Some Hinds County Supervisors believe the only answer to solving the problems at the troubled Detention Center in Raymond is to build a second one. A new facility would be modeled to have indirect supervision, instead of direct supervision, which means security measures would be more high-tech to better prevent inmate violence and discipline issues.
"We are routinely $6 million upside down," says District 4 Supervisor Tony Greer, who made the motion. He says the County would have to get more financial help from the City to make it work. He points to the numbers, which show that inmate costs at the Raymond facility last year were $14.2 million. 70% of those costs were for housing inmates from the City of Jackson.
"The increase in the funding mechanism with the City of Jackson, that would, in my mind, be just about enough to fund a bond issue to cover the costs of that," Greer says, estimating that a new 1,000-bed jail would cost $33-35 million.
Supervisors Robert Graham and Kenneth Stokes say there's no way such a facility could be built without raising taxes.
Despite those concerns, the Board voted in favor of gathering information on building a second jail while still using the current facility, which only houses 393 right now. At full capacity, it can house 594, but a few pods are currently still inoperable.
Board President Darrel McQuirter says it's important to look at long-term options.
"Right now our number one pressing need is to get it back to the point where we can adequately and safely house prisoners at the facility in Raymond," McQuirter says.
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