WJTV News Channel 12 - DOJ to Investigate Hinds County Detention Facilities

DOJ to Investigate Hinds County Detention Facilities

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JACKSON, Miss - The Raymond Detention Facility has a history of violent, deadly jail disturbances leading the U.S. Department of Justice to launch an investigation. Sheriff Tyrone Lewis hopes this will help shed light on his concerns for the jail. 

"Their concerns are the same as ours, maintenance concern for safety of the inmates as well as the employees and the overall care of the inmates as well as upkeep of the facility," says Sheriff Lewis. He believes the faltering structure of the building is one reason for the disturbances at the jail.

Hinds County Board of Supervisor Kenneth Stokes says a new jail could solve a lot of these issues. "I still believe that a new jail will be a way that we won't be at this situation again and have the justice department in here," says Stokes.

In March, Markuieze Bennet was stabbed to death at the Raymond Detention Center.

"If someone goes to jail, they would live to get out of jail, that jail would not become a death penalty especially a county jail," says Stokes.

 News Channel 12 obtained exclusive video from the Raymond Detention Center where you can see officers beat detainee Charles Johnson. This happened in 2011 under former Sheriff Malcolm McMillin's administration. There is now a federal lawsuit against the sheriff, sheriff 's department and employees, something Sheriff Lewis could not comment on. 

However, it raises the question that the Department of Justice is hoping to answer: Are inmates safe at Raymond?

"We do have training in place that they should be following as well so until we get those reports back and the investigation been completed it's very hard for me to say that there have been some violations committed," says Sheriff Lewis.

Stokes expects to have a special meeting with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors this week. Sheriff Lewis tells us he doesn't know how long the investigation will last.

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