County considers land purchase

jail barsHOUSTON – Putting inmates to work sorting items for recycling was presented to Chickasaw County Supervisors recently and the first order of business is finding a site.

Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility Warden Brand Huffman said the idea of putting inmates to work at a recycling center run by the correctional facility is not new, but it will take an initial investment by the county to get the project rolling.

“We’ve looked at property right out in front of the jail and we’ve looked at a larger 25-acre spot just to the North,” said Huffman. “This would give inmates something to do and be productive and it would probably mean at least a few more jobs for people who would oversee their work.”

District 5 Supervisor Russell “Wolfie” King” said he favored the 25 acre site. It was pointed out that property would allow for any future expansion and might be in line for a road to access the north end of the site.

“We have heard of a lot of interest in recycling since Toyota came to Northeast Mississippi,” said Huffman. “I think their would be a lot of advantages to that type of facility in Chickasaw County.”

The county would probably seek state and federal funds to help construct a building. Inmates would be paid wages that would either go into their pockets or be used to pay off fines and restitution.

Huffman pointed out changes in state law will probably have the local correctional facility receiving a harder convict beginning in July.

“We have been told we might not be getting the same kind of inmate that we have been getting in the past,” said Huffman. “Our inmate labor has been a benefit for this community, and while that won’t stop, we might not be able to form work crews to do things like we have done in the past.”

Huffman did say a recycling facility would be another drawing point for a new industry looking to locate in the county.

“Companies have gotten very interested in what they call zero waste,” said Huffman. “They want to

Huffman said there are several other correctional facilities doing similar work, but he wanted to tailor the Chickasaw County facility to be the safest and most productive.

District 4 Supervisor Jerry Hall said there was discussion at the Mississippi Supervisor’s Association annual meeting about more money being allotted for inmates. If that happened it would make a larger correctional facility able to increase the number of inmates and boost economy of scale margins for the facility.

Supervisors took no action on the land purchase.

 

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