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Tuscaloosa County Commission supports millions of dollars of upgrades to county jail

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 5:42 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2021 at 6:32 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The Tuscaloosa County Commission wants to spend millions of dollars on the county jail. The money will go towards improving medical and mental healthcare there for inmates.

Commissioners moved forward with a plan to spend more than $13 million dollars of renovations on the jail. The plan calls for upgrading and expanding the medical facility.

Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge Rob Robertson says medical needs of inmates have grown during the pandemic, especially when it comes to mental health. He says nearly a third of inmates in the jail have some kind of mental healthcare need. Expanding healthcare to prisoners there could help change that.

“We have a lot of individuals caught up in the criminal justice system as well as mental health system. And they may be out and on medications, and stop taking that medication and then commit more low-level crime and end up back in county jail. They still have mental health needs,” Judge Robertson explained.

The next step in the process could be a month or two away. That’s when Judge Robertson said requests for proposals could go out to architectural firms to draw up plans to do those renovations.

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