New jail opens in Brooks County -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New jail opens in Brooks County

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February 11, 2005

Valdosta - Brooks County inmates have a new, and more secure home. "The security here is no comparison to the other jail," said Sheriff Richard Chafin.

And no comparison is the best way to describe the new four million dollar facility. It's double the size of the old jail. "Right now we house about 45 inmates, this jail will hold about 112," said Chafin.

And escaping from this building will be nearly impossible. Right now inmates visit their families through a fence outside, but here, "The family doesn't have to have any physical contact with them, they can just pick up this phone and talk to the inmate on the other end," said Calvin Troy, Jail Administrator.

Inmates are given a certain amount of time to go out and get fresh air each day. With this vented recreation area, they can experience the outdoors, yet still be on lock down. "And we don't have to have an officer stationed outside to watch the inmates, central control can watch them," said Troy.

The old jail is only equipped for male inmates, and females have to be housed in another county. But the new jail has a separate area for female inmates. "It's going to save Brooks County a lot of money once we get them back inside this jail here," said Troy.

The extra space also allows for inmates to be housed by classification, where as in the old jail, they're all kept together. "We can make sure that we safely hold the 17-year-old who's under the influence and keep them away from the violent criminals," said Chafin.

There's also a large kitchen, laundry and medical area, and a separate area for the county's 9-1-1 center. "We're much better off liability wise for the county and for the individual inmates themselves," said Chafin.

Move in day at the new jail is set for the end of this month. The county will hold an open house at the new jail from 2:00 until 5:00 Sunday afternoon.

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