Sunday, November 30, 2014

Benjamin story raises more questions.

Warden, consultant, prison wizard, former state senator, lobbyist Irb Benjamin said his recent resignation as warden of the Alcorn and Grenada County jails had nothing to do with the MDOC scandal.  Emily Le Coz at the Clarion-Ledger followed up JJ post last week about the sudden termination of jail-management contracts by Mr. Benjamin with some new information.

Officials from both counties said they had no warning of the decisions and questioned Benjamin's timing in relation to the federal indictment unsealed earlier this month against Epps and Rankin County businessman Cecil McCrory.

"That has crossed our minds," said Tim Mitchell, Alcorn County's board vice president. "I asked him about it, and he basically told us there was nothing there.".....

 But the 69-year-old former state senator said his decisions have nothing to do with Epps or McCrory or the scandal that ensnared the two men. They were prompted instead by his declining health and repeated security issues at the Alcorn facility.

"We had two escapes up there in the last six months, and both times the inmates went out the door with the keys," Benjamin said. "They said paid for better security than they got, and I agree with that. When those things happen, the buck stops here."...

 Benjamin's company, Mississippi Correctional Management, has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from consulting with counties throughout the state, including at least three of which either were prompted by or connected to Epps.

In addition to advising the counties on designing and building facilities, Benjamin also helps them obtain accreditation from the American Correctional Association.....

Epps referred Benjamin to DeSoto County to help design and construct a new jail, according to 2008 minutes from a board of supervisors meeting. The county subsequently hired Benjamin for $3,000 per month.

The corrections commissioner also referred Benjamin to Carroll County Sheriff Jerry Carver as someone who could help its regional prison attract more state inmates, according to a 2010 story from the Winona Times.

"Due to the cuts in the number of inmates sent by the Mississippi Department of Corrections, the jail is losing about $50,000 per month," the story states.

The county paid Benjamin a $2,500-per-month consulting fee, and prison finances improved.

Carver confirmed to The Clarion-Ledger that Epps referred him to Benjamin but denied he was under any pressure to hire the consultant.

"I called Chris Epps, and his exact words were, 'Why don't you call Irb, he could probably help you,'" Carver said. "I did hire him but it was my own decision. I was not pressured."

Benjamin continues to receive the $2,500 monthly fee from Carroll County, Carver. It's one of the lowest rates among all his numerous clients.

Bolivar, Holmes, Jefferson, Marion, Pearl River and Yazoo counties all have paid him $4,000 per month each, according to payment records on SeeTheSpending.Org. Hancock and Washington counties have paid him $5,000 per month each, records show.....

Despite ending his oversight contract, Benjamin still earns his monthly consulting fee from a seven-year deal signed in 2011. Supervisors want to terminate Benjamin's consulting contract, Mitchell said, but they're still determining if they can legally do so.

Benjamin's oversight of the Grenada facility began eight years ago, with his company earning an average of $1.3 million annually from the deal and an estimated $10 million since the start of the contract, according to county payment records on SeeTheSpending.Org.... Rest of article. Worth reading.

1 comment:

Look For Many Others said...

Praying that somehow Steve Holland is mixed up in all this mess. Who has the contract on drivin' the midnight hearse and funeralizin' those whose bodies aren't immediately claimed by family?

Like maggots in sunning-meat, the tentacles of graft and corruption run deep and wide in the flesh of a state.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS