Warren County prepares to build new jail to ease overcrowding

Warren County prepares to build new jail to ease overcrowding
County officials say the Warren County jail is at least 100-years-old and a new facility is long overdue. (WLBT)

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Warren County officials are taking steps to build a new more modern jail to ease the overcrowding problem. They say it’s necessary to save the county money and to keep the community safe.

County officials say the Warren County jail is at least 100-years-old and a new facility is long overdue.

“It just overcrowded, the design is antiquated. We are at the point where the locking structures within the building are past being able to find someone to maintain them. We are having to jump through some hoops to keep everything working," said Sheriff Martin Pace.

Sheriff Martin Pace manages the jail.

“Right now, we are only able to house pre-trial felons. We are currently using other county facilities to house the overflow that we can’t house in this facility.”

Board of supervisors president Richard George says the old Pinewoods Hotel on Highway 80 is the future home of the new jail. The county recently purchased it for $400k. He admits not everyone is happy about the plans. earlier this year, some people sprayed graffiti on the building to show their opposition to the project.

“Honestly, the jail doesn’t make anyone glad to see it as a neighbor, but it has to be somewhere. This site is as close to the other facilities as far as law enforcement both county and municipal utilize currently,” said George.

George says the goal is to demolish to old hotel within the next 90 days. Then plans will begin to build a multi-million-dollar one story facility.

“The detention facility must be modernized for efficiency and safety for all involved especially on in into the future,” said George.

“I applaud the board of supervisors for the moves that they made. I am sure the county doesn’t want to pay for a for new building. But when schools wear out and things become outdated they have to be replaced,” said Pace.

County supervisors expect to break ground on the new jail by 2020.

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