MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point Police Chief Keith Davis said when prisoner Cassius Cunningham escaped from the city's jail Monday, it validated his belief that the city jail needs to close.
Chief Davis said the facility, which holds up to 26 people, is in bad shape.
"You are talking about the liability, safety of the officers, and safety of individuals," Chief Davis said. "We do have good locking mechanisms on the doors, however the functionality of the jail, in my opinion, is outdated."
Moss Point's mayor and board of aldermen are working on plans to build a new jail within the next year. But Davis said he needs to empty the old facility now. So he's working on an agreement to lockup Moss Point offenders at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center.
"Yes, that is still on the table. It is my understanding from the city attorney that the attorney general's office has agreed to our mutual agreement."
Sheriff Mike Byrd supports the plan and believes it will take the burden off Moss Point.
"If we can help Chief Davis and the citizens of Moss Point until they get their facility taken care of, we want to do that," Sheriff Byrd said.
But this housing agreement isn't free. Moss Point will have to pay the county about $35 a day/per inmate.
"We will make sure that they are housed, fed, and taken care of while they are in our custody," Sheriff Byrd said. "They'll [Moss Point will] be responsible for the transportation of them, and they will also be responsible for the medical bills they may incur."
The chief plans to meet with the Moss Point Board of Aldermen next week to finalize some issues. If everything goes well, the inmates at the Moss Point Jail will be transferred by the end of the month.
As for a new jail, Moss Point leaders hope to break ground in May.