Russell County jail overcrowding becomes an issue

By Chauncy Glover - bio | e-mail 

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - An increase in infectious diseases, more jail violence and more danger to workers are just a few of the things Russell County Sheriff Tommy Boswell says are a result of jail overcrowding

The Russell County jail houses 321 inmates. We asked Boswell if the current facility complied with federal regulations.

"We are beyond our regular capacity. The problem we have is we are at capacity for our facility and we need some more floor space. We're at the point now where we need to seriously expand the jail," says Boswell.

In two weeks, Boswell says the city must present a "shovel ready" project proposal for a federal stimulus grant that provides three million dollars to add on a new facility.

"We want to take advantage of the money coming from Washington in order to help the economy. A lot of these grants are designed just for that-- to help state and local government, and we want to be able to do that," he adds.

The new proposed floor plan includes 65 additional beds for men and 35 for women.

So what If Russell County is not awarded the grant?

"We will have to pay for it out of general funds," says Boswell.