New pods to ease jail overcrowding in Jackson County


Two new jail pods have arrived at the Jackson County jail and are being set up to house non-violent inmates. The county got approval from the Pascagoula City Council last year to place the pods inside security fences. 

This week, crews are cleaning off land to make way for two 5,000 square foot jail pods to sit at the back of the jail. 

“The down payment on them was $600,000. And over a period of two years, the cost will be $1.7 million,” Board of Supervisors President Mike Mangum said. 

President Mangum pointed out that the county bought the pods after seeing how safe and successful the pod program was at the Harrison County jail. 

“It is very safe. They have been doing several years over there, so it is a proven method of housing them on a temporary basis.” 

Each pod holds about 70 people, but supervisors say this is just a temporary fix to a much bigger problem. 

“Too many people crowding into one location, especially one where you have hardened criminals,” Supervisor John McKay said. 

Supervisor McKay said inmates are packed into the adult detention center daily. If the overcrowding continues, he warned the county will face safety, legal and financial problems.  

 “It is just a bad, bad situation,” McKay said. 

McKay said the bad situation could be fixed by building a new jail.  But in 2008, residents voted down a $22 million bond to pay for a new facility. He said it is time for residents to reconsider. 

“Had the bond issue passed and a lot of other things happened, then we can have a jail instead of putting these temporary pods up. Hopefully, we will have those solved before long, and we can start the process of building a new jail.” 

By Patrice Clark

WLOX- ch 13


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