Colbert County designing new justice center north of Muscle Shoals
COLBERT Co., Ala. (WAFF) - Colbert County is set to build a new justice center and the new location will be just north of Muscle Shoals. The county will convert empty buildings once used by TVA for the new justice center.
Colbert County Administrator Roger Creekmoore said the current Colbert County Jail is designed to hold 60 inmates. However, it typically houses 90-100. The new jail will be designed to hold around 300 inmates.
The jail in Tuscumbia was built in 1961 and has many problems. With the recent inmate escapes from Tuscumbia City Jail in mind, Sheriff Frank Williamson said the new jail will be more secure.
“Staffing sometimes is a problem and we will have more staff over there we will be able to be more secure I believe then we are right now,” Williamson said. “We are pretty secure now but I think it will be even more secure over there.”
Williamson said this jail will be different than the current one.
”We will have more beds and I’m not sure how many that’s going to be yet we’re still in the designing stage,” said Williamson. “We will have more beds, we will have more room we will have places that we can teach the inmates normal things that we can’t do now.”
The current Colbert County Jail doesn’t have enough space to have classrooms. Williamson said adding some classrooms to the jail will be beneficial.
“I would like to have a classroom and teach them life skills,” Williamson said. “I would like to teach, get with the unions and I have talked to some of the unions and they are on board. They want to teach them a trade and I think that would stop some of the recidivism that we are seeing in our jail now.”
Academic studies show inmates who receive a GED or higher education may be less likely to commit more crimes and more able to get hired into a full-time job after leaving jail.
Williamson also believes educated inmates will help the community as a whole.
“It will keep them from coming back to jail and that is going to help us by cutting down the number of people we have in jail,” Williamson said. “It is going to help them and the community because they will be productive citizens.”
The county doesn’t anticipate a tax increase to fund this project workers will break ground on the new Colbert County Justice Center in about six months. The center is scheduled to open by 2024. .
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