Land being cleared for new Hinds County jail

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:01 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The first phase of the new Hinds County Jail should be completed in the next 18 to 24 months.

That’s according to District 3 Supervisor Credell Calhoun.

Construction on the new 700-bed facility got under way recently.

The first phase will include 200 beds and include all the “amenities for a 700-bed facility,” he said.

“The cafeteria, health clinic, counseling center, the whole works will be done in the first 18 to 24 months,” he said. “That’s what you’re going to see then.”

Hinds County officials broke ground on the $125 million project in October.

At the time, the county had about $12 million, or a little less than 10 percent of the funds, needed for the project.

“Funding is in place to get this first phase done,” Calhoun said.

Sheriff Tyree Jones announced construction had started via his Twitter account Wednesday night.

“We’re at the point now where there is site and dirt work that is ongoing by Benchmark Construction and their affiliates,” Jones said.

The sheriff says he’s pleased the new jail is moving forward, but it’s also important to not lose focus on the current detention center.

“There are still ongoing efforts right now to address the security concerns at the Raymond Detention Center. That is still a fluid process,” he said. “And we’re still doing measurements on a day-to-day basis at that facility.”

In April, four detainees escaped the Raymond facility, including Dylan Arrington, who shot and killed a preacher before dying in a house fire set during a standoff with authorities in Leake County.

The four were said to have broken through a cell wall and made their way to the roof to escape.

“We’re working to possibly transfer some of our detainees from the Raymond Detention Center to other facilities in the state... in an effort to, hopefully, close down some of the severely damaged areas, or severely damaged pods in the facility right now,” Jones said.

“It’s going to cost money, but at this particular time, security issues, public safety, all are a priority over money right now because we have to address these concerns.”

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