Annex to Greene County jail will open next month

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 20, 2003

The new Greene County Jail Annex will be open in early December. Sheriff Johnny L. Isaac is hoping to have it open on December 1, however, installation of furniture and the communication system may slow the move.

The official groundbreaking was on Nov. 4, 2002. Construction began in January of this year.

The current jail was built in 1948 to house 52 inmates. The department cannot ulitize all the space due to the age and rundown condition of the facility, he said.

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The new jail will house 56 inmates. Isaac had asked for a capacity of 78, but the Greene County Commission did not have the money to build a bigger facility, the sheriff said.

There will be a central control room which will allow remote control of opening cell doors. "Right now we are having to manually assist the prisoners in lock down and up and down the stairs," Isaac said.

There will be an area for line-ups for identification by witnesses.

There will be a modern visitation area with a partition barrier between the inmate and visitor, and they will talk by phone. "There is no hands on, no touching," he said. "…That’s a big plus for us because it will help us control contraband.

The new facility will include complete video survialance. "We can view everything from one location."

There is also a recreational area.

The current jail houses an average of 35 inmates, Isaac said. Many people arrested in Greene County make bond right away because officials can’t house them in the old jail, he said.

Staff will increase by seven to a total of 15 employees in the new jail.

The sheriff’s office will remain in the courthouse.