After ten years of planning, Telfair County has just broken ground on a new jail.
Telfair County's jail has been located in the same building since 1890, and in 1990, they made an addition to the jail. That's where they're currently keeping inmates until the new jail is ready.
Nicole Butler went to take a tour of the current jail and talked with the sheriff about the new upgrades that will be coming their way.
Over a century ago, this is the jail where inmates were kept.
Even today, there's no air conditioning and plenty of hazards for inmates in this part of the jail, so Telfair added on to the current building in 1990.
This is where the county currently hold inmates.
Sheriff Chris Steverson says a new jail has been long overdue.
"We're really behind times on building the jail. We're just playing catch-up," he says.
Steverson says he looks forward to the new jail's updated security, including a new system for inmate visits.
"We anticipate having video visitation which will end any contact inmates will have with visitors. A secure jail makes more a more secure community," he says.
He says the current jail can hold 33 inmates, but they are at capacity.
Telfair County Commissioner Neal Stanley says the new jail will hold nearly twice as many inmates.
"Hopefully, down the road, there's a good possibility that we might even be able to outsource, you know, some space for other counties, you know, maybe 10,15, 20 inmates that could be a potential money maker for our county," Stanley says.
Stanley says they just broke ground on the jail Friday morning and hope it will open within ten months.
Stanley says says the new jail will cost about $5.5 million, but says the facility should be paid off within five to seven years.
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