Monday, March 2, 2015

Malone suddenly retires.

Representative Tom Miles (D-Boondocks) issued this statement on behalf of Representative J. Bennett Malone (D-MDOC) two weeks ago:

“After over 36 years of service to Leake, Neshoba, Scott, and Rankin Counties Rep. Bennett Malone has retired today from the Mississippi House of Representatives. Thank you Representative Malone for your service to our State and leadership over the years for rural Mississippi.”

Representative Malone is not in good health and has served as Chairman of the Corrections Committee under then-Speaker of the House Billy McCoy. 

Note: Good find by a reader in the comments section.  This story about Malone's influence over corrections legislation appeared in the Clarion-Ledger last November:


During 2011 negotiations, then-Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said he couldn't get rid of Mississippi's private companies running prisons "because of all the money they spread around Jackson," attorneys told The Clarion-Ledger.

His remarks took place during the time when federal prosecutors say Epps was receiving more than $700,000 in bribes, including a beachfront condo.....

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.

Then-Gov. Kirk Fordice also supported the effort, McMillin said. "Some sheriffs wanted to be rid of the damn jails."

He was opposed to it.

The measure didn't pass, but private prisons did become a reality.

In 2002 or so, then-Corrections Commissioner Robert L. Johnson negotiated with Walnut Grove Correctional Facility, a private prison, for a per-inmate cost.

House Corrections Committee Chairman Bennett Malone of Carthage "was right up in the middle of the negotiations, which was highly improper, to increase the rate for Walnut Grove," he said.
Malone could not be reached for comment.

The facility was originally designed to hold inmates up to 18 years of age. Johnson wanted to keep that mission.

But Malone was instrumental in getting the law changed so inmates up to age 21 were moved there, tripling the prison population, Johnson said. "You can't throw a bunch of kids in there with hardened criminals."

As a result, corrections officials wound up with a "big mess," he said.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...


From previous thread. I have been doing my homework. Strong work KF!
Someone needs to write a book...

Anonymous said...
What was Chairman Bennett Malone doing when all of this was going on? He was getting $25,000+ in travel expenses to come down from Carthage everyday to keep an eye on Corrections. Things that make you go uhumm.
March 1, 2015 at 6:50 PM

Queen said...

"And another gone and another one gone"...

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long we will have to wait to be told exactly how William Martin was involved in the MDOC scandal? The information provided by the USA's office is very non descriptive. Will his suicide bring a total end to information being released about this particular indictment? As of this morning nothing else is available on PACER. One would have to think that Stacey Pickering wants all released for his own benefit.

Anonymous said...

He has been there and voting since that statement. How close are he and Representative Miles?

Anonymous said...

I suppose worrying about the feds might make you ill if you thought you had a reason to worry.


Lawyers: Epps said prison companies 'spread' money

In 2002 or so, then-Corrections Commissioner Robert L. Johnson negotiated with Walnut Grove Correctional Facility, a private prison, for a per-inmate cost.

House Corrections Committee Chairman Bennett Malone of Carthage "was right up in the middle of the negotiations, which was highly improper, to increase the rate for Walnut Grove," he said.

Malone could not be reached for comment.

The facility was originally designed to hold inmates up to 18 years of age. Johnson wanted to keep that mission.

But Malone was instrumental in getting the law changed so inmates up to age 21 were moved there, tripling the prison population, Johnson said. "You can't throw a bunch of kids in there with hardened criminals."

As a result, corrections officials wound up with a "big mess," he said.

Anonymous said...

"WALNUT GROVE YOUTH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY

Jackson–October 5, 2007, witnessed the groundbreaking for a 500 bed addition to the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility (WGYCF) in the city of Walnut Grove. The Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility opened in March 2001. Offenders in WGYCF range in age up to 22 years old. As of October 1, 2007, the MDOC housed 1329 offenders 22 years and younger that meet the criteria to be housed at WGYCF. Nine hundred and eight of these were housed at the WGYCF in double bunk cells. The expansion of 500 beds will consist of 250 new double bunk cells. The additional capacity was designed by Dale and Associates Architectural Firm of Jackson, Mississippi and is being built by White Construction Company of Ridgeland, Mississippi

The event was attended by MDOC officials, Cornell Companies corporate officers and local officials. Speakers included MDOC Commissioner Christopher Epps, Mississippi House of Representatives Corrections Committee Chairman Bennett Malone, Policy Advisor to the Governor, C. Daryl Neely, Guy White of White Construction, Walnut Grove Mayor Grady Sims and Warden Robert Bryant of WGYCF.

The event recognized the facility’s expansion as a catalyst for increased economic development, while meeting the needs of an ever-growing inmate population. Commissioner Christopher Epps stated “The expansion enhances the ability of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) to segregate youthful offenders from older career offenders, preventing older offenders from further damaging salvageable lives. The Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility provides a setting for us to educate yesterday’s predators so they can become
tomorrow’s productive citizens.”

The expansion was authorized in the 2007 legislative session through House Bill 806. The bill increases the facility’s capacity from 1000 offenders to 1500. The bill was shepherded through the House Corrections Committee, along with other construction bills, by Representative Bennett Malone. Bennett Malone began
serving in the Mississippi State Legislature in 1980 and as chairman of the Corrections Committee in 1996. Of Representative Malone’s efforts Commissioner Epps stated, “I want to thank Representative Malone for his diligence to see this expansion through the legislature, and to Governor Barbour for signing it into law.”
Representative Malone said, “It never pleases me to see young people locked up but it does please me to know their custody and care will be provided by the dedicated people of my district.”

The expansion is expected to be completed by December, 2008 at a cost of $ $40,000,000 and will employ approximately 50 additional staff. Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility is operated by Cornell Companies, Inc., of Houston, Texas on behalf of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.


http://www.mdoc.state.ms.us/PressReleases/2007NewsReleases/Walnut%20Grove%20Groundbreaking%2010_05_07.pdf

Anonymous said...

10:04 - don't think he has 'been there' although he has probably been 'voting'. In our wonderful House of Reps, members often punch the button for missing members so that they can be recorded as voting, and also to qualify them for their per diem. Unless you actually see a member on the floor you can't be sure that they were there.

Calgon said...

Bingo!

Anonymous said...

I think Malone would have been living a much higher lifestyle if he was involved in that kind of way

Anonymous said...

I love Tom Miles' bangzzzz

Ellis Bodron said...

Y'all lookin' in the wrong DIE-rection. Even I can see that.

Anonymous said...

I guess Tom Miles is the one who has been punching the welfare button for Malone? That should be good campaign material.

Anonymous said...

Tom Milez Bangz so rich, so luxurious. Like Epps Rolex and Mercedes

Anonymous said...

What is the procedure for selecting and/or electing a replacement?

Why did he retire if he hasn't been coming to the Capitol anyway? Will he be better off getting PERS disability?

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