WJTV News Channel 12 - Jail future still uncertain

Jail future still uncertain

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The Hinds County Board of Supervisors met at 11:00 Thursday morning. It was a special called meeting--according to the agenda--to discuss the ongoing issues at the Hinds County Jail.

The first (and only) item on the agenda reads "Introduction of and Discussion with Dr. Jim Austin, President of JFA Institute, Project Director and Team Leader of the Grand Jury's Inspection Team."

We never met Dr. Austin at Thursday's meting. Supervisors quickly went into executive session, then quickly adjourned when they returned to the board room.

"I cannot give any information as it relates to the information that was given to us or the discussion that was given to us in the executive session," says Board President Robert Graham.

That's because Hinds County Senior Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green told everyone not to talk with the media or they'd be in contempt of court. What we do know is last month, the Board made up to $20,000 available to hire experts to investigate the jail. And earlier this month, Sheriff Tyrone Lewis had to provide the jail's current staff levels, answer questions on the number of detention officers fired in the last two years and provide records on the use of force, assaults and escapes.

We asked Sup. Graham what's next?

"I don't know," he told us. "We've been bound by the court of the Grand Jury. We'll wait for information from the judge, but there's no other information I can give."

We also reached out to Sheriff Lewis to see if he could tell us anything about today's meeting. He wasn't in the executive session, and his communications director says they're all still bound to not discuss anything.

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