Bibb County Sheriff shares his reaction to Grand Jury jail inspection
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— District Attorney Anita Howard released a Grand Jury inspection of the Bibb County Jail on Wednesday.
The Grand Jury inspected the jail on February 5. The report dated for February 10 lists their findings and recommendations. Sheriff David Davis says the report isn’t much of a surprise.
“My first reaction is just what we thought, it’s an old facility that’s in need of some maintenance,” said Sheriff Davis.
The report asks why the Sheriff’s Office is understaffed. It recommends solutions to keep staff by increasing pay and offering incentives. Sheriff Davis says the former Macon-Bibb administration approved pay increases that are in effect. They’re also offering a sign on bonus of up to $2500.
“The people coming in now a certified deputy makes around $40,800,” said Sheriff Davis. “A non-certified deputy makes a little over $36,000 which makes us competitive to our region.”
Also on the report are nine observations of the jail facilities. Sheriff Davis says they’re working on fixing the repairs listed in the report.
“I’ve directed the jail leaders to get up a written plan of action to address these particular concerns of the Grand Jury,” said Sheriff Davis. “And so we’ll get right on it but we’re all constantly doing maintenance on the jail itself.”
Observations of the physical jail facilities:
- Exposed wires were seen
- Floors need to be repaired and replaced
- Ceiling tiles need to be replaced — potentially some roof repairs
- Broken windows were observed. The Grand Jury asks what materials can be used instead of glass?
- The Sheriff’s Office should check into ventilation
- A lot of rust was seen. The Grand Jury recommends changing vent covers.
- Elevators need to be repaired and repainted
- Ceiling tiles and light covers in the kitchen need to be replaced
- A black mold like substance was seen on ceiling tiles and floor drains
According to Sheriff Davis, the findings in the 2017 Grand Jury report recommended tearing the jail down and building a new one. Even though the most recent report didn’t recommend it, he says eventually they will have to look at the possibility of building a new facility.
“After the current SPLOST runs out I think maybe at that point whenever projects are being considered for the next SPLOST a new jail should be considered at that time,” said Sheriff Davis.
We reached out to Commissioner Al Tillman about the report. He was not available for an interview but he did give us this statement:
“I have known about these issues for awhile and have always tried to work with the Sheriff’s Office to correct them. Some issues are caused by inmates while others are from a forty year old property that is hard to do maintenance on with so many inmates occupying the jail.”
We also reached out to District Attorney Anita Howard about the Grand Jury findings. Her Community Relations Representative says they have no further comment at this time.
Howard told 41NBC earlier this month they plan to schedule jail inspections every year from now on.