Harrison County

Harrison County picks up tab on ankle bracelets after state cuts

The outdoor recreation area at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center in Biloxi.
The outdoor recreation area at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center in Biloxi. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

Harrison County will pick up the tab for a program that keeps juvenile offender out of jail after the state cut its funding.

The Board of Supervisors awarded a $49,640 contract to Mississippi Security Police, the company that runs the county’s juvenile jail in Biloxi, to use 16 ankle-bracelet monitors to keep track of offenders without keeping them in jail, according to county attorney Tim Holleman. A.E.M. Electronic Monitoring, LLC of Lee County also submitted a proposal, according to county Administrator Pam Ulrich.

Holleman said Youth Court Judge Margaret Alfonso recommended MSP because of they already had the jail contract and that would provide continuity with the monitoring program.

“That’s far cheaper than keeping them behind bars,” he said.

Young people in the system must either be at school, work or home. If they go out of bounds, the system can speak directly to them and tell them to go home.

Alfonso asked the county to pay the costs after the state cut funding this year.

“It’s disastrous,” Alfonso told the Sun Herald at the time, “and another blow to Youth Court efforts to get the attention of juveniles and protect the public.”

Paul Hampton: 228-284-7296, @JPaulHampton

  Comments