When residents of Lost Gap found out a prison might be built in their back yards back in 1997, many of them were outraged. They said they feared for their families, for their neighbors, and for themselves. Their fear was that a prisoner would one day escape into their community.
"We feel like they have sacrificed some people's lives for the economy and it's not necessary," said Don Nobles at a public hearing eight years ago. "That's they whole point. We can still have economic impact to the community, and not impact lives like that."
But county supervisors, most of whom are no longer in office, believed differently. They said the jobs the prison created would be good for the community as a whole.
"This board looked at that, weighed it very heavily. Certainly we are sensitive to the citizens of Lauderdale County and every other area and district they live in, but this decision, we said a long time ago, we're going to do everything we can," said then-District 3 supervisor Wayne Guy.
The board of supervisors decided to go ahead and build the prison there, over the objections of the residents. People in Lost Gap staged a last minute petition drive to try to block the prison from being built, but they couldn't get enough signatures.