New Fayette County jail gives residents reason to celebrate - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

New Fayette County jail gives residents reason to celebrate

Overcrowding and inhumane conditions forced a Fayette County Judge to release dozens of inmates from the county jail last year. But now, that is all changing.

After years of overcrowding and dilapidated conditions at the Fayette County jail, residents now have a reason to celebrate with a brand new criminal justice facility.

"This is a big improvement. It's almost like moving from the ghetto into a Holiday Inn or something better," Fayette County Sheriff Bobby Riles said.

On Sunday, residents had the chance to tour the center, which is named for former sheriff Bill Kelley.   

"This facility as it is something Fayette County can be proud of not only today but for the next thirty to forty years and as Fayette County grows. This is something that will definitely show off what we're able to do out here," Fayette County Mayor Rhea Taylor said.

The complex not only houses inmates but is also home to county courts, court clerks, the sheriff's office, and a new 911 dispatch center. 

Officials in Fayette County said the new $16 million state of the art facility even has room to expand.

"This facility will house 179 inmates. Our old facility could only house 108, so that's a big improvement plus it's a state of the art facility. Electric locks so we don't have to have keys, a real nice kitchen, nice infirmary. It's just a state of the art facility. We're real glad to have it," Riles said.

There are no finalized plans for the old jail. Officials said it could be used for additional office space or may even be torn down for land cost and something else put in its place.

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