Lauderdale Co. sheriff looking to combat crowding issue at jail

Updated: May. 24, 2016 at 6:34 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The Lauderdale County Sheriff is asking the county commission for help with crowding issues at the jail. It's an issue the he said will only get worse if nothing is done.

The 20-year-old facility, originally built to house 150 inmates, has undergone several renovations through the years to be able to now accommodate
203 inmates.

The problem is the jail averaged 228 inmates last year.

"We're trying to make space to meet the need that we have," said Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton.

Singleton said a recent check by the fire marshal is forcing the county's hand to take action on the situation.

"He pretty much said we need to get a handle on it, he didn't write us up on it but sort of waived red flags as something we need to be aware of. Which we obviously were," explained Singleton.

The sheriff has suggested the jail take over 50 of the 120 beds at the work release center that sits right next door to help combat the issue.

"We'll put our non-violent misdemeanor type offenders, people who haven't paid their fines or written bad checks and things like that in minimum security lock-up," said Singleton.

He said the county would have to make a few renovations to the facility and make the staffing changes but said that's the best plan to fix the ever growing problem.

Looking forward, Singleton said a new jail will be necessary in the next 10 to 15 years.

The county commission plans to address the crowding issues at the jail over the next few months.

Copyright 2016 WAFF. All rights reserved.