You are on page 1of 13

Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96 Filed 10/28/21 Page 1 of 5

Court-Appointed Monitor’s Interim Report to the Court

Pursuant to Paragraph 151 of the Settlement Agreement
United States v. Hinds County, et al. Civ. No. 3:16cv489 -CWR-JCG

Elizabeth E. Simpson
Court-Appointed Monitor

David M. Parrish Jim Moeser Dr. Richard Dudley

Corrections Operations Juvenile Justice Corrections Mental Health
Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96 Filed 10/28/21 Page 2 of 5

The Hinds County Jail System has experienced six in custody deaths so far this calendar year.
The most recent occurred on October 18, 2021. Although any death of a person in custody is
cause for concern, this series of events is especially alarming. It raises serious concerns about
the continued lack of compliance on the part of the County and Sheriff’s Office with regard to
the Settlement Agreement and the Stipulated Order.

The first in custody death occurred on March 19, 2021, when a Jackson Police Department
Officer brought an arrestee into the Booking area to be processed. It required the assistance of a
Detention Officer to get him out of the car and to a holding cell. Because of his condition, a
nurse was called from Medical; she determined that the arrestee had to be transported to the
hospital. Subsequently the arrestee collapsed, and the nurse was called back from Medical to
perform CPR. When she asked why the individual had not been transported to the hospital, she
was told that staff wanted another evaluation first. When an attempt was made to provide
oxygen from an O2 concentrator, it would not turn on because of a faulty electrical outlet. An
extension cord had to be obtained to reach another outlet so that the concentrator could work.
There was no AED unit in Booking, so someone had to run back to Medical to obtain one. After
it was delivered it was discovered that the AED unit had no pads. After the arrestee expired, the
HCSO took the position that he was not an inmate because he had not been accepted/booked.
Regardless, an incident report should have been generated and all available information entered
into the JMS system. Instead, individual memos were written, but not incident reports. An
After-Action Report has yet to be completed.

The second death, on April 18, 2021, was a suicide by an inmate who was being housed in a
Booking holding cell, something that the Monitoring Team has repeatedly stated should not be
done and is contrary to the Settlement Agreement. When an officer was called upon to help
process two new arrestees into the facility, he saw the inmate hanging from a light fixture in
holding cell 1124 (the one closest to the sallyport). The officer had not been issued a set of keys,
so he had to obtain them from officers in the Booking office in order to enter the cell. The
Detention Officer who was actually assigned to work the Booking floor (holding cell area) was
not at his designated post. As has been noted previously, Booking officers often congregate in
the office instead of being on the floor where 15 minute well-being checks must be conducted on
all inmates located in the holding cells. Apparently, there was no Sergeant working in Booking
at the time. The responding officers did not have a 911 knife; instead, they had to use a pair of
scissors to cut the sheet from around the inmate’s neck. Nurses who responded from Medical
had to return to Medical to obtain an AED. This was the same problem that occurred just a
month before. Obviously, no corrective action was taken. The sheet that the inmate used to
hang himself was run though a bolt hole in a light fixture where it had been pried from the
ceiling. The second light fixture in the cell had not been damaged, but it did not work. The last
documented well-being check was made at 1105, more than three hours before the incident. As
in the first case, an After-Action Report has yet to be completed.
Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96 Filed 10/28/21 Page 3 of 5

A third inmate died on July 6, 2021. He was found hanging from a light fixture in his cell in HU
C-4 at the RDC. He was discovered during a head count at shift change that was being
conducted by a Sergeant and the Detention Officer assigned to C-4. That officer was responsible
for conducting 30-minute well-being checks on the inmates in that unit and for making 15-
minute notations on inmates in C-4 ISO, the suicide watch unit, where observation is supposed to
be constant. One officer should never have been held responsible for both duties. In addition,
there are supposed to be two officers assigned to work inside C-4. They are not supposed to
leave the unit. The lone Detention Officer assigned to C-4 not only had to leave the unit to
perform checks on C-4 ISO, he also left the unit for other reasons as reported by other officers.
He did not complete an observation log because he reportedly did not have a log book. He
reported head counts every hour, but did not actually go inside the unit; instead, he looked in
from the area of the “cage” from where he could not possibly see each inmate to conduct an
accurate count. Finally, both the Detention Officer, and the Sergeant who accompanied him, did
not immediately open the cell door and lower the inmate to the floor when they found him
hanging. Instead, they went to C-Pod Control to report what they saw by telephone to a
Lieutenant in Booking. Only after doing so, did they return to the cell and attempt to assist the
inmate. An After-Action Report has not yet been generated.

