EDITORIAL/Build a new jail

EDITORIAL/Build a new jail


Constructed three decades ago, the county jail is run down, out of date, dangerous and needs to be replaced.

A meth addict jumped off the roof before dawn one morning last month and was caught that afternoon at the GameStop on a tip.

“My job is to house these inmates,” Sheriff Eric Clark told city officials in January pleading for their help.

Clark has called for a city-county partnership to address the jail — and about the only way to address the jail is to build a new one.

The city needs to get its prisoners back in town. They chose to house prisoners in Winston County starting in 2020 after Clark, as the new Sheriff in town, tried to re-negotiate 30-year-old pricing.

Mayor James A. Young said in January if plans were developed, he would willing and ready to “move forward.” 

Draw the plans and move forward by building a bigger and better jail that’s not a Hilton Garden Inn.

The jail was designed as a 66-bed facility and regularly houses between 70 and 100 prisoners. There were 85 prisoners in the jail Monday night with 16 prisoners being housed in Leake County. 

That’s $376 a day plus medical expenses for those 16 in Leake County. That $23.50 a day per inmate not including Biden’s $3.87 a gallon gasoline to get there.

“We have mats for the inmates,” Clark told city officials. “We sleep on the floor. We sleep wherever we can. There are not many things in that jail that work besides the running water and toilets and the TVs.”

The Sheriff had to ask three times for new cars. Make law and order a priority for a change and build a new jail.

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