New locks installed at Fulton County Jail - KMSP-TV

New locks installed at Fulton County Jail

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Dozens of inmates are more secure in their cells at the Fulton County Jail after new locks have been installed. The new locks are part of a $4.7 million project to replace almost 1,400 old locks that aren't doing the job.

On Thursday, jail staffers began moving inmates with discipline problems behind doors with new locks that are sure to frustrate them.

"They could come out on staff and assault staff. They would come out and assault other inmates on a regular basis. They would also break into cells and steal other inmates' property," Adger said.

Chief Jailer Col. Mark Adger says in the first half of this year, inmates popped the old locks at least 46 times.

"With the old locks, they had access to the deadbolt latch, or they could shake the door hard enough to where the lock would disengage," said Adger said.

That's part of the reason why the jail has been under federal oversight since 2006.

The new locks have reinforced housings that prevent tampering and lights linked to the jail's control tower.

"Not only does it indicate whether or not the door is closed, but it also indicates that the door is fully engaged and that the door cannot be opened otherwise," Adger said.

Adger says the new locks will make his staffers 100 percent safer.

"Jails in general are dangerous places, but we're doing everything we can to make the environment as safe as can be," Adger said.

There are 2,530 inmates in 1,370 cells in the Fulton County Jail. Adger says the lock installations are ahead of schedule; he hopes to have new locks on every cell by February of next year.

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