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Five buses carrying 230 prisoners departed C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center at 10 a.m. Monday, headed for Angola, the maximum-security prison in West Feliciana Parish. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)<br>

Five buses carrying 230 prisoners departed C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center at 10 a.m. Monday, headed for Angola, the maximum-security prison in West Feliciana Parish. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)

Phelps ships quarter of its inmates to Angola

Last Modified: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 1:56 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center began its final month of full operations by shipping a quarter of its inmate population to Angola State Penitentiary, officials said.

Five buses carrying 230 prisoners departed DeQuincy at 10 a.m. Monday, headed for the maximum-security prison in West Feliciana Parish, near the Louisiana-Mississippi border, Phelps Warden Robert Henderson said.

The state announced in mid-September that Phelps, a medium-security prison with 942 beds, is to close by the end of October. Jimmy LeBlanc, secretary of the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections, said that closing the facility will save $2.6 million this fiscal year and $11.85 million in the next fiscal year.

“It just reinforces the idea that we’re closing,” Henderson said of Monday’s departures. “The idea was there anyway; it just reinforces it.”

Several trucks traveled with the buses, carrying the inmates’ beds, mattresses and lockers, Henderson said.

Thirty-eight inmates had already been taken to Angola. About 650 prisoners remained at Phelps, and more are expected to be shipped out this week, Henderson said, although he doesn’t know exact dates.

Workers, too, are leaving the facility for other jobs and “making plans for the closing date,” Henderson said.

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