France state

Former Baltimore police officer, deputy prison warden to serve as receiver of Hinds Co.

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – U.S. Judge Carlton Reeves has called for a receiver to resume operations at the Hinds County Detention Center and have it begin work Jan. 1.

On Monday, Reeves issued an order appointing William France as receiver, saying he “is best suited” for the role.

“France’s diverse experience in corrections and leading the criminal justice system gives it the tools to ensure DRC compliance,” he wrote.

France is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and is currently an adjunct professor at Bowie State University and Coppin University, both in Maryland, Reeves writes.

“This court is satisfied that France has the experience, judgment and skill to discharge the duties and responsibilities of a receiver and to act as an officer of this court,” Reeves said.

His career in law enforcement began in the 1970s, where he served as an officer with the Baltimore Police Department, before retiring as commander of the Eastern District.

After that, he served as assistant director at the Central Booking and Admissions Center in Baltimore, commissioner of the Remand and Services Division, and assistant secretary of state for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections ( DPSCS).

As Deputy Director, France “was responsible for directly managing a $22 million budget, 400 employees, and overseeing the processing and booking of more than 80,000 arrests per year,” Reeves wrote.

In his role as Assistant Secretary, he “oversaw three major divisions of DPSCS with a combined workforce of 11,000 employees and an annual budget of $1.2 million…an experience that will benefit him in this role,” said said Reeves.

In a 13-page supplemental order, Reeves outlined the powers and duties of the receiver. Highlights of these functions are listed below:

  • Be in charge of the daily operations of the Raymond Detention Center
  • Address unconstitutional conditions in the DRC and implement the new injunction issued earlier this year
  • Control, supervise, supervise and direct all administrative, personnel, financial, accounting, contractual and other operational functions of the prison
  • Hire, fire, suspend, supervise, promote, transfer, discipline, and take other personnel actions relating to RDC employees and contract employees performing duties at the prison
  • Establish personnel policies, subject to court review; create, abolish or transfer positions in the administration and operation of RDC
  • Negotiate agreements with the Sheriff, Board of Supervisors and other agencies to meet the needs of the jail

The judge ordered the jail into federal receivership earlier this year, after forensic monitors said the county failed to meet terms set out in a revised jail consent decree also issued earlier this year . The receiver will not have jurisdiction over the work center or the town center remand center.

The county is currently appealing the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

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