By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
IUKA – A new Tishomingo County Jail that will house more county inmates as well as state work-release prisoners will open its doors this weekend for public walk-throughs.
The open house is scheduled for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
“The investigators and I have already moved into the administrative offices,” Sheriff Glenn Whitlock said Thursday. “They’re in the process of installing the NCIC computer today, so we expect to have dispatch and all administrative offices moved by Friday.”
County inmates will remain at the old jail on Maria Lane until the new jail is certified, expected by early April, the sheriff said. A new county jail was constructed under court order due to overcrowding.
The 150-bed jail will house 75 county inmates in one building, up from 30 in the current jail, and 75 state work-release prisoners in a separate building.
“A lot of people have asked why we didn’t build a plain county jail,” Whitlock said. “Increasing size for county inmates only would have required taxpayers to pay the entire expense. With state prisoners, it’s more money spent up front, but we get paid $20 per inmate per day from the state for those prisoners so county taxpayers won’t end up paying for it. I think it was good foresight with the board to pick the type of facility and setup we have.”
The inmates will be allowed to work at nonprofits like the Food Depot, helping with food distributions, and at government agencies. In a disaster they provide additional free labor for work like clearing roads and helping with searches, Whitlock said.
As the number of inmates received from the state increases, there will be a need to hire a few additional employees.
“We’ll add a couple or three people, and these would be local jobs that people from this county can do, which will help out with the local economy,” he said.
WHAT: Open House at Tishomingo County Jail
WHEN: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: 1208 Betty Dale Drive, Iuka
FOR INFORMATION: (662) 423-7000