Nashville mayor, sheriff issue statement on Criminal Justice Center

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville’s mayor and sheriff issued a joint statement Tuesday on the construction of the downtown jail (CJC) and relocation of inmates to the south Nashville facility.

Mayor Megan Barry and Sheriff Daron Hall met to discuss the issue as it continues to stir debate throughout the city, especially those who live near the sheriff’s office off Harding.

The two said there are requests in the Capital Spending Plan for money to meet the community’s needs: 20 million for the CJC and 20 million for construction of consolidated Davidson County Sheriff’s Office offices.

They say if the funds aren’t secured, it will lead to a reduction of 250 beds at the CJC, requiring more inmates to be moved to south Nashville.

Their statement reads, in full:

As elected officials, we are both sworn to uphold and protect the laws of Nashville and act in the best interests of the citizens of Davidson County

In the Capital Spending Plan, there are two requests that we ask to be funded to meet our needs as a community: $20 million for the Criminal Justice Center construction project that will be used for temporary upgrades to the Harding jail facilities in order to support the temporary relocation of prisoners and staff, and $20 million for the construction of consolidated DCSO administrative offices that will free up other properties and result in more efficient operations at the Sheriff’s Office.

The $20 million request for the Criminal Justice Center project is critical to our ability to maximize the space and usage of the new CJC, while adequately providing for inmates and staff at the Harding facilities during the reconstruction.

We believe that moving forward immediately with the construction of the Criminal Justice Center downtown is necessary for the safety and well-being of DCSO staff and inmates alike, and that we should construct the facility in a way that meets the needs of our community now and in the future.

Failure to approve these funds will result in a reduction of nearly 250 beds at the new CJC, requiring more inmates to be permanently housed at the Harding Place complex.

Additionally, we both agree that it makes financial and logistical sense for the DCSO administrative functions to be consolidated, and are committed to an open community engagement process that ensures residents and business owners near the final location of the future DCSO administrative offices are supportive of the project.

In order for this process to move forward, we would request that the Council authorize the expenditure of $20 million for the headquarters while a final site is determined.

We look forward to working together, with the Metro Council and the community, to work through any other logistical details of these two projects in a way that protects the interests of the taxpayers and the safety of the citizens of Davidson County.

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