Number of Phelps inmates already cut in half

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

In less than a week, the inmate population at Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy has been cut by half.

Another 229 inmates were moved to Angola State Penitentiary on Wednesday morning, leaving Phelps’ population at 386. On Monday, 232 inmates were bused to Angola.

“I think (the state) thought that the number of staff left was appropriate for the number of prisoners,” Phelps Warden Robert

Henderson said.

The state announced in mid-September that the medium-security prison would close by Nov. 1. The move will save $2.6 million

this fiscal year and $11.85 million in the next fiscal year, state officials have said.

Most of the prison staff is expected to lose their jobs, and “a good many” have already left, Henderson said, although he didn’t have an exact number.

Henderson said he now expects the transfer of prisoners to slow down.

Five inmates scheduled to be moved to Angola were kept at Phelps because their release dates are in the next three days, he