In what Sheriff Malcolm McMillin called an effort to rehabilitate prisoners, Hinds County sent state inmates, including a violent offender, off site to work.
The apparent good deed, though, was in violation of state law, and was discovered during a recent inspection.
The Sheriff’s Department this year had three female inmates out working: two at local nonprofits and the other at the county jail’s switchboard.
Aside from one inmate being a violent offender, the others were ineligible to perform community service because they had not been approved to do so by the state.
McMillin’s office for years has sent inmates into the community to work in exchange for “good time” credit on their sentences. McMillin has said he was unaware his department was violating the law.
“There’s no answer for it,” McMillin said. “I’m not going to have any problems with it because it’s not happening anymore.”