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Lauderdale County officials disagree over potential new jail

Commissioners believe the current $45 million estimate for a new jail is too much to spend.
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 9:04 AM CDT
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LAUDERDALE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - A potential new jail has been an ongoing discussion in Lauderdale County. Sheriff Rick Singleton says the county’s current jail is overcrowded and has maintenance issues.

According to our news partners at the Times Daily, Lauderdale County commissioners agree a new jail is needed but they believe the current $45 million estimate is too much. Commissioner Roger Garner says he thinks citizens would be upset if all that money was spent on a new jail, with little return on investment to the average taxpayer.

Sheriff Singleton has been pushing for this for several years. In the past few weeks, the jail has seen more than 400 inmates and it’s only designed for around 200. Many inmates are sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

Sheriff Singleton says the building is cracking and has a design that makes it difficult to keep a proper eye on inmates. The commission and Sheriff also disagree on the location for a potential new jail. The Sheriff wants it next to the courthouse, the commission says there are other options.

Overall, everyone involved agrees building a new jail is inevitable and needed, but there are a lot of disagreements to work out first.

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