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Lincoln aids in Pike inmates’ housing

Lincoln County is one of several counties currently housingvisiting inmates while the Pike County Jail undergoes aconsiderable renovation.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said there were 12 in thefirst group of Pike County inmates who were sent to LincolnCounty.

“At one point three of them went back down there for court,though, and didn’t come back,” he said.

Pike County Chief Deputy Sheriff Steve Rushing, who is norelation to Lincoln County’s Rushing, said Pike County currentlyhas inmates all around the southern portion of the state.

“They’re scattered around everywhere,” he said. “Adams County,Hinds, Simpson, a lot of places generally within an hour or an hourand a half drive.”

All nine of the visitors to Lincoln County are county inmates atthis point, meaning they haven’t yet been sentenced through circuitcourt.

Because of this fact, none of the Pike County inmates will bedoing the roadside cleanup program that current Lincoln Countyinmates are involved in, the sheriff said. Only state inmates areapproved to work on the cleanup projects.

Neither Rushing was certain what the various charges against thevisiting prisoners were, or if any of them were violent offenders.Pike’s Rushing, however, said there isn’t cause for alarm.

“Once they’re sentenced, the Department of Corrections gets themin a reasonable amount of time,” he said, referring to violentcriminals.

According to Lincoln County’s Rushing, Pike County is payingLincoln County $20 per inmate per day for the temporary housing,which will continue for the next two or three months. At thispoint, it costs between $2 and $4 a day to feed an inmate.

“Some of these will be out in a few days, some we’ll have tokeep up with for a while,” said Rushing.

Pike’s Rushing said the renovations, which have been under wayfor a few months, could take through December. He said he hoped itwouldn’t take the entire amount of time allotted.

“I think they’ve got things scheduled now through the end ofthis year,” he said. “Originally they had 18 months to completeeverything. I’m certain they scheduled the entire timeallotted.”

Currently Pike County still has about half of its prisonershoused in-county, as the renovations are affecting half of thecellblock at a time.

“We’re trying to do a portion of the jail now which includesgenerally half of the cellblock,” said Pike’s Rushing. “We’lltransfer the inmates we have here over to those when we’re done,but until it’s entirely complete, we will definitely keep somelocated in other places.”