In a special-called Cheatham County Commission workshop held on April 10, Sheriff Mike Breedlove addressed the primary needs of the proposed new jail.
In a Power Point presentation, Breedlove outlined critical areas of focus for the new facility. The classification of medium and maximum security inmates, separation of ill inmates, a secure sally port, and the implementation of programs to reduce recidivism were at the top of his list.
“There are many people who are processed with no ability to make bond that are physically sick or mentally ill,” Breedlove said. “There is a dire need to separate these people from the general population until they are diagnosed and treated.”
In addition to the obvious need for more beds, space for training, visitation, food prep/storage, and outdoor recreation are also areas Breedlove would like to see addressed.
“The current kitchen is outdated, lacks proper refrigeration, and is not able to prepare meals for more inmates than it was designed for,” he said.
On April 15, during the commission’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to pass a resolution that will enable Mayor Kerry McCarver to move forward in hiring architects, engineers, and consultants to begin the design process and evaluate the costs of various options for the “county jail project.”
In making their decision, the commission will take into consideration public safety, parking, utilities, and proximity to residences at both the Sycamore Street lots and a buildout option of the current location.
Based off of the April 10 workshop, the resolution also contains a list of needs that are intended to provide some overall direction in the project.