Mississippi county balks at oversight for troubled jail

Nov 16, 2022, 1:29 PM | Updated: 1:56 pm
FILE - A visitor information sign dots the entrance to the Hinds County Detention Facility in Raymo...

FILE - A visitor information sign dots the entrance to the Hinds County Detention Facility in Raymond, Miss., on Aug. 1, 2022. On Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves selected Wendell M. France Sr., a public safety consultant, former correctional administrator and 27-year member of the Baltimore Police Department, to serve as the receiver to temporarily manage the jail and improve conditions. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s largest county says it will appeal a federal judge’s appointment of a public safety consultant to manage its jail where the judge found “ongoing unconstitutional conditions,” including short staffing levels that allowed some inmates to assault others.

Hinds County is asking U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves to delay work by the receiver he appointed to oversee the Raymond Detention Center, according to federal court papers the county filed Thursday.

Attorneys representing Hinds County wrote that delaying the appointment of the receiver during its appeal “is in the public interest because the Receiver is utterly unaccountable to the voters and taxpayers of Hinds County.”

Reeves is scheduled to hold a Nov. 28 hearing on the county’s request.

On Oct. 31, Reeves appointed Wendell M. France Sr. to improve conditions at the jail outside Jackson. France is a public safety consultant, former correctional administrator and 27-year member of the Baltimore Police Department.

The receiver is to be paid $16,000 a month, but Hinds County argues the expense will take money away from other services such as roads, bridges and schools.

“The Receiver’s staggering budgetary authority could bankrupt the County, force the County to defund other legitimate funding needs, or raise taxes,” the county’s attorneys wrote in the court filing Thursday.

On July 29, Reeves put the jail into receivership after citing poor conditions. The judge said deficiencies in supervision and staffing lead to “a stunning array of assaults, as well as deaths.” Seven people died last year while detained at the jail, he said.

Reeves wrote that cell doors did not lock and a lack of lighting in cells made life “miserable for the detainees who live there and prevents guards from adequately surveilling detainees.” He also said guards sometimes slept instead of monitoring the cameras in the control room.

France began transitioning into his role as receiver Nov. 1, but he is not scheduled to have full operational control over the jail until Jan. 1. According to the terms of the receivership, France has 120 days from his appointment to develop a draft plan to improve conditions at the jail.


Associated Press/Report For America reporter Michael Goldberg contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Plane caught in power lines after crash, 2 occupants unhurt

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — A small plane carrying two people got stuck in live power lines Sunday evening in Maryland, causing widespread power outages in the surrounding county as officials tried to extricate the aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the single-engine plane, which had departed White Plains, N.Y., crashed into […]
19 hours ago
This combination of photos provided by the Chesapeake, Va., Police Department shows top row from le...
Associated Press

Walmart shooting claims teen, young woman, father, mother

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A 16-year-old helping his family. A custodian and father of two. A mother with wedding plans. A happy-go-lucky guy. A longtime employee. That’s how friends and family described some of the six people killed at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, when a manager opened fire with a handgun before an employee […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. walks on the sideline during a NFL division...
Associated Press

NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. taken off plane in Miami

MIAMI (AP) — NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. was removed by police from an aircraft before takeoff at Miami International Airport after officials said he failed to respond to requests to buckle his seatbelt and appeared to be unconscious, police and airline officials said Sunday. “Fearing that Mr. Beckham was seriously ill, and that […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm in Iowa on Oct. 21, 2015. Nebraska agri...
Associated Press

Bird flu prompts slaughter of 1.8M chickens in Nebraska

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska agriculture officials say another 1.8 million chickens must be killed after bird flu was found on a farm in the latest sign that the outbreak that has already prompted the slaughter of more than 50 million birds nationwide continues to spread. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture said Saturday that the […]
19 hours ago
This photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James in Centur...
Associated Press

Colorado shooting victim ‘wanted to save the family I found’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A member of the U.S. Navy who was injured while helping prevent further harm during a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado last weekend said Sunday that he “simply wanted to save the family that I found.” Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James made his first public comments on […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Director Quentin Tarantino, left, poses with Friars Club Dean Freddie Roman at the Quentin T...
Associated Press

Borscht Belt comedian Freddie Roman dies at age 85

Comedian Freddie Roman, the former dean of The Friars Club and a staple of the Catskills comedy scene, has died. He was 85. Roman died Saturday afternoon at Bethesda Hospital in Boynton Beach, Florida, his booking agent and friend Alison Chaplin said Sunday. His daughter told the entertainment trade Deadline that he suffered a heart […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Mississippi county balks at oversight for troubled jail