Poor jail conditions could lead to new facility to house prisone - CBS46 News

Poor jail conditions could lead to new facility to house prisoners

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Officials say a local jail is deteriorating and a ballot initiative has been introduced asking for money to help pay for a new facility.

CBS46 got a look inside a deteriorating detention center in Paulding County that's nearly 30 years old. The building has chips, cracks and damage caused form leaks that have taken their toll on walls and floors. Spacing is also a concern.

"We've got some extensive water damage it's been patched and patched and patched but it is a constant problem," said Ashley Henson with the Paulding County Sheriff's Office. "Some of the tiles have been replaced because of the cracking and bucking floor."

At times, the facility has been used to house as many as 320 inmates in a building meant for just 200. In some cases, that has resulted in prisoners being set free early.

"There are situations where judges can come in and shorten an individual's sentence based on the overpopulation of the jail," said Henson. "Do the voters want to approve $77 million dollars for a bond that would finance the construction of a new sheriff's office and jail?"

A ballot initiative is asking for money to fund a new 660 bed facility. Along with the jail, a new sheriff's office would also be built. Right now, Henson's office is inside a temporary trailer.

"For me, to even go to make a copy of something, I've got to walk across the street," says Henson. "I have to walk to a different building to go to a bathroom. People are going to look at it in one of two ways. It's a tax increase and they're not for it or this is a step that the county's taking to ensure the safety of our citizens."

If it passes, it will mean a tax increase for residents.

If it doesn't, the federal government could still require the county to pay and build a new jail. We'll keep you posted.

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