DeSoto Supervisors Green Light Jail Addition

HERNANDO, Miss. — DeSoto County supervisors recently approved the second phase of construction on the DeSoto County jail, which will include space for 268 new inmates. When completed, the addition will greatly increase the county’s inmate housing capacity, bringing the jail up to 572 beds.

Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal first reported that the county had approved an $8.3 million construction bid by Murphy and Sons Inc. of Southaven, Miss. in April. The approval came after a rebid process, which was the result of an initial publication error. The county ultimately received four rebids for the jail addition, compared to six in the first round.

Sheriff Bill Rasco told The Commercial Appeal that the new addition will primarily consist of inmate housing. “We already have the infrastructure in place, such as kitchen, laundry and intake,” Rasco said. “We factored in room for growth over the next 25 years when we built the first phase.”

Rasco added that the expansion will also allow the county to move all adults to the new facility, leaving the current jail located in downtown Hernando solely for juveniles inmates and court facilities.

This expansion builds on the first phase, which included construction of the initial 300-bed, 65,000-square-foot jail structure, as well as a booking department and a secure sallyport. That phase also provided the county with several ancillary support areas for family visitation, a 24-bed mental health unit, and a core pod and centralized control room, which divide the female and male inmate populations. The facility opened several months ahead of schedule in December 2012 after an 18-month construction process.

Evans Taylor Foster Childress, an architectural design firm based in Memphis, Tenn. was selected to design the addition, and also served as lead architect for the first jail phase. Phase one construction was completed by Flintco Construction, which is headquartered in Tulsa, Okla.

With the jail expansion project secured, the county will now seek construction bids for renovations to 20,000 square feet of existing office space. When completed, this improved office building will house administrative offices for the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department.

Construction on the second phase of the DeSoto County Jail is scheduled to start as early as June 1, and should last approximately 14 months. Both projects should be completed by summer 2015.

Speaking with The Commercial Appeal, Michael Childress, a consultant with Evans Taylor Foster Childress, said the projects were coordinated to allow both the staff and inmates to move into their new facilities at the same time. Bids on the office building revamp should be open by June 3.