Sheriff Jones, Hinds County Board of Supervisors ‘disappointed’ in Raymond jail takeover ruling

A Hinds County Circuit Court judge is hearing the Judicial Review in the battle over the Hinds...
A Hinds County Circuit Court judge is hearing the Judicial Review in the battle over the Hinds County District Two Supervisor Seat.(WLBT)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 8:00 PM CDT
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HINDS CO., Miss. (WLBT) - However, the Hind’s County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Tyree Jones were not pleased with the ruling.

“While we respect the Court’s decision, we are disappointed in it,” the press release read.

The decision was handed down on July 29 and comes months after Reeves agreed to scale back the county’s jail consent decree, saying the initial decree was too large in scope.

A receiver is an unelected official who is wholly unaccountable to the people of Hinds County. The receiver will have unfettered authority for both the operation of the RDC and the taxpayers’ money spent at the RDC.

According to the release, the current Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Jones inherited the issues at the RDC when they came into office. Previous Boards had ignored the RDC’s needs. “This Board has, and continues, to put extraordinary efforts and money into the RDC, including the following:

The Court issued a show-cause order on November 23, 2021, citing several deaths at the RDC from numerous causes. That same night, Jones was elected and, under his leadership, the RDC has not experienced any loss of life.

“The RDC was COVID-free for several months until one of the Court-appointed monitors came to the RDC while experiencing COVID symptoms,” the press release read. “The Court-appointed monitor roamed around the facility talking with detainees and staff without wearing a mask and then tested positive for COVID later the same day. Now, we are dealing with multiple COVID cases which have, in part, prevented us from closing the third pod or reducing its population.”

Rather than assisting the County with alleviating its detention problem, the court-appointed monitors have consistently made the problem worse by proposing impractical solutions which far exceed the constitutional minimum standards for detention centers, endangering our detention population and costing the taxpayers millions of dollars.

“The County is appreciative of the efforts of State officials, its Congressional delegation, the District Attorney, and the Mississippi Supreme Court who are all working together to reduce the detention center population within Hinds County,” read the press release. “With the assistance of elected and appointed judges in Hinds County as well as the Hinds County District Attorney, criminal cases are being moved through the system.”

“The reduction of the detention center population will allow the County to close the defective pod permanently and direct resources to other areas of need throughout the County including roads, bridges, and water infrastructure projects.”

Despite the ruling, there the Board and Sheriff Jones have displayed optimism.

“Despite having differences of opinion related to other issues facing our County, the members of our Board of Supervisors are united in doing what it takes to support the RDC while building a new jail facility,” the release continued.

The release states the County has put in place a well-qualified jail administrator who has professionalism and discipline back into the staff. The administrator has reportedly terminated employees who were not performing in an “acceptable fashion.”

The release also states that the jail administrator has instilled a boost in morale among the staff.

“We have not finished our work at the RDC. And, we face significant headwinds. Despite the challenges, we will continue our considerable efforts to improve the RDC, while building a new jail facility,” the press release said. “We will evaluate our legal position and, along with our legal teams, make decisions in the upcoming days as to how we will respond to the Court’s decision.”

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