U.S. Fifth Circuit stays order putting Hinds County Detention Center under receivership

U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals building
U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals building(WVUE FOX 8)
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 2:17 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hinds County has been granted at least a temporary victory in its effort to stave off a federal takeover of its jail.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a lower court’s order appointing a receivership until it can decide the county’s motion for reconsideration and whether the injunction comports with the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

“We are still facing the day-to-day challenges at the jail, but we are thankful for the opportunity for another court to look at the situation and see that the Hinds County Sheriff and Hinds County Board of Supervisors have been doing something right in this situation,” Sheriff Tyree Jones said.

A receiver was slated to take over jail operations on January 1.

Jones said he and the board are committed to fixing problems at the Raymond Detention Center, many of which revolve around staffing shortages and facility structural issues. However, he says the Fifth Circuit’s decision to stay the receivership “saves taxpayer dollars and allows us to continue to control our budget and operate our facilities.”

The sheriff went on to say that the county has made strides to address issues, including inmate safety, saying no detainees at the Raymond facility have been killed since he was elected sheriff more than a year ago.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves refused a request from the county to stay the receivership until the matter could be heard by the Fifth Circuit, saying the county had failed to fulfill requirements of a 2016 consent decree, a 2021 stipulated order and a 2022 follow-up order scaling back the decree.

Among concerns with the 2022 order, the U.S. questioned Reeves’ decision to remove certain regulations regarding juveniles from the consent decree.

Attorneys for the county wanted to stay the 2022 injunction and receivership order while the case was on appeal.

The Fifth also remanded the case back to District Court to allow it to rule on motions to clarify its orders and to allow the district to “conduct additional proceedings concerning” the injunction’s juvenile provisions.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.