• Taxpayers could pay to fix overcrowding at Fulton County jail


    FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Fulton County leaders are trying to come up with a way to solve massive overcrowding in the county jail. 

    The Fulton County jail commander calls it the worst overcrowding in more than a decade, comparing it to when the jail was under federal court oversight that was costly to county taxpayers.

    Channel 2 Action News was the first to tell you about overcrowding at the jail last month and now we've learned of a big push to find another fix. 

    "If I could fix this problem tomorrow, I'd buy the city jail right now," said Chief Jailer Col. Mark Adger.


    As of midnight, 283 prisoners were assigned to sleep on the floor in so-called boats, according to Adger.

    Channel 2 Action News got the view from both sides of the locks. We're told Malik Green is charged with simple battery and attempt to commit robbery.  

    Adger said he was headed to the first meeting of a task force to decide what to do with the Atlanta City Detention Center once its planned closing has happened. 

    The Atlanta Mayor's Office said transforming the city jail into a center for equity will help keep people out of jail in the first place. 

    "They're still human beings and need to be treated humanely," said Fulton County commission chair Robb Pitts.

    Pitts said city residents just as affected as other Fulton County taxpayers by the overcrowding crisis while cells are available in the city lockup. He added talks with the city are highlevel but very preliminary.

    "We’re making baby steps now with respect to (whether it is) possible for us to utilize some space in the Atlanta Detention Center. The holistic approach is not only incarcerating them while they're there but also treating them and educating them, getting them ready to reenter society," he said.

    Pitts said other temporary fixes are underway, but he's committed to a solution.

    A spokesman for the mayor said finding long-term solutions is why the task force is meeting Tuesday.
    He said the city is getting buy-in from taxpayers, former inmates and other stakeholders to decide the city jail's fate in an open, transparent process.

    Next Up: