JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens says his office hasn’t taken one day off during the COVID pandemic.
While giving the media an update on their progress in 2020, Owens says his office handed down 1,422 indictments on 2,083 crimes committed in the county - 579 of those for violent crimes.
District Attorney Jody Owens said, “One of the biggest complaints we heard about previous administration was that victims did not know the status of her case or what was happening. So what we did, we chose to make victims our priority. We hope to, in 2021, meet with at least 1,000 victims.”
Owens couldn’t give specific numbers on convictions, but says he’s been tackling the backlog of indictments, moving cases through, and that’s freed up bed space at the Hinds County Detention Center in Raymond.
“What is important to know is that during COVID we have the safety challenge of ensuring that individuals who were in that jail in Raymond had committed violent offenses and were not eligible for bond. We worked to reduce the population by 25 percent but all violent offenders stayed there,” said Owens.
With a record 137 murders in Hinds County last year, DA Owens says there are still delays at the State Crime Lab delaying murder cases.
Owens says he wants to get rid of the stereotype that Hinds County isn’t tough on crime and plans to partner with other prosecutors to make more cases in the coming year.