A fourth death occurred from an apparent drug overdose on August 3, 2021, in HU C-1 at the
RDC. There have been numerous overdoses in this calendar year which, fortunately, did not
result in death; however, this one appears to be a death as a result of an overdose. An autopsy
and toxicology report has not been completed but his cell mate reported that the decedent had
been using spice that night. An IAD investigation is still underway, but inmates on the unit
reported that they had been calling for assistance for five hours and that there had been no
response to their cries for help. This has not been confirmed. A report provided by Medical
indicated that by the time they were called, rigor mortis had already set in indicating that he had
been dead for some time. As was noted in the 14th Monitoring Report, there has been a
substantial amount of contraband confiscated in the RDC this year, including potent drugs. An
After-Action Report has not yet been generated.

A fifth death occurred on August 4, 2021, when an inmate passed away from complications
associated with COVID while in the hospital. There has been no investigation of this death.
Although the death appears to be medically related, there are questions regarding when his
symptoms first appeared and whether they were timely and adequately responded to as well as
the concerns the Monitoring Team has raised from the beginning of the pandemic about the
adequacy of the precautions being taken by the Jail to prevent the spread of the virus.
The sixth and most recent death which occurred on October 18, 2021, was the result of an
assault. This was on HU A-4 where the doors don’t lock and there is minimal staff supervision.
As has been reported, sometimes there is only an officer in the control room with no officers
assigned to the housing units. At about 0430 or 0500 in the morning, video footage showed the
inmate being hit in the head by another inmate. A third inmate then stomped on his head several
times. He was then dragged across the mezzanine. The video footage shows brief movement by
the decedent and then none indicating that he was probably dead at that point but a time of death
has not been established. He was eventually dragged back and propped in a sitting position and
Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96 Filed 10/28/21 Page 4 of 5

then later laid on a mat. He was not discovered by officers until 1:45, almost 9 hours later. This
was despite the fact that breakfast and lunch was served and well-being checks were supposedly
being made. Medical was called and arrived 6 minutes later. They did not perform CPR. The
documents provided to the monitors do not have a time when the ambulance was called but it
was called. In addition to the question as to how he could not have been discovered for nine
hours, there is the additional question of why this activity was not observed on camera from the
control room. The minimal incident reports provided on this death identify the incident as
“Medical Report-injury” instead of assault raising additional cause for concern regarding the
accuracy of reporting.
These deaths raise concerns that have been consistently raised in prior monitoring reports.
Although the Monitoring Team does not have IAD investigations on some of these incidents and
does not have any reports from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations to which the cases have
been referred, the information that is available points out the ongoing problems and practices that
have been raised repeatedly by the Monitoring Team, are contrary to the Settlement Agreement
and present life-threatening safety issues.
These include the following--
 The lack of direct supervision
 The lack of consistent well-being checks at the required time intervals
 The lack of meaningful well-being checks when they are done
 Housing inmates in Booking
 Housing inmates in units where cell doors do not lock
 Inadequate supervision
 The need for a Mental Health Unit with adequate mental health staffing
 Maintenance problems that include electrical outlets that do not work and broken light
 The failure to inspect life-saving equipment
 The lack of 911 knives
 The lack of policies and post orders, combined with the lack of training on the policies
that have been developed
 The lack of a field training program for new officers
 The lack of a recruitment and retention plan with a commitment to dedicate the
resources necessary to support it
 The lack of access to keys when emergencies occur
 The congregation of officers in control rooms and the Booking office instead of being
present on the units/posts
 The lack of a dedicated officer for suicide watch (RDC)
 The proliferation of contraband in the facility (RDC)

