Jindal plans to sell, privatize prisons protested

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Dozens of people staged a protest at the Louisiana Capitol to oppose Jindal administration plans to sell state prisons and to hire private companies to run some corrections facilities.

The protesters Thursday included prison workers, their family members and local union leaders. They said the sale of Avoyelles, Winn and Allen parish prisons - and the privatization of the Avoyelles facility - would force the layoff of state prison workers. The workers say while they could be rehired by the private managers of the facilities, it would be at a lower pay rate and fewer benefits.

Gov. Bobby Jindal proposes the changes to help patch a $1.6 billion budget shortfall in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1.

Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc says the proposed moves will lessen costs.

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