State Senate Starts Inquiry of Fulton County Jail

( – A Senate committee in the state of Georgia said on October 5 it will officially start its probe of jail conditions in the most populous county of the state. This decision takes place after the US Department of Justice unveiled in July its investigation of the Fulton County jail conditions.

Republican state Senators Randy Robertson of Cataula and John Albers of Roswell made the announcement in a press conference, along with GOP Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones. Albers explained that, with this move, state authorities will be able to solve the numerous problems that Fulton County and other Georgie counties currently have.

During an October 4 interview with the Associated Press, Albers said he would appoint a subcommittee with hearings to start in November. The Republican state Senator, who currently chairs the Senate Public Safety Committee, also told the news agency that the main goal is to see results by the end of the year.

The main jail of Fulton County, which was inaugurated in a neighborhood located west of Atlanta’s downtown in 1989, has been plagued by unsanitary conditions, extreme violence, and overcrowding. According to different reports, six individuals have died in jail’s custody since the end of July.

Speaking with the Associated Press, Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat explained that the jail’s walls are in poor condition. The news agency pointed out that his deputies transported wheelbarrows filled with shanks they retrieved from the jail’s walls to a commission meeting, to evidence how violence and decayed conditions are connected. This happened in 2022.

According to different reports, Labat has campaigned to build another jail, which could cost nearly $2 billion. The Commission Chairman Rob Pitts has said on numerous occasions he would prefer some other solutions, not only because of the expensive cost but also because this might need a tax increase in the country’s residents.

On an average day, the main jail details nearly 2,600 inmates, even when this one has only 2,254 beds in individual cells. Some media outlets revealed that the remaining prisoners rest on plastic bunks in communal spaces.

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