City of Birmingham responds to negotiations of moving city inmates to county jails

Birmingham leaders respond to speculation over future of jail
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 4:43 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:41 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - In response to recent negotiations of moving inmates from the Birmingham City Jail to be housed at the county facilities, the City of Birmingham released the following statement:

The city is considering the future of the municipal jail and alternative options in order to provide an efficient and effective system.

No final decision has been made and there is no clear time table.

The work of each employee currently serving in the jail is valued and appreciated.

The city’s commitment to the jail employees is clear. Employees will be the first to know any new developments.

Employees will remain employed with the city regardless of what is decided about the jail. Employee pay will not be affected and employee pension will not be affected based on any action taken concerning the future of the jail.

On election night, Sheriff Mark Pettway talked about ways to implement training programs for inmates and his vision for a new regional jail.

“We are looking to do a metro jail, we want to combine all the smaller jails into one jail here in Jefferson County, so looking to do some regional government. You want good government, you want good protection,” Pettway said.

ORIGINAL STORY: Birmingham City Jail inmates could soon be on the move.

Sources have confirmed to WBRC that the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County Sheriff are negotiating an arrangement to move inmates from the Birmingham City Jail to be housed at the County facilities.

Birmingham City Jail has been deteriorating for years. If a deal can be reached, city inmates could be moved to county facilities in downtown Birmingham or in Bessemer.

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens says he’s aware of the negotiations and plans to meet with both parties next week.

Stephens says the deal is not set in stone and that he wants to learn more about how those city inmates would be processed, housed, and transported to and from court. He says it’s a great deal of extra responsibility and potential liability for the county.

Stephens believes the commission would need to sign off on the deal to make it possible.

Birmingham Councilors LaTonya Tate and Hunter Williams were not able to comment.

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