Friday, March 12, 2010

Bay County Disputes CCA Claims Over Jail

Originally found here.

Bay County officials are disputing some facts the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has been spreading around the state regarding their old contract to operate the Bay County jail.

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Hernando County commissioners are considering dropping Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and turning their jail over to the county sheriff.

They've been consulting Bay County officials about a similar transition that took place here in the fall of 2008.

According to published reports, CCA criticized Bay County for terminating their contract, telling Hernando County officials they could have saved Bay County $3 million this year if they had still been running the facility.

But, Bay County commissioners are now reminding everyone that it was CCA that terminated the contract, claiming they couldn't abide by the financial terms of that agreement.

They also say sheriff Frank McKeithen has done a better job of running the jail, and has done it cheaper than CCA.

Bay County commissioner Mike Thomas said, "In 2009, the sheriff's budget, entire budget, with insurance, building payments, power, everything, was $1.3 million cheaper than it was in 2008 under CCA's operation."

Thomas says the county commission hasn't received nearly as many jail complaints since McKeithen took over from CCA.