In addition, the poor and inaccurate reporting that is reviewed and approved by supervisors, with
no apparent corrective action, contributes to the risk of future deaths.
Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96 Filed 10/28/21 Page 5 of 5

The Monitoring Team participated in the development of the Stipulated Order attempting to lay
out a beginning road map to compliance. Many of the items in the Stipulated Order have not
been met. The Monitoring Team also participated in the more recent development of a list of
Priority Deliverables (Exhibit 1, 1-A, 1-B, 1-C). Most of those items have also not been
implemented. The Monitoring Team continues to have confidence in the ability of the new Jail
Administrator. However, the Monitoring Team has observed that there are institutional barriers
to effectively implementing the Settlement Agreement and Stipulated Order. Most of those
barriers are addressed in the Stipulated Order and list of Priority Deliverables. The latter can be
made available to the Court. The Monitoring Team respectfully recommends that the Court set a
status conference/hearing to address immediate measures that need to be taken to address the
concerns raised above and prevent the future loss of life.
Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96-1 Filed 10/28/21 Page 1 of 3


I. Staffing and Supervision 
a. Approve 329 detention officer positions. 
b. Approve salary ladder and step increase plan (Attachment A). 
c. Adopt  a written recruitment and retention plan (see Stipulated Order II.B) (ECF No. 60‐
d. Include Henley‐Young as part of the recruitment and retention plan. 
e. Revise staffing plan based on 8‐hour shifts. 
f. Establish a Classification Committee and Interdisciplinary Team per Policies 7‐100 and 
7‐400 and ensure that this Committee and the Interdisciplinary Team comply with 
Policy 7‐103(8).  
g. Comply with the Settlement Agreement’s 8‐hour cap on use of the Raymond Detention 
Center’s booking area for housing. 
II. Policies 
Include all necessary operational staff in ongoing policy writing and development 
process, and expeditiously implement policies. 
III. Maintenance 
a. Provide the Jail with a budget for routine maintenance and adopt a procedure allowing 
the Jail Administrator to obtain services without additional Board approval.  
b. Complete the priority repairs on Attachment B, C (the CDML “punch lists”).  
c. Replace all glass cell‐door windows with high‐level security glazing. 
d. Repair or replace all 80 security cameras that are currently missing, broken, or need 
IV. Supervisor and Staff Training 
a. Begin implementing the field training officer program. 
b. Approve funds and schedule all Captains to attend a jail administrator course if they 
have not already attended one in the past 5 years. 
c. Require that the Jail Administrator and all Captains obtain at least 24 hours of relevant 
online or in‐person professional training each year.  
d. Develop a schedule to train all staff  on the approved policies. 
V. Medical and Mental Health Care 
a. Adopt a rapid testing program for COVID‐19.  
b. Provide vaccinations for all inmates and staff. 
c. Complete repairs and renovations of B‐pod to include a Mental Health Unit.  The 
renovations should include program and office space.   
d. Ensure that the Jail Administrator, Medical Administrator, and others are regularly 
participating in a monthly Medical Advisory Committee Meeting.  Continue to hold   
monthly planning meetings  to develop Mental Health Unit policies, procedures, 
staffing, training and patient programs. 
e. Staff the Medical Unit with at least two officers when detainees are in the Unit.  

Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96-1 Filed 10/28/21 Page 2 of 3

f. Fund two additional qualified mental health professional (QMHP) positions  (see 
Settlement par. 21 (ECF No. 8‐1)).  
g. Provide for at least 40  prescriber hours per week in the contract with QCHC.  The final 
contract must specify hours required on‐site, off‐site hours, and the prescriber(s)’ 
duties.  Duties should include clinical services, quality assurance activities, and 
participation in treatment teams.   
h. Fund Hinds County Behavioral Health (HCBH) to provide in‐reach and transition 
services at the Jail.  
i. Ensure that staff are going to the Medical Unit to pick up any medications and referral 
information for discharged detainees before the detainees’ release.  
j. Provide a reliable internet connection in the Medical and Mental Health Units that can 
be used for electronic records and video conferences.  
k. Implement a tracking system to identify and track all inmates ordered to the state 
hospital or treatment program with updates on contacts with those agencies. Include 
in the tracking system all inmates referred for civil commitment, the person 
responsible for initiating the proceeding and updates on progress. 
VI. Henley‐Young Juvenile Justice Center 
a. Fill at least 80% of designated Henley‐Young staff positions. 
b. Provide refresher training to all staff on disciplinary segregation/room confinement 
policies, and implementation of existing youth programs, including the  incentive and 
reward systems. 
c. Fill the full‐time position of Treatment Coordinator.  
d. Identify a  model, research‐based behavioral and mental health treatment program, to 
serve as the foundation for the facility’s own program.  
e. Provide and document that each youth receives 27.5 hours per week of face‐to‐face 
educational instruction by a licensed teacher, at least 5 hours per week of Youth 
Support Specialist/QMHP‐led programming; and at least 9 more hours per week of 
structured rehabilitative and youth development programs.  Data on scheduled/missed 
programming should be tracked and reported, including documenting reasons for a 
youth not participating in programming. 
f. Hold monthly meetings of Henley‐Young executive leadership, the school principal, and 
District Administrator (or designee) to develop a long‐term plan for providing adequate 
education, including special education, at Henley‐Young.  
VII. Incident Reporting and Investigations 
a. Enforce incident reporting policies at both the Jail and Henley‐Young. 
This includes requiring Henley‐Young staff members to document a failure to 
implement scheduled programs, and the reason why the program was not held, in an 
incident report.   
b. Train Criminal Investigative Division (CID) and Internal Affairs Division (IAD) 
investigators on the Monitor‐approved investigation policies.  All investigators should 
sign an acknowledgement that they understand the requirements of those policies.   
c. Complete incident reports on all late or erroneous releases. 

Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96-1 Filed 10/28/21 Page 3 of 3

d. Implement the log required by Paragraph 101(a) of the Settlement Agreement 
requiring documentation of timely or untimely releases. 
VIII. Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) and Pre‐Trial Services 
a. Fill the CJCC Chair’s position.  
b. Train the staff coordinator to facilitate the work of the Criminal Justice Coordinating 
Committee.  If the current staff coordinator is unable to perform the required duties on 
a full‐time basis, hire or assign a replacement with qualifications that meet the 
Monitor’s recommendations. 
c. Notify the Monitor and the United States when each CJCC meeting is scheduled, send 
the agenda and call‐in instructions in advance, and send the minutes afterward. 
d. Retain a consultant to assist with reimplementation of the CJCC and staffing until the 
staff coordinator is trained. 
e. Hire a full time Pre‐Trial Services Director. 
IX. Self‐Assessment 
a. Assign Compliance Coordinator and other required Jail staff to complete the Self‐
Assessment required by Paragraph 159 of the Settlement Agreement. 

Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96-2 Filed 10/28/21 Page 1 of 1
Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96-3 Filed 10/28/21 Page 1 of 2

December 7, 2020 

To:  Hinds Count Board of Supervisors 

Subject: Opening of B Pod 

Items that need addressing before opening of B Pod: 

