County considers new $5 million jail
By Bonnie L. Jackson
Copiah supervisors discussed the possibility of building a new $5 million jail, sheriff’s office and justice court office just north of the detention center in Gallman at their meeting August 6. They will possibly take action on the proposal at their recessed meeting Friday, August 10 at which citizens will have the opportunity to express their opinions for or against.
The financing of the new jail is projected to be under sections 31-8-1 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 which created the Central Mississippi Public Improvement Corporation which is able to build the facility and lease it to the county. Initial estimation of annual cost is about $400,000 and annual additional tax to a typical taxpayer with a residence valued at $100,000 will be $30 per year.
A number of economic benefits to Copiah, in addition to safety to inmates and law enforcement personnel, include reduction of food and transportation costs for inmates (transport of food from the hospital to the jail eliminated and transport of prisoners to and from justice court for necessary legal process) and possible use of prisoners for work detail, including garbage collection.
Savings in energy and maintenance costs are also expected. Since the new facility will meet federal prison guidelines, housing of 20 or more state prisoners, for which the county will be reimbursed, will make a significant contribution to reduction of the debt.