Prisoners finally move into Fayette County Jail

FAYETTE COUNTY, TN (WMC-TV) - For the past eight months, Fayette County has been flushing its money down the drain, spending thousands of dollars to keep prisoners in its old jail because the new jail still wasn't ready.
Thursday, Fayette County Sheriff Bobby Riles said workers have finally fixed the problems with the pipes.

"They put in a pump to help us with water pressure. It's working great.  Everything, so far, is doing what its supposed to do," Riles said.

At one point this summer, officials even found concrete in the water pipes at the new $16 million facility.

After months of repair, inspectors said the jail is finally ready to occupy.

"This is a great day for citizens and taxpayers of Fayette County. They have a wonderful operation and facility. It's state of the art and something they can be proud of," state jail inspector Bob Bass said.

Sheriff Riles said he has moved in nearly 100 inmates, but the new jail can actually house 180.

Riles said he expects the new facility will be eighty percent occupied within a month.

"We still have some from back December of last year that have time to serve that will be served now that we're in this new building," Riles said.  "They'll have a place for judges to lock inmates up."

As inmates move in, officials are glad the building is finally being put to good use.

"Its an early Christmas present," Sheriff Riles said.

"It is a big step forward. A big step forward," Bob Bass said.

State jail officials said they are planning a mock inspection next week.  And sometime between now and the end of the year, they will make another visit when they hope to sign off on the final inspection.

Click here to e-mail Justin Hanson.