Thursday, October 11, 2012
New warden in charge at correctional facility
By BARRY BURLESON
The transition continues at the Marshall County Correctional Facility, and the new warden says it’s going very well.
Management & Training Corporation took over operation of the prison in Holly Springs on August 13. Timothy Outlaw came on board to run the facility.
“Anytime there’s change, people are apprehensive, but the staff here is wonderful – friendly and open to instruction,” he said.
Full employment should be 184. There are 171 on staff now, including about 40 new employees with MTC’s takeover.
“It’s important to keep staff at its full complement,” Outlaw said. “We want to always try to have all positions filled, and we are working on that now.”
He said the goals of MTC are to provide excellent training and create a family-oriented workplace.
“We want to create an environment where people want to come to work and be a part of this company with a goal of making it a career,” Outlaw said.
He retired July 31 after 28 years with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. His most recent assignment was as warden in Forrest City, Ark. He was there five years, overseeing a federal prison complex with 4,000 inmates and 600 staff members.
His first job with the federal government was in 1984 as a correctional officer in Danbury, Conn. He climbed the ladder, moving up to his first warden position in 2002 at Waseca, Minn.
“I decided about a year ago I was going to retire from the Bureau of Prisons,” he said. “I initially thought I would retire, stay home, take a period off and hang out with my wife (Sherri).”
They have two children – Danielle, a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas who is interviewing for acceptance into dental school, and Gabrielle, a 2012 high school graduate who is a freshman at Vanderbilt University in pre-med.
Then in June, he received information from a former boss, now with MTC, who told him about a potential job opening in Holly Springs.
“It’s only about an hour from where I live now (Marion, Ark.), so I applied,” Outlaw said. “And most importantly, MTC has a great reputation for private companies operating correctional facilities.
“I looked over their information and knew people with the company who said they were family-oriented and they were about making inmates more productive while incarcerated. MTC gained my attention.”
The Marshall County Correctional Facility houses, on average, 1,000 inmates. They range from one year to serve to a life sentence.
The facility prides itself on educational and vocational opportunities for inmates while they are incarcerated, including a GED program.
“We want to provide maximum opportunity for the inmates to be successful in life when they leave this facility,” Outlaw said. “Ultimately, that makes for a better community and a better society as a whole.”
He said leaving the Federal Bureau of Prisons and taking the new position with MTC in Holly Springs is like “a new life experience.”
“It’s like starting over – like activating a new facility, and with a great company, as well,” Outlaw said.
He said his management style and that of his executive staff will not be sitting behind a desk.
“We will manage this prison by walking around and being seen,” Outlaw said.
He said he has fallen in love with the community, too. His first community relations meeting was held just a few weeks ago.
“It was a good initial meeting,” Outlaw said. “We want to be a good community partner. We want to be an asset to the community.”
He plans to hold the community relations meetings, where groups are invited to the prison, more often than once a year.
“We want to keep the line of communication open,” Outlaw said.
“If someone in the community sees a negative where this facility is concerned, let me know immediately. We want to be sure we’re doing the right things to be a good citizen of this community.”
MTC operates 22 correctional facilities – in Arizona (two), California (one), Florida (one), Idaho (one), New Mexico (two), Ohio (one), Mississippi (three), and Texas (11). The other Mississippi facilities are Walnut Grove and East Mississippi.
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