Since 2013, the State Chief Jail Inspector's reports have stated that the current jail, “Is an older facility that does not meet the needs of the staff or public." In April 2014, Delbert Longley, Chief Jail Inspector, walked through the jail with the Sheriff, Board of Supervisors and other interested parties. A lengthy list of notes included issues regarding classification requirements (e.g. persons with felony charges being kept away from those with misdemeanors, convicted persons kept from those who have been charged but not yet gone to trial, men segregated from women, etc.), visitation allows the public to come in to a secured area of the jail, jail office/booking area is in a secure perimeter of the jail, jail staff being exposed to volatile or irate inmates, the courtroom subject to being at risk in a volatile situation, potential for tampering with storage areas, cleaning supplies being potentially accessible, steel jail cells with bars and antiquated locks are just some of the many issues on the list causing deficiencies and sub-par standards with our facility.
We are currently licensed for 14 beds with a holding cell for short term occupancy. Oftentimes, we are transporting inmates to other facilities, not necessarily because we don't have a bed, but rather in order to meet the classification requirements mentioned above with only the four cells available. Recent peaks have reached 27 beds needed to accommodate our jail needs.
The condition of the Floyd County jail has been considered a "grandfathered" status for years. In 2014, Longley informed us that we would be losing our grandfathering in the next 10-15 years and it was time to get a plan together on how we would move forward. Renovate the existing facility? Hold & transport? Build a new facility? Those were our options. After four years of studies with multiple considerations including other needs of the courthouse, the cost to build new appears to be the most fiscally responsible option.