Meck County sheriff presents plan to county that addresses jail staffing shortages

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden said the jail will never close under his watch when presented his plan Tuesday to address staffing issues within the uptown Charlotte jail to county commissioners.

Staffing has been a problem for quite some time and has only gotten worse throughout the pandemic. In fact, a state report found staffing shortages have led to inadequate supervision of inmates, fights, and staff members who have been assaulted.

Channel 9′s Gina Esposito went through the 14-page report that McFadden showed commissioners. It goes through solutions to improve supervision, staffing, safety, and depopulation of the jail.


The plan touches on ways to bolster recruitment and retention efforts, and mentions how the jail is using private security to help with staffing. It also says the jail population dropped 6.4% between Dec. 23 and March 3.

The plan also goes over ways to improve supervision among inmates. Some of the corrective measures include a review of video records, as well as disciplinary action for officers who fail to adhere to the policy.

The sheriff’s office has until March 11 to produce a plan for the state showing how he’ll correct the issues found in the December inspection report. As for the county, the commissioners’ meeting is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

In February, Channel 9 reported the jail was still short 157 employees. At that time, the sheriff gave an update on how he’s been working to reduce the number of inmates, which was a recommendation by the state -- he said he created a 16-member team to help keep the jail safe, and said it has paid off. Since Nov. 2021, he said the jail hasn’t had an assault with a weapon. He credits the creation of a new taskforce that helps confiscate contraband.

McFadden said the changes that have to be made are corrective actions, not enforcement actions.

“My men and women are tired, but they stick it out,” McFadden said. “It will remain that way because we took an oath and a commitment.”

The state recommended that the sheriff also reduce the jail population to crate a better ratio between inmates and staff. In February, McFadden said he released 104 inmates. But within 24 hours, 79 more were brought in. He asked other jails to take some inmates, but he said only five out of the 99 agencies he asked even responded.

(WATCH BELOW: Deputies investigate inmate’s death at jail in uptown Charlotte)