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Juvenile detention facility not severely impacted by water crisis, officials say

Days after an emergency was declared over Jackson’s water system, Hinds County’s youth detention center located in the city is getting by with bottled water for drinking and water brought in to flush toilets. 

“I don’t think we’re having problems at this time at Henley-Young,” Board of Supervisors President Credell Calhoun said Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t think it has gotten that bad, maybe it was for a short while.” 

The Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center houses boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who have been accused of a misdemeanor or felony. It is also a temporary place for those awaiting a hearing, placement in another youth facility or transfer to another jurisdiction or agency, according to the facility’s page on the Hinds County website. 

The facility has a capacity of 84 beds, but Calhoun said it has been operating at a reduced capacity and about 30 juveniles are currently there. 

Henley-Young Interim Executive Director Marshand Crisler said Wednesday morning the water situation at the facility is fine, but he didn’t provide details and referred comment to County Administrator Kenny Wayne Jones. Jones declined to comment through a staff member. 

District 5 Supervisor Bobby McGowan, whose district includes Henley-Young, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. 

The Hinds County Detention Center and Work Center, which serve adults, are located in Raymond and are not experiencing impacts from Jackson’s water crisis. Sheriff Tyree Jones said Monday the facilities, which are part of Raymond’s water system, have full water capacity and detainees have access to water. 

Henley-Young is not under the purview of the sheriff’s office. 

Hinds County is looking to build a new jail to house adult detainees next to Henley-Young in Jackson. Calhoun said it is a way to come into compliance with issues identified by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Part of that plan is to build a water tower and pump that would hook into Jackson’s water system.

“It should be able to help alleviate low water pressure in South Jackson,” Calhoun said.  

The county has not begun construction on the jail yet, he said, but now that a land disposition and lease have been completed, the board of supervisors can make plans when to break ground.

READ MOREMississippi Today’s full coverage of the Jackson water crisis

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