Crack Down on Crime in our Capitol City
Don’t Let a Crowded Judicial System be an Excuse for Allowing Criminals to Walk

Governor Barbour is proposing new legislation to allow the Governor to appoint an additional judge in Hinds County for the sole purpose of judging criminal cases involving drugs and weapons.

This new legislation is needed because the Hinds County Jail is overloaded with indicted felons waiting for trial but the judicial system can not handle the load. As booked felonies in Hinds County have increased 18% in three years, the same number of judges as Hinds County had thirty years ago has been expected to handle this workload.

As of November, 2005, the Hinds County Facility in Raymond, MS, with a federal court order capacity of 594, held 631 total prisoners, of which 583 were pre-trial indicted male felony inmates. Many cases sit in jail for an extended amount of time without trial: 2 cases in jail for 4 years without trial; 3 cases in jail for 3 years without trial; 37 cases in jail for 2 to 3 years without trial; 95 cases in jail for 1 to 2 years without trial; and approximately 400 cases in jail have been without trial for over 30 days to 1 year.

The backlog affects the quality of the law enforcement system as prosecutors and law enforcement are forced to balance the desire for proper detainment of potentially dangerous criminals with the dangers of a crowded jail system.


Why was this not done last year during judicial redistricting?

Last year, many of the individuals in the Hinds County jail were not indicted. Therefore, the problem of an overwhelmed judiciary were less evident. Additionally, there was not a need last year and there is not a need this year for an additional judge for civil cases, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

How much will this cost?

The annual cost for one new judge, including the necessary support services, is $189,316. This includes salary & fringe benefits for the judge, one staffer, travel, and an office allowance.

 

 


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741
         

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