Warren County Grand Jury makes recommendations

Published 11:19 am Monday, June 3, 2024

The Warren County Grand Jury made a number of recommendations to governing bodies following its May term. Chief among them was what has become the seemingly obligatory task of pointing out the need for a new county jail.

Grand Jury members met with Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace during the term, which was held Monday, May 20 through Wednesday, May 22, and noted the declining physical condition of the county’s jail. The recommendation for prioritizing the jail has become a mainstay of Grand Juries in Warren County, with Pace telling members of a March 2023 session it has been happening consistently for 20 years.

Land for a new jail has been purchased by Warren County on Highway 80; however, a date for beginning construction has not yet been announced.

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 In other related recommendations, the Grand Jury requested adequate facilities be provided for canine officers, both at the new jail and the renovated sheriff’s offices following the jail’s construction, and recommended each new Grand Jury tours the current jail prior to hearing cases.

In other recommendations, the Grand Jury requested: The Warren County Courthouse be updated to include current safety measures, handicap accessibility, walkways and elevators and audio visual equipment in the Grand Jury room; requested creation of an apprenticeship program to allow youth to become familiar with law enforcement officers, as well as to allow for youth tours of the jail and detention center; requested that Warren County and the City of Vicksburg provide free publications to churches or other youth organizations to publish activities or scholarships; requested the Vicksburg Police Department and Warren County Sheriff’s Office each establish juvenile law enforcement task forces to work in concert with one another, as well as the Warren County Youth Court, to address rising rates of juvenile crime; requests that, following the construction of a new jail, the current jail be used as office space for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

During its May term, the Grand Jury also considered 49 cases against 56 individuals; returned 41 true bills – or a case with enough evidence for prosecution to advance – including 59 counts; and seven no bills – or cases lacking enough evidence for prosecution to advance. The Grand Jury also recommended one case be continued to the next Grand Jury.