Commissioner to present resolution requesting state funding for Shelby County jail enhancements

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 6:34 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby county leaders are expected to discuss ways to enhance the Shelby County Jail.

Lots of things on the agenda Wednesday, but one item that stands out is a resolution to upgrade the entrance area at the jail.

Shelby County Commissioner Erika Sugarmon is expected to present the resolution later Wednesday morning.

It requests $465,000 in state funding for jail entrance screening equipment.

If improved, this would just be a start.

In the past, advocates for inmates continued to ask county leaders to look into conditions inside the jail.

In September, Action News 5 spoke to a former inmate, Jessie Foster, who was there for just six days and described his time at the jail system as “dogs in a cage.”

When asked if he had running water in his cell...

“I did. At one point, they did cut it off on us when we were begging for showers and stuff,” said Foster. “Me and this old man were asking to get showers and they kept telling us different excuses. There’s not hot water, there’s not enough people, there’s too many people.

Foster says he wasn’t able to shower until he got home.

During the pandemic, an advocacy group filed a lawsuit over jail conditions, resulting in jail inspections.

The findings of those have yet to be released.

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