Stone County celebrates latest expansion at regional jail

WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) – "The facility is beautiful. I love it," said Stone County Chief Deputy Phyllis Olds.

Compliments poured into the Stone County Regional Correctional Facility Monday as city and county leaders toured the 6,000 square foot expansion.

"Oh, we love it.  We love it," said Stone County Board of Supervisors President Dale Bond. "We have seen it from the outside as it was being built. But to see it finished is just amazing from what it was. So much more room."

They enjoyed lunch in the largest addition -- the Multi-Purpose Room.  It comes with two new restrooms, rooms for attorneys to meet with their clients, and offices.

"It's now about four times as large as it was in the beginning and we changed the ceiling," said Warden Dwain Brewer. "They have bible studies in here, church services, alcohol and drugs, GED classes."

The lobby is also larger, providing a spacious, comfortable waiting area for families.

"People can come in and sit down and talk without screaming and hollering, because that's the way it was before.  You couldn't hear anything and so everybody's tension just gets worse," said Brewer.

There's also a juvenile detention room.  And the warden and sheriff have brand new offices. The most noticeable difference is the front of the building. The jail and the sheriff's department now have separate entrances.  And what is truly amazing is the labor that went into the entire project was absolutely free.

"Everything was built by inmate labor.  Every bit of it, no cost at all, except materials," said Brewer.

"The inmates that worked on this building, done a fantastic job and they were very diligent at their work," said Olds.  "It's beautiful and it's great."

Even the furnishings were free. They came from federal government surplus property and some of the chairs were donated by Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

"What you see, probably $1.8 million it would cost, I would imagine.  And we did it for $160,000. So that's a pretty good savings," said Brewer.

And that $160,000 cost for the materials was paid for from money the jail collected for housing regional, state and federal inmates.

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