TIPTON COUNTY, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Tipton County is getting ready to open a $3 million expansion to its jail.
Construction on the facility began three years ago. It's set to open next month.
At the Tipton County jail, there is now an additional 24,000 square feet of space to hold inmates. The extra space will allow inmates to be better separated. There are new areas for felony men offenders, women, and a new maximum-security area.
Former Tipton County District Attorney and current US Attorney Mike Dunavant attended the tour, saying "Good corrections means good public safety.”
Planning for the expansion started in 2010. The old jail held 122 inmates. Sheriff Poncho Chumley says with the jail expansion, 201 beds are now available.
Today's jail count was 217. "By it already being over-populated, it's something we need to go on today and get a plan for on down the road,” said Chumley.
There are now 4 outdoor recreation pens for inmates - twice as many as before. The expansion also included a larger kitchen space for meal preparation, additional laundry space, and a medical area for inmates.
What you won't see here are any televisions. Chumley says there are no TVs because despite the addition, this is still a barebones operation.
"Jail still has to be some form of punishment. Whenever you go in, you lose your rights," said Chumley.