The Tennessee Attorney General (AG) has now opined that jails aren’t required to house state felons sentenced to more than one year of continuous confinement. It is no longer just my (Tona Monroe) interpretation, as the local paper reported. It’s also the interpretation of the AG.
For Immediate Release: Commissioner Tona Monroe requests immediate meeting of Blount County Corrections Partnership to discuss removing discretionary inmates after AG’s opinion on state sentenced felons.
Contact Tona Monroe
June 21, 2016
Commissioner Monroe issued the following statement on Tennessee AG opinion 16-21.
The sheriff, mayor and some commissioners have been pushing to spend what could be tens of millions of Blount County taxpayer dollars on jail expansion because the current facility is “overcrowded”. Commissioner Tona Monroe has repeatedly pointed out that the facility is only “overcrowded” because the sheriff insists on keeping a large number of federal inmates that the county is under no legal obligation to take. In addition, the sheriff is housing a large number of state prisoners. It has been shown that both arrangements are a loss to the taxpayers of Blount County. Now a new opinion by the Tennessee Attorney General makes it clear that the county is not obligated to house the state prisoners either.
This eliminates any need to spend huge amounts of money to expand the Blount County Adult Detention Facility (jail). Based on the most recent month’s jail population statistics, if the federal and state prisoners were removed, the Blount County jail would be well under capacity.
Commissioner Tona Monroe is calling for an immediate meeting of the Blount County Corrections Partnership to discuss removing the discretionary state and federal inmates from the jail, in order to save tens of millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
Previous jail summary reports are available here: https://www.tn.gov/correction/article/tdoc-jail-summary-reports