Sollie Voices Concern for Jail Overcrowding

Meridian, Miss. Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie gave supervisors an update on the number of inmates at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility.

As of Tuesday, 300 inmates were being housed in addition to 23 other inmates held in the Hilltop House, and twelve in the Kemper County Detention Facility. The Lauderdale County Detention Facility only has a capacity of 290 inmates. The county has to send a midnight census daily to Ron Welch, who is the attorney advocate for the Mississippi Department Of Corrections. Welch certifies the Hilltop House to hold inmates, and Sheriff Sollie says he could contact Lauderdale County about decertifying Hilltop as a punishment for being over capacity.

"That means like he did in Hinds County, Hilltop Honor Farm would be shut down," said Sollie. "The twenty dollars a day that the county receives for those inmates would be lost, and the inmate labor for Lauderdale County would be also lost."

If this happens, the extra inmates would be absorbed back into the MDOC if the Hilltop House was shut down. Sollie says the county will continue to work with the court system and the city of Meridian to keep the numbers down, but still protect the citizens by placing people behind bars.