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Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said he plans to send each commissioner a letter about overcrowding issues at the jail.
The certified capacity is 174. At 4:34 p.m. on Feb. 25, Chief Deputy Tim Phillips said the inmate capacity was 233.
He said it was 240 when he got to work that morning.
“Every pod we’ve got has somebody sleeping on the floor,” Phillips said.
There was 63 inmates in the women’s pod, which Phillips said is certified to hold 32.
Things have gotten so bad inside the women’s pod, Phillips said they have a female officer stationed inside to try and ensure things remain orderly.
“It’s a constant knockdown, drag-out if somebody’s not in there with them,” Stockton said.
The overcrowding problems come less than four years after the $10 million jail opened.
“We saw this coming years ago,” County Commissioner Chris Johnson said during a sheriff’s liaison committee meeting last month.
“This is not necessarily a surprise to us. We knew we were going to have number issues from day one.”
Stockton said he expects the numbers to explode in the years ahead.
“We’re looking at within the next probably five years of having close to 500 inmates,” he said.
The county owns several pieces of property around the jail. There has been talk about building some type of minimum-security facility nearby and possibly acquiring the Dollar General next door in the future.
“That would alleviate some of it,” Stockton said.
The old jail doesn’t appear to be an option.
The county renovated it last year for records storage and to house the juvenile office.