Raymond Detention Center Detainee First to Test Positive for COVID-19 | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Raymond Detention Center Detainee First to Test Positive for COVID-19

File Photo by Trip Burns

File Photo by Trip Burns

A detainee at Hinds County Raymond Detention Center in Raymond has tested positive for COVID-19 after falling ill on Thursday, becoming the first among 371 others detained in the three facilities the Hinds County Sheriff's Office manages as they await trial.

Capt. Tyree D. Jones, the sheriff’s public-information officer, told the Jackson Free Press that the positive test was confirmed Monday. The detainee is now isolated from others, and the staff is taking safety measures to safeguard other inmates, he noted.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Jones said, four detention officers out of a total of 204 have tested positive for COVID-19, with no deaths recorded. “The detention officers have not been tested by the sheriff's office yet. Some of them have their tests done individually," he said.

The first officer tested positive in mid-April.

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As Jackson and Hinds County resisted changes in arrest policy, a member of the Exonerated 5 explained to Seyma Bayram what they could face without them.

Jones said the sheriff's office is in contact with the Mississippi Department of Health to ensure testing of all inmates assigned to the three detention facilities under its jurisdiction: Jackson Detention Center, Raymond Detention Center and the Hinds County Penal Farm, also called the Work Center. It is also in Raymond.

"This testing will also be provided to all Hinds County detention officers at their discretion," a June 1 statement to media added.

On March 17, Jones confirmed to the Jackson Free Press that 432 adult detainees were incarcerated inside the three facilities: 219 inmates at the Raymond jail; 117 at the work center; and 96 people inside the Jackson Detention Center downtown. He also said 15 minors being charged as adults were then at the Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center in Jackson. He provided no specific demographic details or the length of incarceration then.

The county facilities typically detain people accused of crimes and awaiting trial. Seyma Bayram reported then that the last publicly available Hinds County jail rosters from December 2019 showed that some detainees had been awaiting trial since 2016, although the Jackson Free Press could not confirm if those people were still held at county jails at press time.

Email city/county reporter Kayode Crown at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @kayodecrown.

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