Pascagoula Councilman wants proposed jail moved out of the city

Pascagoula, MS (WLOX)-- "It is not the Taj Mahal, it's a prison."

Pascagoula Councilman Robert Stallworth says it doesn't make sense to build a 550 bed jail in heart of Pascagoula.

"Above Highway 90, they got spaces all over the county where they can build it," Councilman Stallworth said.

Stallworth hopes to convince other members of the council that a new jail needs to go in a new location.

"I will read the resolution. It will send a message, but it's according to what they want to hear."

He wants them to hear the voices of community members like Ernestine Black and Tyres Autrey. They says it's just too dangerous to have a jail in the neighborhood.

"There are hard core criminals out there. There are murders, child molesters, robbers," Pascagoula Resident Ernestine Black said.

"It needs to be secluded, it does not need to be visible,"Pascagoula Resident Tyres Autrey said.

"The county jail must be in the county seat, which is Pascagoula," Jackson COunty Supervisor John McKay said.

Supervisors have tried twice to get the legislature to allow the county to build a new jail outside Pascagoula city limits; so McKay doubts Councilman Stallworth's resolution will make a difference this time.

"The county is at risk each and everyday if that facility exist they way it is. We have to do something, and doing nothing is not an answer for the question."

But Councilman Stallworth says the answer from voters earlier this month is clear, he says when people voted no on the jail bond they were really voting no on its location.

"The people have spoken, and they have already voted and voice their opinion that they didn't want here."

Earlier this month, voters rejected the county's $22 million bond issue. The measure needed 60-percent to pass, it only received 54-percent.