Jackson Co deputies prepare to move inmates to jail pods - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co deputies prepare to move inmates to jail pods

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County's overcrowded jail will soon have fewer inmates staying in the facility. In about two weeks, Sheriff Mike Byrd says 140 people will move into the new, temporary pods.  Byrd says Pearl, Stone, and George county jails and prisons have been helping house the inmates.  

Sheriff Mike Byrd and Warden Major Ken Broadus said the $ 1.7 million pods will help ease overcrowding. The 5,000 square foot units were delivered last month. Each pod holds 70 inmates.

"This is like a dormitory style. You will have a control room over here, and you have the shower facility over here," Byrd said. 

 Three holding cells have also been placed inside. 

"We need to make sure a minimal security inmate doesn't change into a maximum security overnight," Broadus said. 

The sheriff's department has hired 12 new correctional officers to ensure security for these outside units. 

"We have to keep the inmates in here, they can't get out." 

Byrd and Broadus said it currently costs up to $45 a day for other county jails to house the overflow of inmates. They say the pods will bring that cost down some, but ultimately a larger jail is still needed. 

"This jail is antiquated," Byrd said. 

"We have simply out grown everything, the kitchen, the storage, everything," Broadus said. 

Two years ago, county officials tried to pass a $22 million bond for a new jail, but citizens voted no. Byrd and Broadus said the more time wasted not building a jail, the older and more crowded the current facility gets. 

"The manpower we have keeps us floating. If we didn't have good quality people, we would be in serious trouble," Broadus said. 

The county has two years to pay off the $ 1.7 million bill for the pods.  Officials have already put down $600,000 for the units. 

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

 

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