Families of Muscogee County Jail inmates call conditions unbearable

Families of Muscogee County Jail inmates call conditions unbearable

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Sheriff Donna Tompkins says the Muscogee County Jail is in temporary stages of working to permanently replace a generator that has caused a power outage, which is causing rising temperatures and rising concerns for loved ones of those in the jail.

“I feel for anyone that has to go through that,” says Connie Woodruff, whose daughter is currently in the Muscogee County Jail.

Woodruff says she has been placing calls to the Muscogee County Jail and Sheriff’s Office all week for her daughter. She says it is a challenge not knowing if her daughter is safe after learning there were cooling problems in Recorder’s Court and the Jail.

“Yes, my daughter did wrong, but they have rights,” says Woodruff.

Sheriff Tompkins says the maximum capacity for the jail is 1,000 inmates, but it can be a process working to keep the building cool for the overcrowded jail.

“When it’s 95, 96 degrees, everybody’s air conditioners is struggling to keep it cool. When you have 1,200 people in jail, it’s going to be hard to keep it as cool as we would all like it to be,” Sheriff Tompkins explains.

She says only two dorms are affected, which equals to around 200 inmates.

“What’s happening is we’re getting a new generator for the jail which is very important. The old generator was very outdated. Georgia Power had to come in and they had to unhook and test a temporary generator,” says Tompkins.

She says the old generator is more than 20 years out of date. The new generators are reportedly working at only 50 percent and recirculating the air in the jail. She says the conditions have been assessed and are fine as they work toward the installation of a new permanent generator.

“It’s not dangerous or anything like that. As far as I’m aware of there is not an air conditioning problem,” says Tompkins.

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