DeSoto County explores new locations for proposed jail

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - DeSoto County needs a new jail, but there is a huge controversy over where County Supervisors want to build it.

Tuesday, residents strongly opposed to one of eight proposed sites for the new jail said they won't quit their protest until county officials search elsewhere.

"If you would think about it and put this jail in a place where it would be isolated, then it won't hurt you and it won't hurt me," resident Laby Rosenblum said.

The DeSoto County jail site selection committee held an open meeting Tuesday morning to give citizens a chance to view eight proposed sites and voice their opinions.

One proposed site, near Star Landing Road and Highway 51, has received a lot of attention from protestors.

Anita Bosley created the Star Landing Jail Coalition, a group of local protesters which continues to grow daily. Bosley believes building a jail facility in that area will affect future commercial and residential development.

"I venture to say that the economic impact would be greater. There would be a greater loss of tax revenue than there would be with the property the county already owns," Bosley said.

The city of Hernando houses the current jail.  Mayor Chip Johnson said he favors building in an isolated area away from homes.

"There aren't many sites in DeSoto County where you can get away from homes, but I think if we can find a site that has the least impact on residents, that's where we need to be looking," Johnson said.

Bosley is determined to carry on this fight for as long as it takes.

"We'll keep the pressure on until the decision has been made and land is purchased in another location," Bosley said.

The next step for the jail site committee is to visit the currently proposed sites. They also agreed to keep the search process open to any additional suggestions from citizens.

Click here to e-mail Chip Washington.