Jackson County

Jackson County to tear down old jail

The front door is locked and the yard is grown up at the old Jackson County jail. Supervisors decided Monday to start the process of tearing it down — a jail that was overcrowded and tacked onto, but hung on until they could build a new one.
The front door is locked and the yard is grown up at the old Jackson County jail. Supervisors decided Monday to start the process of tearing it down — a jail that was overcrowded and tacked onto, but hung on until they could build a new one. klnelson@sunherald.com

Jackson County supervisors decided Monday the old county jail needs to come down.

Built in 1979 to house a few dozen inmates, it served the county through years of severe overcrowding, where inmates routinely slept on the floor and portable additions were used.

County Administrator Brian Fulton said the county will need to hire an engineer for the project, and because the demolition is expected to cost more than $50,000, it will need to go out for bids. There may be asbestos in the structure.

Supervisor Troy Ross and Sheriff Mike Ezell said they hope there’s enough recyclable material in the building to help bring down the demolition cost.

Ezell also said a newer portion of the jail, added about 10 years ago, will be kept and used for processing evidence. Because that portion is large, investigators would be able to drive a vehicle into it and process a car for evidence, Ezell said, a luxury they haven’t had recently.

The front door of the old jail is locked and the yard is grown up. It sits just northeast of the new jail.

Ezell said he hopes the county will be able to complete the demolition next year.

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