1. Fire Alarm and Smoke Detectors – Facility has no fire alarm system. County was first notified on 
3/27/2020. Robert Bell submitted what he believed to be a fire Marshall inspection report on 
4/15/2020 which turned out to only be a fire extinguisher inspection report. Proposals sent on 
6/8/2020. Revised proposals sent on 1/13/2021. This requires an authorized professional to 
engineer or approval from code official 
2. Fire hose cabinets need repairs before hoses can be installed. County notified on 4/9/2020, 
12/2/2020, 12/7/2020 and 1/13/2021. James Ingram notified 11/19/2020.  
3. Water penetration of exterior pod walls. County notified on 3/27/2020, This has been an ongoing 
issue stemming from poor or inadequate design and construction. James Ingram notified 
4. Guard’s bathroom door in each unit needs to be uncovered and new door installed for direct 
supervision. County notified on 3/27/2020 This has been an ongoing issue. CML has submitted 
pricing on 2 different occasions. Last one being 11/27/2020. Received proposal from Noah 
Detention and was recommended on 1/13/2021. James Ingram notified 11/19/2020.  
5. Mechanical room doors needs to be unwelded and new ones install for maintenance issues. 
County notified on 3/27/2020 This has been an ongoing issue. CML has submitted pricing on 2 
different occasions. Last one being 11/27/2020. Received proposal from Noah Detention and was 
recommended on 1/13/2021. James Ingram notified 11/19/2020 
6. All cell lights need to be installed along with wiring. County notified on 9/2/2020, 12/2/2020 and 
12/7/2020. James Ingram notified 11/19/2020.  
7. Each pod unit needs electric valve and thermostat to control temperature. County notified on 
3/27/2020. This has been an ongoing issue. At first it was debated as to whether or not this was a JCI 
issue or not. After review it was determined that it was not their responsibility. County notified 
again on 7/27/2020. On 9/17/2020 Benchmark was issued a work order to remedy. 2 proposals 
were sent on 9/28/2020 with JL Roberts recommended. Notified county again on 12/7/2020         
8. Cell door view window are missing. County notified on 11/19/2020 to Mr. James Ingram 
Benchmark Construction has received 2 proposals and do not have any recommendations at this 
 9. Missing cameras. County notified 6/24/2020, 9/2/2020, 9/14/2020, 12/7/2020 time and material 
10. No Exit sign. County notified 11/19/2020, 12/7/2020, 1/13/2021 Time and Material                          
11. Penal fixtures need testing and repairs as needed. County notified 11/19/2020, 12/7/2020, 
1/13/2021 Time and Material                                  
12. Sally port vestibule ceiling needs re‐installed off of Big Hall. County notified 11/19/2020, 
12/7/2020, 1/13/2021  
13. Control room counter top needs replacement. County notified 11/19/2020, 12/7/2020, 

1867 CRANE RIDGE DR. SUITE 200‐A, JACKSON, MS 39216 PHONE 601‐362‐6110 FAX 601‐362‐9812 
Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96-3 Filed 10/28/21 Page 2 of 2

14. Painting. County notified 11/19/2020, 12/7/2020, 1/13/2021 work performed by sheriff’s 
15. Each Pod requires a Direct Supervision station. County notified 11/19/2020, 12/7/2020, 
1/13/2021 work performed by Sheriff’s department 
16. The Work Center fire sprinkler system has been inoperable for several years. Hinds County has 
spent approximately $20,000 to have the motor and pump repaired. A proposal was summitted for 
approximately $1800 to finish the repairs on 1/13/2021 
17. The kitchen has a steam system used for cooking. At the present time this is a life safety issue. 
There is a severe possibility of injury or possible death should this system explode. It is corroded 
severely and leaking. Mr. Ingram was notified on 11/19/2020 
 All items highlighted in yellow were discussed in walk through on 11/19/2020. Individuals 
present were: 
 James Ingram 
 Deputy Sheriff Walls 
 Warden Fielder 
 Asst Warden Crane 
 Sgt Steven Winter 
 Captain Johnson 
 Captain Simmon 
 Lucille Love 
 Tommy Rayford  
 Path 
The above items have been noted and submitted previously and we awaiting direction from Hinds 
It is imperative that action be taken in order to maintain progress on compliance with the Stipulated 
Orders which includes, but is not limited to, Section I, Safety & Security/Physical Place (attached). 
B Pod will not be ready for occupancy until the majority of the above items have been completed.  
Benchmark needs assistance with these issues to fulfill the expectations of the Hinds County Board of 
As always, Benchmark stands ready to assist Hinds County however necessary. 
David Marsh 

