Action News 5 gets first look at new DeSoto County Jail

Action News 5 gets first look at new DeSoto County Jail

(WMC-TV) – The new DeSoto County Jail will begin moving inmates in on Monday.

The female inmates will be the first to move into their new living quarters. They will be housed separately from the male inmates, who should be moved in by the beginning of next year.

"We're finally here," said DeSoto County Jail Administrator Chad Wicker, who showed Action News 5's Michael Clark around the new facility. "We're ready to get in. We're excited to get in."

At the new jail, inmates will not live in individual cells. Pods will house inmates in groups of 20 to 30 in dormitory style.

"It's about $30,000 to build per bed, to build a housing unit like this. Cells is about $75,000 a bed, so it's a big cost to build cells that way," said Wicker.

The new jail will be the first in Mississippi to use video visitation. Wicker says it is safer for deputies and inmates. Visitors will have to go to the old jail where they will be able to video chat with prisoners.

"The family has a better chance to come visit them because we're not going to have time restraints or anything like that," explained Wicker.

There are more than 125 cameras that record from all angles in the new jail, and the surveillance video captured from the device can be saved for 140 days.

Thick glass protects workers from inmates coming in for the booking process. That is something that was not present in the last facility.

"The booking area actually has an area where they can do their process without having to worry about being attacked or anything like that," said Wicker.

The public is invited to get their first look at the jail at an open house Saturday, December 1, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. in Hernando, MS.

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