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‘It could’ve been me’: Sister of Hinds County inmate says assaults happen more than they should

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:48 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - According to one family member, assaults at the Hinds County Detention Center happen more than they should.

On Monday, October 18, Hinds County Sheriff Marshand Crisler received an official notice that inmate Michael Richardson was found unresponsive in POD A of the Raymond Detention Center.

A preliminary investigation determined that Richardson was a victim of an assault by several other detainees, and, as a result, Richardson experienced a medical episode that led to his death.

Jackson resident Paris Godbolt said Tuesday that it could have been her brother who ended up dead.

Godbolt’s brother, Calvin, was locked up at the Raymond Detention Center on September 23 for aggravated assault.

Godbolt sent WLBT video of her brother’s condition on about his fourth or fifth day in jail after he was beaten up.

“They’re in your hands once they enter the facility,” Godbolt said. “They should walk out the same way they walked in.”

Calvin stayed in POD A of the jail, which is the same area where Richardson was found dead Monday.

“It touched my heart for that family because it almost could’ve been me,” she said.

Godbolt said to those who work at the jail, inmates are just that. But to those on the outside, they’re somebody’s family.

She said the conditions of the detention center are so poor that she wishes it would just get shut down.

“People die there all the time,” she said. “It’s almost too often, and it’s just sad.”

Hinds County has to get the jail to certain standards in order to get out from under the Department of Justice’s consent decree.

Board President Credell Calhoun said they’ve made improvements to POD C and are a couple months away from completing POD B.

“We’re looking at the possibility of a new jail because that one is really getting old,” Calhoun said. “It never was to the standards that jails generally run.”

The next step is to improve POD A. Calhoun said he toured that area Tuesday.

“It’s in pretty bad shape. We need to do something in POD A,” he said. “We don’t need any detainees in POD A at this time, but we have no choice. The crime is up right now.”

Until then, Godbolt hopes the facility pays more attention to those they hire.

“You have to have people who at least care about human life even if you don’t care about the person yourself,” she said.

Supervisor Calhoun said the board hopes to come out from under the consent decree in a year or so. This would free up funds and allow them to potentially build a new jail altogether.

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