Two heads better than one for jail

Published 12:08am Thursday, August 8, 2013

Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield wants county supervisors to consider building a new jail facility.

The existing one, he says, is outdated and has constant maintenance concerns.

The sheriff is probably correct, but we know supervisors carefully will study the idea before committing.

As they do that, we hope the county will also consider the idea that two heads are better than one and consider merging their efforts with the City of Natchez.

The Adams County Jail was built as a jail. It’s designed as such and by and large has been a fairly secure facility through the years — despite its ever-worsening age.

But the Natchez City Jail was never designed to be a jail. It was originally a utility company’s office. While it’s been retrofitted to serve as a jail, the facility is far less than ideal. Through its relatively brief history, a number of inmates have escaped because, well, it’s not really a jail.

That’s why it only makes sense for the Adams County and the City of Natchez to consider partnering on a common detention center.

In addition to just making sense from a practical standpoint, a combined operation is bound to save taxpayers money in reduced operational costs.

If both sides put their heads together and sharpen their pencils, the potential savings in reduced personnel and reduced maintenance costs may help pay for the new facility. But such a plan starts with both sides coming together with an open mind and the ability to see the greater, taxpayer-focused, picture.

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