(Hernando, MS) The opening of the new DeSoto County Jail next month will leave lots of valuable real estate vacant in downtown Hernando.
One somewhat controversial idea under consideration would move County Court to the old jail.
Hundreds of inmates will leave the old jail building in October, freeing up lots of space at a time when things are said to be getting tighter at the Courthouse.
”Courtroom space is at a premium and the judges are telling us they’re gonna need more space so we’re looking at maybe utilizing this existing space down the road,” said County Supervisor Mark Gardner.
The old Jail and Courthouse are only about a block from each other, but the proposed move has lots of people concerned.
No one wanted to speak on the record, but they shared security concerns of having civilians in the jail building.
Then there’s the idea of having to open an entirely new branch of the Circuit Clerk’s office and having to move files back and forth between the main Courthouse and the new office.
Some say it sounds expensive, others say, a more feasible proposal would be to move youth court to the old jail, since juvenile offenders will remain in the old building.
Either way, Supervisors say renovations will take time, but a decision will come relatively soon said Gardner, ”If we started to work on it today, you’re looking at 18-24 months before this comes to fruition, so we’ll probably make the decision in the next couple of months”.
Meantime, a special committee is getting input from those involved in the proposed move.
It’s way too early to tell how a proposed court re-shuffling will shake out, but Supervisors say they’re determined to make the best use of their new space.