ABERDEEN – One of three major projects voted on by the Monroe County Board of Supervisors, an inmate work center for state inmates, will move forward as planned, in spite of state budget cuts.

In Gov. Haley Barbour’s 2010 proposed budget for the state, one of his provisions calls for a cutback on the number of state inmates housed in satellite facilities. But according to Monroe County Sheriff Andy Hood, the construction of a county inmate center located adjacent to the Monroe County Jail will continue as scheduled.

“The Monroe County Board of Supervisors voted to go forward and build a new facility to house the inmate work program at my request,” Hood said. “The new facility will house an average of 60 inmates and we will be reimbursed $20 per day for these inmates for an average of $438,000 per year. With these inmates, along with the average 30 that we house that are not assigned to the program, we will have the ability to be reimbursed up to $650,000 per year for both the Work Center and the Adult Detention Facility, plus the medical expenses associated with these inmates.”

The Monroe County Board of Supervisors accepted construction bids on the project and it was awarded to Descon Inc. for $615,400.

According to Hood, the new work center should come at zero cost to the Monroe County taxpayers.

“Our plan is to open the Work Center in early spring and house up to a maximum of 60 inmates,” he said. “These inmates will be used by various county departments and will expand our garden project and road clean-up crews. The new building will be paid for by reimbursements from the Mississippi Department of Corrections and should not cost taxpayers anything.”

NEMS Daily Journal

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