Harrison supervisors approve $9 M for jail improvements

Published 6:02 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Harrison County supervisors on Monday approved spending more than $9 million to make the county jail more secure.

The money is for temporary buildings and a new locking system.

The board also agreed to allow Sheriff Melvin Brisolara to get quotes on two guard shacks, cameras and lighting around the perimeter of the jail and a new alarm system. Once he gets the quotes, Brisolara can purchase the items and have them installed.

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Brisolara, who took office this month, said these are short-term solutions to help with the jail’s problems until he and other officials can devise a long-term plan.

“I think we have a great start on getting this resolved so we can manage this,” Brisolara said.

The security upgrades at the Harrison County jail come after four inmates escaped early Sunday. Inmates in one cell block spent hours prying a steel door from its hinges and pounding it against a concrete wall without being detected. Four of the inmates squeezed through a gap 14 inches at its widest and silently slipped away, with perhaps hours passing before they were missed.

Police have captured three of the inmates who escaped — Timothy Shane Haynie, 27; Dustin D. Griffin, 24; and William Arevalo, 21.

Authorities on Monday were still searching for Mark Kee Brown, 33, who escaped while jailed on a capital murder charge.