The Mississippi Department of Corrections is seeking proposals from private companies to operate East Mississippi Correctional facility and three other state prisons.
Commissioner Christopher Epps says the new contracts will begin Dec. 1.
Epps says he wants more security staff hired at EMCF, Marshall County Correctional Facility, Walnut Grove Correctional Facility and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.
Epps says the current operation contracts expire Nov. 30.
The commissioner says Utah-based Management & Training Corporation, which has been managing the private prisons since July 2012, is invited to be among the bidders. The company says it intends to bid again.
The four private prisons are owned by local authority boards in their communities and collectively can house about 5,000 inmates.
Marshall opened in June 1996; Wilkinson, January 1998; EMCF, April 1999; and Walnut Grove 2001.