Should visitation be allowed at Raymond Detention Center? - - The News for South Mississippi

Should visitation be allowed at Raymond Detention Center?

Jonathan Lee SMith (Source: Shameka Foxx) Jonathan Lee SMith (Source: Shameka Foxx)
Shameka Foxx, inmate's sister Shameka Foxx, inmate's sister
HINDS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Shameka Foxx is upset that she hasn't seen her brother, Jonathan Lee Smith, in eight months. He's in the Raymond Detention Center, accused of rape, but has not yet been convicted.

"At least one day out of a week (I would like to see him). Eight months of someone not seeing their family, it is a concern," she says.

Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis does not allow visitation at the troubled Raymond Detention Center, which has been plagued with repair issues, and which saw an entire pod destroyed in an inmate riot in 2012.

There's also a contraband problem. 3 On Your Side has shown you the video and pictures of inmates smoking and obviously using cell phones. It's the same in Jonathan Smith's case. Foxx provided us with a snapshot of him taken with a mobile device.

We interviewed Smith's alleged rape victim, Brittany Washington, last year when he was first arrested. Even then, Washington had evidence that Smith was using Facebook to threaten her while behind bars.

"He's behind bars, he's not supposed to be anywhere near a cell phone. Whoever is bringing the cell phones and all this in," she said in 2013.

With this in mind, should family members like Foxx be able to visit inmates at the Raymond facility? The Sheriff's Department says not right now, because of the security issues. Spokesman Othor Cain says video visits will be coming in the next few months, however. And family members can request an emergency visit.

But Foxx wonders if inmates would behave better if their visitation privilege was restored.

"When you're not able to see your family it becomes a stress to you, you begin to map out other things," she says.

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