County planning open house for new jail
The day that county officials have been looking to for years has finally arrived.
Work on the new county jail is complete and officials are planning a day for everyone to come see it.
The county commission will host an open house at the Franklin County Mike Green Detention Center on February 17.
County Administrator Gail Estis said the open house would give Franklin County residents a chance to tour the new jail and administration building.
"Construction at the jail is now complete, and this is the time the public can come and see the facility," Estis said.
The open house will be held from 2 to 5 p.m.
Estis said no specific moving date has been announced for the sheriff's office staff, the corrections staff or inmates.
"The move date will depend on training and the actual moving," Estis said. "We expect them to be moved by the beginning of March."
The new jail has the fiber optic connections that will allow officers to get care for inmates without moving them from the facility.
The network is already connected to local doctors' offices that will be able to examine inmates through the wireless system.
The network will also be used for bond hearings and other court proceedings so officers will not have to transport inmates back and forth to the courthouse.
"The judges will decide who will be arraigned using the fiber optic systems," Estis said.
The facility will also have a link to Riverbend for psychiatric care for the inmates, if needed.
The jail is located at the intersection of Herring Cross Road and Walnut Gate Road between U.S. 43 and Alabama 243. Work on the project began almost three years ago and cost about $9 million to build. It replaces the 70-year old jail downtown that has been plagued by problems and overcrowding.