Construction is officially underway on a new Hinds County jail as officials continue to battle breaches at the current detention center.
According to Sheriff Tyree Jones, phase one of the $100 million-plus project is on track to be completed by summer 2025 after ground was broken in late May.
“Once they finish the infrastructure – of course, they have to put a water tower up and some other infrastructure issues they have to complete – the first phase of it, we’re looking at about 18 to 24 months,” Jones said.
Jones added that the new jail is going to be a massive upgrade from the Raymond Detention Center, which has struggled with both deteriorating conditions and breaches since its opening in 1994.
“The jail has been completely designed, and the company and the people that are responsible for this are experts who have built jails nationwide,” Jones said. “We won’t be faced with the same situation with the company that designed this jail in Raymond back in the 90s that had never built a jail or a detention center before.”
This year alone, eight inmates have managed to escape from the Raymond Detention Center, and while all have been accounted for, Jones said his team has been working to implement additional security measures to avoid further breaches in the meantime.
“We still have to operate out of that Raymond Detention Center until then, and I will say this. We have put some more security measures in place at that facility and are very optimistic about the measurements we put in place,” Jones said. “They are seeming to work. We have not had any more breaches or any more issues since we put those new security measurements in place.”
The new Hinds County jail, which will be located on 35 acres off West McDowell Road, was designed by CDFL Architects + Engineers and is being built by Benchmark Construction. Upon completion, the facility will be able to house up to 700 beds.