Jail Controversy Latest

The city of Meridian will have to find another place to house its inmates at least for now. That's the word from the Clarke County officials. Clarke County Supervisor Arthur Nelson says the board has reached an agreement with the sheriff there, not to house inmates from Meridian at the Quitman jail, at least for now.

Recently, the city of Meridian had asked to house some of its prisoners in Quitman because of concerns it now has with Lauderdale County about housing costs for inmates.

Despite this latest development, Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose says his department has another option.

"The sheriff in Newton County, Jackie Knight, has agreed to house our inmates if we have a need or if we cannot house anyone here."

Since the beginning of this month Meridian police have been housing inmates in the old jail inside the Police Department downtown.

"Right now we have six inmates here. It's been running not smoothly, but it's been running okay," says Dubose.

As of midnight January 31 the city of Meridian stopped housing inmates in the Lauderdale County Jail because the two entities could not reach an agreement on daily housing costs for Meridian inmates in that facility. This is an issue which parties on both sides say they hope can soon be resolved.

"Hopefully, we can get this issue resolved sometime in the near future but until then we'll continue to do what we're doing," says Dubose.

Representatives from the city of Meridian and Lauderdale County are expected to meet again next week, possibly on Tuesday, to try and come up with a compromise on the issue. Until that happens Chief Dubose says.

"At this point it's out of my hands. I have to work with what I have."

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