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Webster County sheriff says they need to build new jail

December 19, 2021 GMT

EUPORA, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi county hired an architect to draw up plans for a new jail.

Webster County Sheriff David Gore said the jail isn’t in compliance with current standards.

“There’s no other way to look at it. It’s not,” he said. “It’s not in compliance with Federal Building (Codes) at this time. As far as the cells, the ceilings, the walls, the bars, all of those have to meet a certain standard.”

Earlier in December, the Webster County Board of Supervisors hired the Belinda Stewart Architecture Firm in Eupora to draw up plans for the new jail, WCBI-TV reported.

“We think that’s going to be a plus on what we’re trying to do here,” Gore said.

Gore said the cost of upgrading the current facility, which was built to meet regulations from 1965, would be more expensive than just building a new one. They’re just about “out of fixes” for the nearly 60-year-old building, he said.

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He noted that they’ve recently repainted all of the cells but more work needs to be done.

The pipe system underneath the jail is all but gone and Gore said he had to move his office to a trailer during the spring just so his deputies could have enough space to work.

“Especially when we have (other) law enforcement to come in to work a manhunt, a detail, a certain law enforcement activity, it’s hard to get all of the fish in the bowl,” the sheriff said.

Gore said they currently have two construction options for the new jail. He said the board will work to determine the most cost-effective option for the proposed project.

Both potential plans for the new jail will maintain the current capacity to house around 30 inmates, Gore said. He hopes to talk more with the architect about the plans during Monday’s board of supervisor’s meeting.

“We need a place to work and we need a place to house inmates safely and take care of them,” he said.