LOWNDES COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Lowndes County has expanded its jail. The much needed facility is now cleaner and more secure.
Community leaders and Lowndes county workers got a tour Monday.
The Lowndes County Jail just got safer.
"The jail that we've had has deteriorated a little bit and certainly needed repair and of course, we're just certainly glad to have this new addition," said Prine.
Instead of linear hallways, the new facility has two pods with 512 beds in steel cells.
"This is the pod type of construction where one man can see every cell so a lot less labor," said Lowndes County Chairman Ashley Paulk.
Here's a view from the top where officers will monitor the inmates. Lt. William Woolridge is the chief of security at the jail.
"It's more updated," said Lt. Woolridge. "It's air-conditioned. The environment is lot better for the inmates as well as well as the officers."
"We can video anything in the building," said Prine.
Inmates will use phones and video to visit with family and friends without leaving their dorms. That's one of the ways they'll cut down on movement throughout the jail.
"Less movement and less capability of them getting away," said Lt. Woolridge. "With the new facility we have on deck we'll be able to secure them 90 percent of the time and 10 percent of the time movement."
"You don't need a Ritz Carlton but you need a decent place for them," said Paulk. "A safe place a safe environment for your employees, a jailer is the toughest job in law enforcement."
There's also new medical facility inside the nearly 77,000 square foot building.
Paulk says the $18 million facility was completed under budget and paid for by SPLOST V and VI.
Ultimately, the addition adds a lot more space something that prisons and jails are continually dealing with. The inmates will be moved into the new jail next month. Part of the old jail will be renovated.