After 114 years, Mississippi county says jail facility no longer meets 21st century needs

Published 7:28 am Monday, May 31, 2021

A Mississippi county is planning to replace its 114-year-old jail, and officials are looking other places for ideas on the best designs.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace and some of the Warren County supervisors recently toured the Pearl River County jail to look at its dormitory-style housing, The Vicksburg Post reported. Previously, the board toured the Hancock County jail.

The current Warren County jail was completed in 1907 and expanded in 1977, and Pace said the building is overdue for an upgrade. He said he has looked at features of other facilities in Mississippi to learn what is and is not effective.

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“Pearl River County Jail was one of several jails that we have toured, and there are several more that we plan to tour, in hopes of looking at best practices from a variety of facilities,” Pace said. “There is no one facility that we’re looking to copy, but we’re looking at a variety of features that may be used in several different facilities.”

Pace said dormitory-style housing is effective for low-risk and misdemeanor detainees. Pace said the group is traveling to the Tate County and DeSoto County jails in Mississippi, and the Garland County Jail in Arkansas.

“We’re looking at best practices from a variety of facilities, and a compilation of all of those will hopefully result in a very secure, very efficient facility that will serve the citizens of Warren County,” Pace said.
The next step is for supervisors to request qualifications to determine which companies are interested in working with the county on design and construction of a new Warren County jail.