Detainees packed in like "sardines" at Hinds Co. facility - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hinds County has 15 days to solve jail crowding problems

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He claims many of the 53 pre-trial detainees have been held there for days, weeks and 4 imprisoned in a tank for 2 months or more. He claims many of the 53 pre-trial detainees have been held there for days, weeks and 4 imprisoned in a tank for 2 months or more.
Welch says the holding tanks are so overcrowded, living space for each person is about 8 square feet. 50 feet is the standard. Welch says the holding tanks are so overcrowded, living space for each person is about 8 square feet. 50 feet is the standard.
Welch has a picture of a light with the Plexiglas covering hanging down. He said that could be shaped into a weapon. Welch has a picture of a light with the Plexiglas covering hanging down. He said that could be shaped into a weapon.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

U. S. Magistrate Judge David Sanders has signed an order, giving Hinds County 15 days to correct crowding problems at the detention center or the county will no longer be allowed to house state inmates.

Longtime prisoners' rights attorney Ron Welch asked the court to sign the order, charging that pre-trial detainees are packed into small holding tanks like sardines.

Welch took pictures of the conditions inside the facility and submitted them to the Judge. Welch said they are all felons who have not made bond and are not convicted of anything. 

"On Friday there were 15 or so inmates in a 200 square foot room. It's probably the worst overcrowding I've see in my career," said Welch.

Welch says getting rid of the state prisoners would free up 200 beds and ease the overcrowding in the holding cells, adding that it would also cost the county about a million-dollars a year in money the state pays to house its prisoners.

Hinds County Board of Supervisors attorney Pieter Teeuwissen issued the following statement in reaction to the court order:

The Board of Supervisors is concerned about the conditions at the adult holding facility more commonly known as the Hinds County Jail. By statute, the Sheriff is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of the jail and penal farm. Legal counsel for the board is reviewing today's court order and will make appropriate recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

The time limit for keeping detainees in these holding cells is 24 hours. He claims many of the 53 pre-trial detainees have been held there for days, weeks and 4 imprisoned in a tank for 2 months or more.

"The staff tells me they have housed up to 120 people in those 200 feet each holding cells," said Welch. "What is happening is they don't have a place or won't move them to a place to put them."

Welch says the holding tanks are so overcrowded, living space for each person is about 8 square feet. 50 feet is the standard.

Welch said many of the violations he is listing are described in the recent, Report of the Hinds Grand Jury filed September 17, 2013.

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