Joel Houston

PO Box 307
Raleigh, MS 39153

Phone: 601-782-4531
Fax: 601-782-4003




Qualifications of Sheriff

The Sheriff is elected at large and serves a four-year term or until his successor shall be qualified. A sheriff is eligible to immediately succeed himself in office.

Before taking office the Sheriff must meet one of the following qualifications:

  • Previously served as sheriff.
  • Had at least five years experience as a full-time enforcement officer.
  • Previously completed an applicable training course at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Academy or the Jackson Police Academy within the previous five years
  • Attend and complete an appropriate curriculum at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Academy
Sheriff’s Office Staff:
L to R: Marty Patterson, Undersheriff; Marsha Ivy; Charlie Crumpton, Sheriff

Sheriff’s Duties:

  1. Law Enforcement Duties
    These duties are to keep the peace within the county, by causing all offenders in his view to enter into bonds, with sureties, for keeping the peace and for appearing at the next circuit court, and by committing such offenders in case of refusal. The sheriff is also charged with the duty to quell riots, routs, affrays, and unlawful assemblages, and to prevent lynchings and mob violence.
  2. Administrative Duties
    1. Serve as the county’s jailor — The sheriff is required to keep separate rooms for the sexes, not permitting communication between male and female prisoners, unless they are married; provide fire and lights when necessary and proper; sufficient and clean bedding; and daily wholesome and adequate food and drink.
    2. Have charge of the courthouse and jail of his county, of the premises belonging thereto, and of the prisoners in said jail. This includes the protection of the court and prisoners from mob violence, injuries, or attacks by mobs, and from trespassers and intruders.
    3. Submit a budget of his office’s estimated expenses for the next fiscal year including payment of premiums on the bonds and insurance necessary to protect the interest of the county. (i.e. bonds for liability insurance, insurance against false arrest charges, insurance against false imprisonment charges, theft, fire, and other hazards insurance, and hospitalization insurance).
    4. Keep books of every kind, maps, charts, and other things that may be donated to the county.
    5. Keep the Mississippi Department Reports, census reports, statutes of the state, the Mississippi Reports, digests, and legislative journals assigned to his county in the courtroom of the courthouse.
    6. Keep a jail docket noting the details of each warrant or mittimus of any person placed in the county jail.