Breaking News
More () »

Monroe County Sheriff Brad Freeman says majority of jails deal with overcrowding as seen in Bibb jail photos

Freeman says the inmate population in Monroe County, as well as some other Georgia counties, keeps rising because the pandemic has delayed trials

FORSYTH, Ga. — Monroe County Sheriff Brad Freeman is responding to photos circulating on social media from inside the Bibb County jail.

Earlier this week, 13WMAZ received photos from viewers showing inmates sleeping on the floor and on cots, not social distancing, and most appear not be wearing masks. 

Freeman says majority of jails across the state are dealing with the overcrowding issues because of the pandemic. However, he says all inmates in the Monroe County jail are assigned a bed. In Bibb County Jail, inmates are having to use temporary bedding, known as "boats," in the quarantining units.

"It's unfortunately something that every Sheriff in Georgia is having to deal with including the Bibb County Sheriff. He just has a bigger population of inmates down there to deal with. If you go to Fulton, Muscogee County, I bet you'll see the same situation," Freeman said. "Obviously, he's trying to keep them quarantined so where when he does put them in population, they don't infect the entire population, just the area they're in."

He says the jail population in Monroe County as well as other Georgia counties keep rising since trials were delayed because of COVID-19. 

Freeman says they normally have between 90 and 100 inmates in the jail. As of this week, he says they have around 148. 

In Monroe County jail, Freeman says they're not able to quarantine newly-booked inmates like Bibb County because of space limitations and design in the jail.

However, he says inmates have their temperature taken and are screened twice before they're able to join the general inmate population. Bibb County says they also screen their inmates and take their temperature when they are first booked. 

So far, the Monroe County jail has had only 5 cases of COVID-19 among inmates in the jail since the pandemic began, according to Anna Lewis, public information officer at the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Their jail population is around an eighth of the size of the Bibb County jail which has had only 10 cases, according to Sheriff David Davis.  

Before You Leave, Check This Out