Marion County set to open jail addition - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Marion County set to open jail addition

MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The final pieces to the addition of the Marion County Jail are rolling in. Next week, Sheriff Berkley Hall will start moving county inmates into the new portion.

"We have people in here for murder, and other things that they are awaiting to go to trial for," said Hall. "We also house most of Walthall County's prisoners and we also house the city prisoners."

For years the jail has been dealing with an overcrowding problem. Some inmates have even had to sleep on the ground.

"You know the numbers can get high it all depends," said Hall. "Drug round- ups can add you 15 or 20 at one time. You know it adds up and sometimes we were bumping close to 100."

Now the jail will be able to house nearly 200 county inmates with this addition.

Sheriff Hall gave WDAM a tour of the new facility.

"Every door is electronically controlled, in other words, when you drive here they are going to be looking at you there and they are not going to allow this door to come open until this door closes," said Hall as he pointed to a door.

The jail now has lock down cells, so individuals do not have to wait in the open during the booking process.

"If you've got more than one agency in here trying to book somebody they can lock them down in these lock down cells," Hall said.

There is also a multi-purpose room for visitation and other activities. There are three 18 man dorms, four 14 man dorms, and 15 lock down cells.

"We just thought this was a lot more officer friendly," said Hall. "If we do have trouble among the inmates, it's a lot easier to control 14, than it is 40 or 50."

Outside, a new watch tower has been added along with a double fence system. Cameras have been put all around the facility.

Sheriff Hall says he is confident the addition will cut back on previous problems, including escapees.

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