Hinds County must appoint a receiver to manage its jail, a federal judge ruled Friday.
U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves wrote officials have received multiple chances to fix the Raymond jail, but they have been unable to. The court will appoint a receiver by Nov. 1.
“We can’t wait for continued destruction of the facilities,” Reeves wrote in his 26-page order. “We can’t wait for the proliferation of more contraband. We can’t wait for more assaults. We can’t wait for another death. The time to act is now. There is no other choice, unfortunately.”
The decision comes years after the U.S. Department of Justice investigated the jail and settled with the county to come up with a consent decree, whose goal was to help Hinds County address unconstitutional issues at the jail.
Receivership, a form of intervention by the federal court to take an institution out of the hands of local or state management, was an option considered during three weeks of hearings at the federal courthouse in Jackson. Hernandez Stroud, counsel for the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, said receivership for county jails is uncommon, the Clarion Ledger reported.
In April, Reeves issued an injunction to scale back the county’s consent decree. During a press conference at the time, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones said the lifted decree was “a step in the right direction.”
By May, the county indicated that it planned to appeal. It filed a motion for reconsideration, which Reeves denied in his Friday order.
The story will be updated.