State to house 1,200 prisoners from Puerto Rico

Published 10:14 pm Thursday, October 19, 2017

JACKSON (AP) — Roughly 1,200 federal prisoners from Puerto Rico are being moved to Mississippi amid Hurricane Maria recovery.

U.S. Court Clerk Arthur Johnston told The Clarion-Ledger that Mississippi has agreed to house the inmates at the federal correctional facility in Yazoo City.

Johnston says other jurisdictions helped during Hurricane Katrina recovery and Mississippi is “delighted to return the favor.”

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U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts asked federal judges to be available to help with the prisoners’ cases, but the cases will remain under Puerto Rico judges’ jurisdiction.

Johnston said he believed the prisoners were already in Mississippi, but Gov. Phil Bryant’s spokesman Clay Chandler said Wednesday that he couldn’t confirm if the prisoners were in or on their way to the state.

In a statement, Bryant said he wouldn’t support accepting dangerous prisoners.