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Supervisors Approve Housing State Inmates For County’s Work Program

The sheriff’s department will receive state inmates for a work program that will include trash pickup in the county. The work program kicked off earlier in the summer as inmates currently housed in the jail volunteered to work. The additional inmates will boost the program.

Sheriff Lance Humphreys received the nod from supervisors to house seven to eight state inmates to boost the sheriff department’s work program that started back in the summer.

Speaking in the August 6 supervisor meeting, the sheriff explained that he is currently using inmates housed in the county jail to help with trash pickup and maintenance work on public property. He explained the inmates are working on a voluntary basis and receive no incentive for their labor. Using the state program, inmates would be assigned to the county by the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) and would receive time off of their sentence for working.

The approval granted by supervisors included the county paying an annual  $500 fee charged by the state’s health department to inspect the jail, a requirement by MDOC. The county will also incur the daily cost of housing the inmates, which includes three meals at a cost of $6.50 per inmate per day. The sheriff said that MDOC will pay any medical costs for the inmates.

Prior to 2015, MDOC paid counties $20 per day to house state inmates classified to work. Since then counties are allowed to house state inmates for work programs, but are not reimbursed by the state. 

Humphreys said he launched the work program earlier in the summer and the work has included garbage pickup on numerous county roads, as well as painting portions of the schools before classes resumed. The inmates are supervised while working.

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