Some homeowners raise concerns over temporary Tuscaloosa Co. Jail

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 3:53 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUSCALOOSA, Ala, (WBRC) - A temporary jail project isn’t sitting well with a few homeowners near the current Tuscaloosa County Jail. The county is making plans to tear down a part of the old jail.

Jerry Carter and Rev. Antonio Thomas say it came down to a matter of courtesy. According to them, no one from the county or the city reached out to the neighborhood to let them know about the temporary jail.

The temporary jail will be located about 130 yards away from Carter’s front yard on 28th Avenue, just over the railroad tracks, across the street from the current Tuscaloosa County Jail.

“To me it’s going to look like a penal colony, some type of concentration camp or something,” said Carter.

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department says the temporary jail is necessary because starting in January 2023 part of the old jail will be torn down to not only ease overcrowding, but to focus more on mental and medical health services for inmates. Carter said he understands all that. The issue is, he says, the neighborhood was never notified.

“With my county commissioner and my city councilman Matthew Wilson and the county commissioner Reginal Murray. Those are the two people who represent us to sit at the table and look out after our best interests and they haven’t told us a word,” said Carter.

Tuscaloosa City Councilman Matthew Wilson told WBRC FOX6 News that although what’s happening here is well within the city limits, this is a county project, a county issue. WBRC FOX6 News reached out to commissioner Reginald Murray who represents this area and he had ‘no comment.’

Reverend Antonio Thomas also felt this could have been handled better.

“We didn’t even come to the table and talk about just what is going on. We could have talked with the community,” said Rev. Antonio Thomas.

The temporary jail will consist of seven 18-wheeler type trailers during the deconstruction and construction of part of the new county jail.

The trailers that’ll make up the temporary jail will likely be in place before the end of the year.