Committee discusses progress, updates on new jail

JACKSON, Tenn.–Officials meet to discuss the status of the new Madison County jail.

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“How are we going to fund all of this? We don’t even have a good guesstimate,” Gary Deaton, Madison County Commission chairman, said.

That was one of the concerns during Wednesday’s corrections partnership committee meeting, including the cost of furniture and equipment for running the new Madison County jail.

Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris says the committee is planning to work out a budget before buying items for the new jail.

“We’ve got to start building a budget and an estimate on the costs of furniture, fixtures and equipment,” Mayor Harris said.

Another concern committee members discussed was staffing for the new jail and the current facility’s staff.

“It will take quite a while to get all of the employees trained. It’s just kind of starting to build up to getting our employees ready for that expansion once it’s complete,” Mayor Harris said. “We’re down about 12 employees which requires quite a bit of overtime to fill those spots.”

The new facility will be direct supervision, meaning the staff will watch inmates in-person, while the current jail has indirect supervision, where staff watches the inmates from a screen.

Employees will receive training from staff in Shelby County starting April 29.

Officials say the only construction delay so far is weather-related, and the projected completion of the jail is the middle of 2021.

The committee will meet at a later date to discuss more.

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