Sheriff Says Mecklenburg County Jail Is Dangerously Overcrowded
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
This November, voters will most likely be asked to approve money to build a new jail in Mecklenburg County, because the current one is overcrowded. The jail holds more than 2700 inmates. It's hundreds over capacity right now.
Sheriff Jim Pendergraph says inmates are sleeping in bunks in the open spaces of the jail, and he's afraid the crowds are putting staff in danger.
He says inmates can't post bond, and the court system is backed-up. Some inmates sit in jail for years before their cases to go to trial.
Even if money for a new jail is approved in November, it would take at least four years to build. Until a decision's made to build a new jail, inmates could be put in modular buildings.