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Problems of Today - Solutions for Tomorrow - Cities Within Cities

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcerment Bulletin Volume: 49 Issue: 11 Dated: (November 1980) Pages: 10-16
G Barksdale; W L Forbes
Date Published
6 pages
A new jail and pretrial detention facility in Shelby County, Tenn., is described in this journal article. The facility's physical design, operations, and recordkeeping system are discussed.
The six-floor facility will open in early 1981 and will replace the county jail, the penal farm jail, and the police department jails, which were all overcrowded and out of date in terms of adequate housing, treatment programs, and recreational activities. Three separate housing areas and several different inmate flow patterns provide for the handling of inmates according to the conditions of the arrest, court status or the need for long term housing. The lower level of the building is devoted to intake processing, hesitation holding, crisis counseling, pretrial release interviews, and release processing. Short term housing is available for 168 males and 42 females. The first floor includes female long term housing (103 cells) and office and storage space. On the second floor are admissions and orientation, medical facilities, counseling and classification offices, a chapel, libraries, and male and female housing for up to 13 days. The third and fourth floors handle long term male housing, and the fifth includes outdoor recreation areas and an indoor gymnasium and minigym for males and females. Each long term housing area is divided into minimum, medium, and maximum security levels and uses single cells grouped into pods which surround dayrooms. Each floor is color-coded, and inmates are issued clothing to match their floor and classification. Security is enhanced through the use of closed-circuit monitors and through total observation and control of inmates while they are moving in the vertical transport systems. A unified records system will be contained in a total microfiche file which is based on a 'day-one' booking flow, and information will also be maintained in computer data banks. Photographs are included.