By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – More than 200 people used Wednesday’s open house at the new Alcorn County Justice Center and regional jail to see the long-awaited facility.
A standing-room-only crowd in the courtroom to be used for justice court heard remarks from county, city and state officials, including Commissioner Christopher Epps of the state Department of Corrections.
After a 1998 court order demanded Alcorn County address its problem with an overcrowded jail, the new accommodations for county, city and state inmates exceed expectations and reduce the potential for lawsuits, Epps said.
In addition to justice court and staff, the county sheriff’s office and the Corinth Police Department, the $17 million, 148,000-square-foot facility will house Corinth municipal court, Alcorn County emergency management and Alcorn County E-911; a 300-bed Mississippi Department of Corrections inmate facility; a 240-bed Alcorn County detention center; a 50-bed trusty dorm and a 70-bed dorm for inmates working to pay restitution.
“On June 1, you received your first state inmates,” Epps said, before enumerating some of the reasons a regional inmate facility is good for local economies.
– About 40 new jobs were created.
– It produces annual revenue of about $2.7 million.
– The facility will purchase many needs from local vendors like milk, bread and other needs.
– Free labor from inmates to local governments and nonprofits would total about $1,055,600 annually if calculated at the minimum wage rate.
– All achieved at no cost to local taxpayers.
“You did it right up front and didn’t piecemeal it,” he said. “This is the 14th regional facility in the state, and there’s no other complex like Alcorn County.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.