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County Plans To Expand Jail

McDowell County Sheriff Dudley Greene says overcrowding at the jail has grown worse in recent years and the county is in "desperate need" of a larger facility.

The building has 129 beds, and on average Greene says the jail houses at least a dozen prisoners more than that. Greene says, adding to that, the jail has only a handful of spots for female inmates and the number of women being arrested has increased in recent years.

Greene says the overcrowding is a safety concern for inmates as well as his officers because too many inmates in a confined space often leads to assaults and fights.

Current architect renderings add 34 beds to the east side of the building, including two additional isolation cells. County Manager Chuck Abernathy says commissioners will vote on funding for the project in November. If funding is approved, the expansion would break ground in the spring.


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