Hinds County Sheriff vows to maintain control of jails - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hinds County Sheriff vows to maintain control of jails

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Hinds County sheriff Tyrone Lewis is firing back. The Sheriff vows to continue overseeing the troubled Hinds County Detention Center and downtown jail. This despite a Grand jury report saying he is not capable of doing that.

Friday the sheriff, flanked by his staff, told reporters others also bear responsibility for years of overcrowding and neglect at the facilities in Raymond and Jackson.

Tyrone Lewis specifically pointed fingers at the criminal justice system.

"The court system, let me repeat, the court system is not functioning properly," said Sheriff Lewis. "The backlog in the system is the reason our facilities are overcrowded with too many detainees; is why the facilities are falling apart."

The sheriff handed out three pages of inmates who have been held for over two years. He said the facilities he runs are more like prisons, not short term holding facilities for detainees.

"I have over 50 detainees who have been in these facilities for two years without going to trial," said Sheriff Lewis. "I have one individual who has been held for 7 years another for 8 years."

The sheriff vowed to continue doing his job despite the highly critical grand jury findings and recommendations to remove the jail from the sheriff's control and remove any power he has to supervisor pre trial detainees; saying he is incapable and unfit for this duty.

"If you read the statute, it clearly states what the sheriff is responsible for and we are going to respect the law and we are going to continue to move forward as the statute and the law regulates," said Lewis. "We are not going to have any issues with another elected officials, we are not hear for trickery, political ploys or any kind of plots." 

 The sheriff says no one entity can fix the problem; that progress will be made only when others come to the table.

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