Hinds County leader proposes armed security outside jail following numerous escapes

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 10:50 PM CDT
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HINDS CO., Miss. (WLBT) - The Hinds County Sheriff’s Department is working to bring Joseph Spring back into custody.

The 31-year-old escaped from the detention center in Raymond Monday morning.

Sheriff Tyree Jones said Spring and Michael Lewis escaped by climbing through an air duct.

While investigators continue their search, Hinds County leaders are searching for solutions to prevent these escapes from happening.

On Wednesday, supervisors David Archie and Robert Graham toured the jail.

“It’s our job to fix the problem... I will not run away from the problem,” said Archie, District 2 Supervisor.

Archie said what’s happening at the jail right now is a crisis.

In the last five weeks, a total of six people have escaped from the Raymond Detention Center.

The District 2 supervisor is now crafting a solution that he thinks will put an end to the escapes.

“I want armed security, armed deputies, and armed law enforcement riding around the grounds of this facility on the outside,” the supervisor expressed. “That is one way to keep the community safe.”

“I don’t think people will want to escape anywhere when they know that there is armed law enforcement and security on the outside of the grounds,” he continued. “Perhaps you could end up either deceased or you can end up shot. There are a lot of things that can take place.”

It’s no secret the jail was poorly built.

County leaders say the conditions of the jail are only getting worse, in large part due to age and the inmates.

“Many times, when the doors are supposed to be closed it will show inside of the control of the board room that the door is closed, but it’s really not closed,” Archie explained. “That is how people sometimes get their freedom inside the dayroom or the facility they’re in where the cells are.”

“We have issues with them we have issues with them continually tearing up things while they are here,” said Graham, District 1 Supervisor. “We want to make sure, and we want to make sure that they understand that we are trying to address those issues but we can’t continue, but we can’t we can’t continually address those issues and spend millions and millions of dollars when they are doing millions and millions of dollars’ worth of damage tearing things up as we repair them.”

Graham said another issue troubling the jail and enhancing inmates’ ability to escape is due to a staffing shortage.

Right now, Graham said there are roughly 600 inmates being housed at the detention center.

“I’m not going to say how many people we have or how many people we don’t have, I’m just going to say we need more,” Graham expressed. “We need bodies, the sheriff needs bodies. We are appealing to the public,”

“If there’s anyone that likes or that could work shift work, or work any type of work, day even midnight, to apply at the Hinds County sheriff’s department. We need additional personnel to work,” he continued.

Following Wednesday’s tour, the supervisors said they are going to take their solutions back to the sheriff and to the board to discuss ways to implement some of the proposed solutions.

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