Fulton County lawmakers have given their approval to improve security at the troubled county jail. They authorized the sheriff to spend $5 million to replace every lock inside the facility.
There have been recent breaches at the jail, and the question surrounding the debate had been whether the locks were bad or not enough manpower at the jail to supervise the inmates. Fulton County Sheriff Mark Adger said the attacks have happened 40 times over the past 12 months.
"And we have had five that were violent in nature where either a staff member was attacked or another inmate was attacked," said Adger.
Some critics pointed out that, at a cost of $5 million, the project was too expensive. They say if the sheriff would do a better job of supervising the inmates, there would be no need to spend public money.
"You have a lot of processes in place that helps you control inmate activity. That was my big issue, but I have not seen anything," said Fulton County Commissioner Bill Edwards.
The Fulton board chair says the nay sayers are playing politics by delaying an essential security measure.
"If those locks are put on those cells, and can anybody be able to tamper with that lock in a manner that would free them from their cell?" asked Edwards.
Adger replied that the inmates would not be able to get out of their cells. Adger said they have tested the locks, and so far they have had no breaches.
The commissioners said they are holding Adger to that promise.
The process of replacing the locks is expected to begin in March 2013. Officials hope it is complete by the end of the summer.