Pascagoula Woman Fights to Keep County Jail Out of her Town

Plans to build a new 19 million dollar jail on this Fair Elementary site, near Telephone Road, is stirring up controversy in Pascagoula.

Jackson County Supervisor Tim Broussard says the county's plans are in line with Mississippi Law.

"If you are the county seat, you are required to have the jail in the county seat, and that's the city of Pascagoula," Jackson County Supervisor Tim Broussard said.

Pascagoula Planning Board Member Alice Baker says she found a law that states otherwise.

"It's a Mississippi code of 1972, and it's 17-5-1. If the county and the city join together they can put it anywhere, and with the approval from the attorney general.

Back in June, the city council gave the county a special zoning waver to build a new Adult Detention Center just a few feet away from the old one. Alice Baker says that's a big mistake for Pascagoula.

"A jail that is a gateway in our community,what is that going to say, and how inviting is that," Baker said.

Baker appealed the council's decision, and now she will present her case in Circuit Court Friday. Supervisor Broussard is hoping the case is thrown out because Baker does not live by the proposed jail site.

Baker is not the only one who doesn't want a jail at this site. In fact, Baker has collected more then eight hundred signatures from people in the community who think the jail is a bad fit for the city.

"I will always be against it," Pascagoula City Councilman Robert Stallworth said.

Pascagoula City Councilman Robert Stallworth says a larger jail poses a danger to the surrounding neighborhoods.

"There are other properties all over the county seat where they can buy some property to put this jail on," Stallworth said.

"We are not trying to play hard ball with the city of Pascagoula or the citizens that object to this. We are pursuing our legal right to put a building on our piece of property," Broussard said.

That decision now lies in the Judge's hand.

The hearing is schedule for 9 a.m. Friday morning in Judge Robert Krebs' courtroom at the new courthouse.