County Officials Discuss Jail Overcrowding Issue

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Lauderdale County, Miss. Overcrowding is still a huge concern at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility, just two weeks after a riot there.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie says because the county is at its capacity, six inmates are being housed in Kemper County right now. Sollie says Lauderdale County is currently housing 301 inmates, with 30 of those inmates being held at Hilltop on Highway 39. The sheriff tells Newscenter 11 when warrants are issued, that person has to be placed in jail.

"So, between the municipal judges, the Justice Court judges, and the Circuit Court itself, all the sheriff is is a gatekeeper," Sollie says. "And can't release anyone, can't speed anyone through the process of the justice system."

"I think we built it too small," District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood says. "We should have been building a 500 bed facility then. But from where I stand, I think alternative to incarceration is the way that we need to be going nowadays."

Norwood does say that county officials are exploring the possibility of building an additional pod at the jail to help with overcrowding.