DeSoto Co jail opens 4 months early - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

DeSoto Co jail opens 4 months early

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HERNANDO, Miss. (FOX13) -

DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco jokingly calls the new jail the "Hernando Hilton," but don't expect a plush stay.

"It's not anything extravagant but it is to do the job that we need to do to protect the citizens of Desoto County," Sheriff Rasco said.

The first inmates were being moved Monday into the $14 million jail.

"We are going to start moving the females down there to begin with," the sheriff said. "They are moving today. Then we will gradually put males down there as we get used to everything that is going on down there at the new facility."

MORE: DeSoto Co Jail to open ahead of schedule

While the first of the inmates arrived Monday, the staff has been in the new jail for a while.

"They have been down there training for the last two weeks operating the doors and the camera system in that building," Sheriff Rasco said. "There is not a dead spot in that building. Wherever someone is moving in that facility, they are on camera."

The county's new jail construction has been ahead of schedule for months due to the drought. It opened Dec. 3 some four months earlier that projected.

The sheriff added the new jail will save DeSoto County taxpayers money in the long run because the county jail will not be in a rented space. The new building is also greener than the old one.

"Well we've got skylights that run the whole length of the building that cuts down on the lighting bill and skylights in the cells," Sheriff Rasco said. "You know, that is just one of the things we feel we needed that we had the architect to come up with and that was a great idea."

The new facility allows for expansion over the years, the sheriff added.

"We will have to add a lot in the near future, but the infrastructure will not have to be added onto for a long period of time, which is your kitchen and your intake and your medical," he said.

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