Tuscaloosa County makes plans for new partial jail

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 1:27 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 4:54 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa County is undertaking a major revamp with its jail. The plan is to tear down part of it and rebuild it, a process that’ll take about two years.

The price tag will be around $16 million, and the reason is the sheriff’s department felt the jail needs more focus on mental and medical health services.

The Tuscaloosa County Jail is already overcrowded with an average population of more than 700. The plan is to tear down part of it and house inmates in temporary jails consisting of seven 18-wheeler like trailers in a vacant lot across the street. Sheriff Ron Abernathy says construction on the new partial jail will likely begin early next year.

“And our old county jail as it stands today [is] six one-man cells. We’ll add 24 more one-man cells for psychiatric care with advanced care capabilities, and we’ll also be adding six additional one-man cells on top of that, a couple of four-man cells, a psychiatric dorm, and two separate medical dorms,” said Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy.

And to drive home that point, Abernathy says about 30 percent of the current jail inmates are dealing with mental issues.

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