Notes from October 19 Meeting with Sheriff Hall on CJC Renovation

On Monday, October 19, several council members and Sheriff Daron Hall had a meeting regarding the downtown renovation of the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) and the use of the Southeast Nashville facilities on Harding Road. Council members shared the concerns that we heard from many residents: being informed about the process, wanting to be a part of any solution about the future of the southeast facility, seeking improvements around the facility and on Harding Road, releasing prisoners at Harding Road, and about the downtown facility getting into such a state of disrepair. Several council members were in attendance for at least a portion of the meeting and participated in the discussion, along with Vice Mayor Briley. Thank you in particular to Councilman Fabian Bedne for his doggedness in setting up the meeting with the Sheriff’s Office. I wanted to share some of the most pertinent information he shared with us.

Timeline – Sheriff Hall stated right now the main drive is to hire a general contractor. He said that is going through the Metro procurement process, and that it is already behind schedule. Hopefully it will go out for bid in coming weeks. Nearly all plans are sort of bottlenecked and on hold waiting for the general contractor to be named (hopefully by late fall) with future milestones for the project in flux. Concrete plans won’t be available until sometime after the New Year. One goal of Sheriff Hall is to begin the temporary relocation of prisoners to other facilities by summer to save on temporary repairs to the air conditioning that would be needed in the current CJC. Overall, the entire jail renovation will be a two and half to three year process.

Use of Facilities – Approximately 600 prisoners will be temporarily relocated from the CJC during renovation/construction. Nearly all of them will be relocated to a facility on the Southeast property. Before any transfers are done, several operational issues will need to be figured out and overcome including the different levels of security of different prisoners, figuring out what will be male or female facilities, and reconfiguring facilities to handle their new uses. Money will only be spent at the Harding Road facilities “behind the fence” of current facilities to prepare them for the transferred prisoners and for uses other than what they are currently configured for. Public Works is also adding a recycling drop-off facility on the property, so some construction on the property will be in regards to that facility.

Relocating Prisoners – Sheriff Hall said he has and is examining other options for where to relocate prisoners besides the Harding Road property, including using state or CCA facilities. Essentially, he said fiscally and operationally relocating to the Harding Road property makes the most sense during construction. He said currently there are approximately 1,700 prisoners at the Harding complex with approximately 2,300 being there during the CJC renovation. In 2008, the average population at the Harding complex was 2,500. He reminded us that today prisoners are released from the Harding Road property as they finish serving their time. He said booking, releasing, and many of the highest risk inmates will remain downtown at the Hill Detention Center during construction and that moving booking/releasing to Harding Road “would never be part of any plans.”

Future Meeting – Sheriff Hall committed to having another meeting in a month or so with Southeast council members. He also said his office is putting together a communications plan to better share information about the CJC renovation and the Southeast Facility. Right now without a general contractor on board who will help put together concrete plans, he said there aren’t many definitive details to share.

I took the best notes I could during the meeting. This post is by no means a transcript nor a complete list of everything that was discussed at the meeting. Please excuse any errors, omissions, typos, etc.

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1 Comment on "Notes from October 19 Meeting with Sheriff Hall on CJC Renovation"

  • Wanda Anderson says

    Thanks Jeremy for all the information you send us.

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