POSTED: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 4:34pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 4:51pm
Woodville, MS (NBC33) — Inmates at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility (WCCF) will now be able to have outside recreation for the first time in years, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Management & Training Corporation (MTC).
The prison, which can hold nearly 1,000 inmates, first opened in 1998.
MTC took over the facility in July 2013. Before that, WCCF was run by the Corrections Corporation of American and the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Current WCCF warden Frank Shaw says that lack of outdoor space for recreation has been a big concern since the new company took over.
“Offenders have always been able to play basketball and do other exercises inside the prison, but outdoor recreation was off limits because new equipment was needed. After we took over the facility in July of last year, we started making plans for new outdoor equipment,” Shaw said in a statement released by MTC.
WCCF now has a new basketball court, volleyball court, and other outdoor activities like soccer and jogging.
Warden Shaw also said that for some inmates, it’s just a matter of being able to enjoy the sun.
“Having access to an outdoor recreation yard improves offenders’ overall wellbeing and morale.” Shaw added.
This recent progress follows earlier questions about whether another private company would actually improve conditions at the facility.
In 2012, WCCF received negative attention after 23 inmates were injured in multiple prison fights.