YOUNGSTOWN Correctional center suspends operations

The empty private prison awaits new inmates.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The last of the prisoners have departed from Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, and the center has suspended operations.
The final 50 inmates, all from the Washington, D.C., area, left the Hubbard Road prison Thursday morning, and were transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Warden Brian Gardner announced. His news release didn't say where the prisoners were taken.
Gardner and a skeleton staff will remain at the 2,106-bed private prison to assist with any potential negotiations for a contract to house other prisoners and to keep the facility ready to accept them. All other employees are being transferred to another Corrections Corp. of America facility or laid off, he said.
Transfers: All employees were offered transfers to one of 65 other facilities of the Nashville-based CCA. Employees will be recalled to NOCC as needed, if it receives new prisoners, he announced.
The Hubbard Road prison, which opened in May 1997, had an annual payroll of about $11 million and paid the city $250,000 in income tax last year. NOCC had a staff of 449 in March, when CCA announced it was reducing the staff by 200 because of a reduced prisoner census.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons, which controlled NOCC inmates, had announced April 19 that it was ready to open another prison, meaning NOCC inmates could be removed and sent elsewhere.
CCA said April 20 that NOCC could close as soon as Aug. 18 if it didn't get more inmates. A corporation spokesman said last week that the timetable was accelerated because the prisons bureau was moving inmates out of NOCC faster than expected.

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