New jail needed in Lowndes -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New jail needed in Lowndes

January 11, 2005

Lowndes County - Step inside the Lowndes County Jail and its not hard to see why the sheriff's office is pleading for a new one. "Lowndes County is metropolitan now, we should have a metropolitan jail to go along with it," said Captain J.D. Yeager.

Parts of the jail are 50 years old, and the building is showing its age. Inside the bathrooms, there's rusted, broken pipes and sinks and showers that run constantly. "The entire plumbing system in the entire jail is gone," said Yeager.

But the biggest problem here is a lack of space. The booking section was built for a 120 bed facility. "We've got 630 beds now," said Yeager.

But because of the poor conditions of the jail, less than 600 of those beds are usable. The medical center, which has room for about eight inmates, is also overcrowded. "There are many many times when we have 12 or 15 in a five bedroom facility and we have to double up in the single rooms," said Yeager.

The new jail addition will house a booking section, medical facility, laundry area and kitchen big enough for 1,000 inmates. "All those areas that are our highest liability," said Yeager. "The new plan would bring us up the the standards set by the Department of Justice."

The expansion plan also calls for parts of the current jail to be renovated. If commissioners approve the project, construction will likely start in the spring.

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