• 50°

Newton supervisors to choose jail site

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Feb. 22, 2001
NEWTON COUNTY Supervisors here are expected to choose a site for a proposed county jail this morning with the help of architects from Pryor and Morrow, a Columbus firm.
The most probable site is an industrial park owned by the town of Decatur. The land is just south of Decatur on Highway 15, said Chancery Clerk George Hayes.
The site is less than a mile from the courthouse. Hayes said the supervisors wanted the jail adjacent to the courthouse, but that was not possible because there is not enough space.
They also abandoned an idea to close a Decatur street and use it as building site because of the shortage of parking space downtown.
Supervisors commissioned Dr. Don Cabana last fall to complete a $25,000 comprehensive study on the proposed jail. Cabana is a former Parchman warden who teaches in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Shortly after Cabana's preliminary report last year, Beat 5 Supervisor Jimmy Johnson said Cabana suggested a 65 to 75 bed jail. There were ongoing discussions about how many lock-down cells and women's cells are needed and whether the facility should have a kitchen.
Hayes said Cabana has completed his study, but supervisors haven't decided on these specifics and no land has been purchased.
Supervisors issued a $2 million bond last year to pay for the new jail.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.