015 both men had pleaded guilty and were cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation. A third co-conspirator, former lawmaker Irb Benjamin, also joined the lengthening list of those pleading out to reduce the consequences of their crimes. Benjamin pleaded guilty to federal charges on October 18, 2016. He faced 10 years in prison, plus a fine of up to a quarter-million dollars. Judge Henry Travillion Wingate sentenced him to 70 months in prison, fined him $100,000 and ordered him to forfeit $260,782. Benjamin, who said he was "pressured" by Epps, estimated that he paid the commissioner between $180,000 and $225,000 in cash bribes to secure support for the regional jails. His plea also covered bribes paid for drug and alcohol rehab programs which his company ran under contract to the state. LaMarca told Wingate, "it's just a matter of time" until others whom Benjamin informed upon were indicted. Benjamin is being held at the minimum security Federal Correctional Institution, Forrest City, Arkansas, with an anticipated release date of June 13, 2022. Numerous other people have been convicted in this case and prosecutions were continuing in 2017. In February, 2017, Jim Hood, the Mississippi Attorney General announced civil suits seeking damages and punitive damages from 15 contractors and several individuals associated with prison operations.