Limestone County Sheriff's Department & Detention Facility
On March 4, 2005 Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely helped escort the first of approximately 200 inmates from the old Limestone County Jail, Jail Annex, and former Athens Utilities building to the new Limestone County Jail. Each prisoner was checked into the facility, assigned a cell and bed, and checked for contraband. This $9million, 288 bed facility is a far cry from the old jail, which was federally mandated to only house 142 inmates.
While the new jail is something the Sheriff wants the community to be proud of, he is quick to point out that “It is not a Holiday Inn … It is a good secure jail. The move of prisoners is expected to be completed very quickly due to the extensive training and high employee morale generated from the move to the new facility. “I think the employees here are going to be more motivated to better serve the public.”, stated Blakely.
The new jail has eliminated the problems that come with overcrowding such as fighting and contraband problems. “Just the fact that we have adequate space to keep people”, said Blakely, makes a safer environment for inmates and staff.
The new jail also makes it easier to monitor the inmates and operate the jail with central control controlling power, telephones and gates. Along with individual jail cell doors, lights and intercoms. All of this is connected to cameras throughout the facility.
Blakely says he can keep an eye on the jail at all times, “We’re not only able to [monitor] from our control panels that some of our corrections officers will be monitoring, in my own office from my computer, I can pull up cameras to various locations throughout the jail.”
Limestone County Commission