Juvenile detention spot eyed

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Supervisors discussed road paving plans during a meeting Tuesday morning and were briefed on the continuing need to locate a new detention facility to house the county’s juvenile offenders.

Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop told supervisors he has contacted the juvenile detention facilities in Rankin and Adams counties.

Adams County will offer a contract guaranteeing a certain number of beds will remain available for use by Lincoln County, but Rankin County won’t, Bishop said.

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Lincoln County authorities have been transporting juvenile offenders to a detention center in Pike County, which also offered a contract to Lincoln County.

Juveniles can’t be housed with adult offenders, and the Lincoln County jail is only designed for adults.

However, the Pike County center is closing as of Feb. 11, facing the threat of a lawsuit over the facility’s conditions.

Lincoln County paid Pike County approximately $30 per day a Lincoln County juvenile was held in the facility, said Bishop.

Bishop expects the costs will be comparable at the Adams County center.

The matter awaits further negations between Lincoln County attorney Bob Allen and Adams County.

“Once (Allen) has something, we’ll bring it back to the board for their approval,” Bishop said.

Jeff Dungan of Dungan Engineering also discussed plans to improve road conditions on a stretch of East Lincoln Road. He would add that section of road to a state aid project he’s also going to use to help mend Old Highway 51.

However, Dungan did warn supervisors adding East Lincoln Road may reduce funding available for other non-critical projects, though details on what may be cut weren’t available.

Bishop also reported to supervisors that the state Department of Human Services wants more space at its office in Lincoln County and wants the county to apply for a grant that would allow such an expansion.

DHS representatives have approached Bishop to discuss the matter.

“They need room for people and files,” said Bishop.

Supervisors agreed to meet again Thursday at 4 p.m. to approve the docket of claims, which wasn’t yet available Tuesday morning.