Russell County Sheriff Seeks Jail Expansion

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

PHENIX CITY, GA (WTVM) - Sheriff Tommy Boswell discussed an expansion to the Russell County jail before the County Commission on Wednesday.

The idea --- a 3.2 million dollar project that will increase its capacity by 100.

The reason --- overcrowding.

"For several years now, we've been hovering around 300 inmates and we've been as high as 400 inmates and the rated capacity for our jail is 235," Boswell said.

Sheriff Boswell said he's been gathering information about the project for a couple of months.

Today, he asked the commission to sign a contract with an architect.

"We're talking about fall of 2011, probably, before the building will be occupied," Boswell said.

And Boswell says the county's commitment to increasing jail capacity signals the end to a problem that has been ongoing for years.

"Whenever you have overcrowding, there are a lot of problems associated with that...including officer safety, increase of disease and things with the inmates, but the worst part of it all, it's just not an effective operation," Boswell said.

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