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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Sheriff David Davis made a presentation to the Macon-Bibb County Council Tuesday night about the progress since the Grandy Jury inspection last month.
Davis says they are working to improve exposed wiring in a control station, ventilation issues, and mold issues.
“That is one of our main priorities to get on that and make sure that gets taken care of very quickly,” Sheriff Davis said.
Sheriff Davis says their maintenance budget covers some of the improvements. He says they’ll talk to the commission if they need more funds. He says if major components like heating and air conditioning continue having problems, they might have to consider building a new jail facility.
“We’re always working on different small little issues that come up and we’re trying to stay ahead of it,” says Sheriff Davis, “but when you look at it over the long term you know there are some issues you just can’t keep putting a patch on.”
Sheriff Davis also addressed concerns of overcrowding. The facility can hold a maximum of 1,012 inmates but 966 could fit comfortably. He says the jail currently has 831 inmates.
Ninety-four percent of those inmates are considered felons. He says they try to move people charged with minor crimes through municipal or state court.
“Felony charges there’s a lot more to it, it goes through the Grand Jury, the trial process and these serious cases take a little bit longer to adjudicate than a simple misdemeanor or city ordinance charge,” Sheriff Davis said.
We spoke to District 9 Commissioner Al Tillman. He says it’s important that inmates are treated humanely. He says it was refreshing to hear the Sheriff’s update.
“The public has been waiting to hear from the Sheriff’s department on issues that’s been raised by the public that you know we as commissioners sometimes are the liaison between the community and departments,” Commissioner Tillman said.
Commissioner Tillman says it’s important to take people’s concerns about the jail seriously. He says he would support the Sheriff in whatever he needs.
“If he wants a new jail let’s do it, if he wants an improvement for funding let’s do that as well,” says Commissioner Tillman. “I think with this new administration and this new commission we’re open to help improve that situation at the jail.”
Discussion for a new jail
Sheriff Davis says the discussion for a new jail facility will come within a year of the current SPLOST running out.