1867 CRANE RIDGE DR. SUITE 200‐A, JACKSON, MS 39216 PHONE 601‐362‐6110 FAX 601‐362‐9812 
Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96-4 Filed 10/28/21 Page 1 of 2

Raymond Detention Center 
David Marsh    Benchmark      601‐941‐7250 
Gary Chamblee   Benchmark      601‐832‐6200 
Willie Edmond    Benchmark      601‐383‐4507 
James      CML                     
Leroy Lee    Hinds County 
Sgt. Winter    Hinds County Sheriff’s Dept. 
Mr. Lassiter    Hinds County  
There  was a  general  discussion of the  various items to  complete in Pod B.   The general format of  the 
discussion followed the letter of 12/07/2020 by Benchmark Construction to the Hinds County Board of 
1.  Fire  alarm  and  smoke  detectors:    Benchmark  sent  a  proposal  in  today  recommending  B  &  E 
Communications, Inc. and Synergy Electric to complete this work.  
2. Fire hose cabinets need a detention grade access panel with lock:  CML will assess quantity and 
submit a change order price for this work.  
3. Water penetration of exterior walls: It was concluded that Benchmark would continue to monitor 
and recommend options as they arise to correct.
4. Guard’s bathroom doors:  CML will assess and re‐submit price excluding the 4 frames.
5. Mechanical room doors:  CML will assess and re‐submit price excluding 3 of the 4 frames.
6. Cell lights need to be installed along with wiring:  Benchmark will acquire pricing on the cost and 
installation of the light fixtures and the wiring will be done on a time and material basis.  These 
quotes will be submitted to the County.
7.  Each pod unit needs electric valve and thermostat to control temperature. County notified on
3/27/2020. This has been an ongoing issue. At first it was debated as to whether or not this was 
a JCI issue or not. After review it was determined that it was not their responsibility. County 
notified again on 7/27/2020. On 9/17/2020 Benchmark was issued a work order to remedy. 2 
proposals were sent on 9/28/2020 with JL Roberts recommended. Notified county again on 
8. Cell door view windows:  Hinds County to assess. 
9. Missing cameras in B Pod. Hinds County to assess    
10. No Exit signs:  Hinds County to assess
11. Penal Fixtures: Hinds County to assess.
12. Sallyport Vestibule Ceiling:  Hinds County to assess.
13. Control Room countertop:  Hinds County to access.
14. Painting:  Hinds County to assess.
15. Direct Supervision Station:  Hinds County to assess.
Case 3:16-cv-00489-CWR-JCG Document 96-4 Filed 10/28/21 Page 2 of 2

16. Benchmark Construction recommends Lewis Fire Protection to repair the transducer on control 
board, check valve and replace fire damage sprinkler heads for the sum $1,840.00. proposal sent 
to Leroy Lee on 2/11/2021.
17. Benchmark Construction recommends JL Roberts to repair the steam system in the kitchen for 
the sum of $1750.00. Proposal sent to Leroy Lee on 2/11/2021
18. There are 2 door panels damaged severely and cannot be reused. CML to assess the value of not 
installing stiffeners on doors in B‐1 and B‐2 and replacing these doors.
19. There are 7 sliding doors throughout the facility that have been inoperable for a long period of 
time. These are high security doors, 1 in booking, 1 at the main entrance vestibule, medical and 
other locations. These doors have been brought into question during the last 2 DOJ interviews. 
CML to assess these doors and submit price repair and or submit a price for the motors to be be 
repaired by Hinds County.

Several  other  issues  were  discussed  and  future  periodic  meetings  will  be  necessary.    Time  is  of  the 
essence.  Benchmark needs notification as soon as possible by way of signed agreements so that work can 
be started. 

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.  The foregoing constitutes our understanding 
of matters discussed and decisions reached.  Participants are requested to review these items and advise 
the undersigned in writing of any changes and/or corrections to same.

Benchmark Construction  
Gary Chamblee 

You might also like