TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Construction work is almost finished on the temporary Tuscaloosa County Jail, as workers installed several temporary portable units that will soon house 200 inmates.
Sheriff Ron Abernathy says the project will help eliminate some overcrowding issues but the main goal is to add better medical care for inmates.
“It’s going to ease some overcrowding, but it’s going to increase our number of one-man cells from six to 40,” Abernathy said. “That’s going to be a huge asset for us for our employees and inmates, and it will greatly increase our capabilities to offer medical care.”
There are 690 inmates housed in the Tuscaloosa County Jail now but Abernathy says that number should be capped at 540. He says his mission is to demolish an older section of the jail to build a medical dormitory and misdemeanor dorm.
When that phase of construction gets underway, 200 inmates will move into the temporary facility across the street.
“It’s going to give us even better capabilities and there will be a lot of telemedicine in this facility and a lot of one-man cells and we can do off-site medical treatment with telemedicine,” Abernathy said. “And the less we have to move inmates outside the facility, the more secure it is.”
It will cost $4 million for the construction project. Abernathy wants to move the inmates into the temporary facility by Nov. 1.