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The Adams Co. Jail is crumbling around the inmates and staff

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 8:53 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 8:54 PM CDT
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ADAMS COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Inside of the Adams County Jail, you can see falling ceiling tiles, broken security cameras, busted pipes, and more. Sheriff Travis Patten says he and his staff are doing everything they can to keep the building from falling apart at the seams.

“The reality of it is we keep putting a patch on something that needs major reconstruction,” he stated.

Patten describes his work environment as an accident waiting to happen thanks to the decaying condition of the almost 50-year-old jail.

“Even in ‘75, when they built this jail, in my opinion, it was built incorrectly,” he described. “Multi-level jails are obsolete.”

Patten says common issues include bricks falling off the outside of the building, water and sewage leaks because of inmates clogging toilets, ripped down security cameras, broken cell locks, and mold growing in all corners of the jail.

“Modern jails have cut offs in their toilets, we don’t have that here,” he said. “So if one toilet gets stopped up, it could flood the whole system out and cause water to come from the third story all the way down to the basement.”

Whenever damage occurs, Patten says the board of supervisors gives money to the department to fix it- but he says it’s only a patch on the larger problem.

State Representative Robert Johnson says, “the first responsibility is with the board of supervisors.” He hopes they would “handle the situation so criminals are off the streets and less money would be spent on maintenance in the long run.”

But Patten says something must be done to keep both staff and inmates safe.

“We have so many blind spots and things that can occur. But the real issue operationally is the fact that if a fire was to break out, we would have to go to all the cells individually and unlock them with a key.”

Patten says he hopes by showing exactly what is going on inside the jail and how outdated it is, he can get more help from either the state or county to resolve the issues.

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