In April, Mayor Ed Mitchell called a special commission meeting for the sole purpose of the commission
voting to authorize the purchasing agent to issue a request for qualifications related to jail design and program services. At that meeting, Sheriff James Lee Berrong said that he and his staff try to get rid of state prisoners every day, that it is out of his control whether the state takes its prisoners, that he doesn’t want to keep the state prisoners and that the revenue the state sends the county is only a good deal for the state of Tennessee.
Direct quotes from Sheriff James Lee Berrong at the meeting include:
“We try every day to get rid of the state prisoners. I don’t want to keep the state prisoners.”
“We make a request every single day.” (to get rid of state prisoners)
“Out of our control (state prisoners). We get like $37.50 which is not a good deal for anybody other than the state.”
You can listen to the sheriff’s statements.
How do these statements compare to the sky is falling Chicken Little PR propaganda that we’re hearing now that the state actually removed many of its prisoners from the jail?
Which is the biggest tall tale: the mayor saying there has been no conversation about expanding the jail or the sheriff saying that he doesn’t want to keep state prisoners and tries to get rid of them every day?