Supervisors Check Out Jail

The tour started in the jail courtroom, the first stop for many inmates on their path through the justice system.

"It works out well because it cuts down on transporting the inmate back and forth, you know safety. It works out very well," explained Deputy Damon Reese.

The supervisors say they like to keep up with what's going on in the jail because over the last several years the county has spent millions of dollars on improvements. Those were ordered by the U.S. Justice Department to bring the jail up to federal corrections standards.

"I was out here about five years ago, when I looked at a panel that was brought in where an inmate had control of opening the gates. That told me an inmate controlled the county jail. Of course, the money we've giving the sheriff that's in office now, he's made necessary repairs. That money was well spent to secure the jail," Supervisors' President Bobby Eleuterius says.

"I think the only issue that the Justice Department has with us now is the number of corrections officers, but we expended funds to deal with that problem also," District 4 Supervisor William Martin says.

Representatives from the jail's new health provider were particularly interested in the jail's medical facilities.

"We talked a good length with the medical nursing staff director and met with some of the staff, some of the doctors there last night for about two hours, and we're very impressed," Dr. Michael Reddix of Health Alliance says.

The county has a $1 million contract with Health Alliance from Jackson to take over the medical service on March first.