Fulton County grand jury recommends jail improvements - CBS46 News

Fulton County grand jury recommends jail improvements

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Members of a Fulton County grand jury joined the district attorney Thursday to announce recommendations to improve the county jail.

Jurors also said they studied the county's school system. They said both the jail and schools are often the focus of news coverage.

"When we have these negative headlines, it's not good for anybody," said grand jury foreman Gillen Young. "It's not good for our community or the state or anyone."

Jurors outlined four specific actions the county should take to ease overcrowding and understaffing at the Rice Street lockup.

The key recommendation calls for the county to convene a special grand jury to dig deeper into the jail's remaining problems.

"We're challenging our officials to come together to get these things fixed," said Young. "Use some common sense. That's all we're asking."

The jail has been under fire since a lawsuit was filed in 2004 to investigate conditions at the facility.

"I believe what the grand jurors are doing can get us to the end of this really unfortunate lawsuit and all of the unfortunate circumstances that have followed," said District Attorney Paul Howard.

Howard said the findings of the grand jury will make a difference and affect change.

"If it does ruffle some feathers, I think it's the right thing," said Howard. "Some feathers should be ruffled."

Jurors said their investigation into the school district found few problems, though they recommended more money be spent on education.

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