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Marshall County sheriff cleaning up the jail, his staff

The Marshall County Jail is getting more money for renovations. That's on top of almost $1 million in improvements that are already underway. The commission just approved $180,000 for a new roof.

Posted: Jun 12, 2019 9:43 PM
Updated: Jun 13, 2019 7:36 AM

A $900,000 jail renovation is underway and Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims says there could be more renovations on the way that could include a new jail.

"Those talks are still ongoing. Sometime in the next 30 days we have have some type of resolution on what we can do and what we can't do," said Sheriff Sims.

It's a price tag some taxpayers here in Guntersville say they're OK with it since it will help cut down on contraband getting into the jail.

"You can't have holes in the roof and walls. It's just common sense," said Corey Havis.

The cleanup is more than what you can physically see. On Wednesday, Christopher Howard, a former sheriff's deputy corrections officer, pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing for having marijuana in his car at work. Just hours after the hearing, the clerk's office says his status changed to guilty. He was given 18 months probation and he's not allowed to try to work for the county.

"That guy was already employed when I took office. Guys we've employed or we have hired have had a real good retention rate," said Sheriff Sims.

Sheriff Phil Sims says right now they're at full staff, with just two openings for corrections officers. That's a big difference from last July when the previous sheriff told WAAY 31 a jail riot was caused by the lack of funding and staff. During that same month, several deputies were arrested for providing contraband to inmates.

"At least a year from now there might be a point where we can say 'okay, we've got a lot of stuff done,'" said Sheriff Sims.

No construction date has been set yet for the roof repairs.

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