Monday, November 24, 2014

Alcorn County warden suddenly resigns. Ended contract to run Grenada jail on Oct. 27

Update: JJ confirmed with Grenada County Board of Supervisors President Chad Bridges that Mr. Benjamin informed the board on October 27 that he was terminating the management contract to operate the Grenada County jail.  The letter is posted below.

Original post on November 22, 2014: 

A former lobbyist for Mississippi Prison Industries resigned his position as warden of the Alcorn County jail yesterday.  WTVA reported:

Alcorn County's jail warden, Irb Benjamin, is resigning from his position. The warden announced his plans to step down Thursday. Alcorn County Supervisor Lowell Hinton said Benjamin's resignation came as a surprise to the supervisors. He said Benjamin lives in Jackson and manages two other jails. He said the distance is a factor in why Benjamin is leaving.

The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors is currently taking applications for a new warden. They hope to have one before Benjamin's last day, which is Nov. 30. Hinton said Benjamin will have an assistant in place while the search for a new warden continues.Article

The Daily Corinthian also reported he announced his resignation after an escape from the jail.  Supervisors said they were surprised by the announcement.  Mr. Benjamin owns Mississippi Correctional Management, Inc. and is a resident of Madison.  The registered agent is the Godfather of Madison County himself, Bob Montgomery.   The company manages several jails in Mississippi.

The MDOC website states that the jail holds county and state prisoners.  Then-MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps withdrew state prisoners from the facility in 2013 after a prisoner died of a drug overdose during an unapproved leave. Mr. Epps allowed Alcorn County to house state prisoners after the county awarded a jail-management contract to Mr. Benjamin's company in December 2013.  Article

Mr. Benjamin also was the registered lobbyist for Mississippi Prison Industries from 2004 to 2012.  He reported that he received no compensation from Mississippi Prison Industries.  Mississippi Prison Industries is a non-profit corporation established and operated by the Mississippi Department of Corrections.  Here are some observations about Mr. Benjamin's activities as gleaned from the web:

*The Desoto County Board of Supervisors hired Mr. Benjamin at $3,000 a month in 2008 as a consultant to assist the county in building a new jail.  Controversy erupted after two lower bids were rejected after Mr. Benjamin added language to the bid requirements that applicants must have built jails that cost at least $8 million.  One company with a lower bid had constructed a jail for $6 million. Article

*MCM obtained approval to operate  the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility.  The facility accepts county and state prisoners. Article

*MCM managed the Marion/Walthall regional facility.

*The Winona Times reported in 2010 that Commissioner Epps recommended Mr. Benjamin to the Carroll County Board of Supervisors: :

Jail consultant Irb Benjamin gave the Carroll County Board of Supervisors a financial briefing on the Vaiden Jail and assured them that the facility is in good standing.

Benjamin, a representative from the Mississippi Correctional Management was referred to Carroll County Sheriff Jerry Carver from Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps.

Recently, the CMRCF have seen some troubles as a drop in state inmates worried county and jail officials on the incoming cash flow. Article

*MCM operates the Grenada County jail.

*MCM assisted the Pearl River County Sheriff prepare for accreditation. Article. 


Anonymous said...

huh.....I have no idea why he would suddenly resign. We have not seen anything like that lately. Nope. Notta clue.

Anonymous said...

I must say I'm not shocked, in the least! Millions can't exchange hands & just two people be involved. I'm thinking Epps & McDaddy are singing like a parakeet on the back porch on a Sunday morning. House of Epps has fallen. Now, does anyone have the ____ to take on Phil? KF put it all out there about Phil's boys (Josh & company) at Frontiers. Won't any of you take it & expose Deputy Dog Phil for what he really is-a crook! Come on Tater Tot! This is your big chance. Put on your big boy underros, step up to the plate & take a swing! What about you Delbert Humperdink?!?! You can do it! Or little Jimmy Hood-spray that hair nice & high & take a swing! Come on guys (or should I say boys), it's laid out there-all you have to do is see it's investigated. Auditor's Office? AG's Office? PEER? Anybody out there?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

