(NASHVILLE, TN), March 26, 2009 – State Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) said today she has asked the Bredesen administration to reconsider their plans to end their relationship with the Whiteville Prison in Hardeman County. Gresham said she and other local lawmakers have talked to officials in the Tennessee Department of Corrections to ask them to seek out other alternatives to ending this contract to remove state prisoners from the facility.
“I have asked administration officials to reconsider their proposal to withdraw or relocate the prisoners in the next fiscal year,” said Gresham. “This facility employs 400 local residents and we are very concerned it would call for lay-offs for some of these employees.”
The contract withdrawal is part of Governor Bredesen’s budget proposal presented to lawmakers on Monday night. The administration says the plan would save the state $28 million by moving the prisoners to other locations or placing non-violent offenders into community services projects. The governor has announced plans to boost community services projects which are a cheaper way to monitor prisoners.
“My conversations with administration officials have been very positive thus far,” added Gresham. “There are two issues, one is public safety and the other is the economic security of our community. We look forward to working together to find a resolution that considers both of these priorities.”
Senator Gresham represent Senate District 26 which is comprised of Crockett, Haywood, Fayette, Hardeman, Chester, McNairy, Hardin, and Wayne Counties.