State orders plan of action for Roane County Jail

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No decertification but will go before board in Sept.

By Damon Lawrence

The overcrowding situation at the Roane County Jail is not that dire, according to Tennessee Corrections Institute records.
The jail was built for 172 inmates, but has a TCI certified capacity of 174 because the county was able to add two beds in protective custody.
The population was 194 when TCI inspector Denise Messer inspected the jail on July 2. Eighteen of the people in custody that day were Tennessee Department of Correction inmates.
Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said last week that the inspector recommended the jail be decertified.
However, according to Messer’s inspection report, the recommendation was certify with a plan of action.
“Due to overcrowding, certification is recommended with a plan of action,” Messer wrote. “The facility will go before the TCI Board of Control on Sept. 4, 2013.”
In a letter addressed to Stockton, TCI Executive Director Beth Ashe said the jail will be in good standing with the state if the plan of action is approved.
“After approval from the Board of Control, you will receive a certificate of certification,” Ashe said in the letter. 
Messer’s report said the average daily population at the jail the last three months was 186.
The women’s pod at the jail is supposed to hold 32 inmates. It had 42 on the day of Messer’s inspection.
“One toilet and one wash basin for every eight female inmates ratio is not being met due to overcrowding,” the report said.
“At least one operable shower for every 16 inmates, which shall be accessible to prisoners without their having to leave their cell area, ratio is not being met.”