12:14- I completely agree. You can't get anything done by Phil, supported by Phil, approved by Phil if you don't grease the hands of the pricks at Frontiers. They have more contracts with state entities than any of us could count. Additionally, they get contracts for other companies groups by helping them to get state contracts. Who is benefiting from all of this one may ask?!?!? You guessed it-our wanna be cop Gubner-Pheeeellll. It's crooked & pathetic that it happens and that our state leaders turn the other cheek. LOOK into this Mississippians.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

12:14 Please, do lay it out for us. Give us some direction, Don't be coy. The rest of the people of this state who engage in critical thinking are aware of the innuendo and rumor of which you speak. I am serious; not being an add. I ask you, spill it. Tell us what it is you believe, you can't get zapped they are public officials w/o the same protections from your free speech.

Anonymous said...

Hey KF: Who did the lobbying for MDOC? Who was chief of staff for Epps?

Kingfish said...

Stay on topic. In this case, MDOC-related stuff.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Phil and Cecil out lobbying together? Or is MM just making that up?

Maybe voters should be carrying feathers, so the next time one of these civil servants says they can be just "knocked over", they can give 'em a little test.

I doubt anyone'll need a single ambulance.

Anonymous said...

Should we look at the contract CCA has with a certain member of Barbour family?

Anonymous said...

No one wants to have to pay for lobby services but when Haley came back , he installed the "pay to play" rule.It is not all dirty but unless a business has their hire gun who can influence they have no chance of getting a fair shake.

Anonymous said...

Irb, has been shady for many many years.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

2:29 - you certainly have a weird historical view. Check the four years before Barbour - you know, the Musgrove years. Plenty of reported instances of shakedown of shakedown direct from the direct from the Governor's office. Lobbyists written about in the WSJ and their 'success' in getting contracts for their clients. Private prison contracts, Medicaid, LWT Board deals. Didn't start with "Barbour years". Has been around long before - just with different players.

Anonymous said...

Irb served in the State Senate back in the late 80's until he was defeated in 1992. Lt. Governor Eddie Briggs(who authored the bill to restore voting rights to Ike Brown appointed him to be Assistant Secretary of the Senate and Sergeant-at-arms. He's been around for years!

Anonymous said...

So, he resigned as Warden of one prison. I assume he still has contractual relationships with the others -- right? And, of course, he still has his contract as lobbyist for the payday loan industry.

Anonymous said...

Will our governor wake up one morning and say "Holy Shitakes, all of the exposed corruption that includes some of my favorite friends and consultants has hurt my chances of re-election." Or is he just not smart enough to realize this? You can believe he will not get an honest answer from his electioneers at Frontier Strategies. Does the actions of Epps impact Phil Bryant or is this just another MsDMR that Pickering will step in and do some mild handslapping? All emergency contracts with all agencies should be looked into. I just heard the new buckle up commercial brought to you by SantaCruz. Wonder what that paid?

Anonymous said...

Bryant won't worry 9:56 AM until Mississippi's Republicrat compliant media (Kingfish somewhat notwithstanding) turns against the establishment MSGOP and Bryant in particular. The shit with Frontier and MSGOP radio, aka Supertalk, is beyond an abuse of taxpayers. BUT Mississippi's media is the beneficiary of that largesse so in these tough economic times don't expect the MS Press Corps to bite the hands of those paying their ever dwindling ranks.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to buy a clue!

"After being elected Hinds County sheriff, Malcolm McMillin remembered meeting at the Sun-n-Sand Motel with then-lawmakers McCrory and Phil Bryant, who were supporting legislation in the early 1990s for the state to take over running the jails and privatizing them."

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you boys are talkin' about our Governor FEEL BOUFFANT that way!

Corrupt State said...

It's Deep and It's Wide...
And their ain't nowhere to hide!

Anonymous said...

"Recently, the CMRCF have seen some troubles as a drop in state inmates worried county and jail officials on the incoming cash flow." -

1. The cost should have consequently dropped.
2. This type of thinking is a direct result of privatization of the jails and prisons.
3. These people are the jerks who are pushing for sentencing mandates and propping up their business with the stupid failed War on Drugs.

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