Bay County Jail addition helps with overcrowding

By  | 

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Bay County Jail is expanding. The jail's newest dorm adds 50 beds, easing the overcrowding issue in the female wing.

E6 has a full bathroom, phones and visitation monitors, and a new control room so workers can watch inmates. (WJHG/WECP)

"There was a lot of lines, long lines for the phone, long lines for the bathroom," said inmate Tabatha Miller.

The dorm they call E2 used to house anywhere between 125 to 140 women, with beds stacked side by side.

"You take that many people and you put them in a dorm, where you have overcrowding, you are going to have a lot more tension," Major Rick Anglin, with the Bay County Sheriff's Office judicial services, said. "You're going to have more inmate fights, arguments, and situations going on."

The new dorm called E6 makes inmate-living a little less hectic.

"(The) new dorm is much quieter, less lines. It's nice, there's a lot less animosity," Miller said.

E6 has a full bathroom, phones and visitation monitors, and a new control room so workers can watch inmates.

"Our number one priority is safety and control. So, the better we can see, the better we can hear, the easier that makes it for us to be able to do the things we need to do to keep everybody safe," Detention Deputy Teresa Margiotta said.

With fewer beds in the dorms, staff can respond quicker to situations.

"The way it was before, there were so many bunks in there that the staff would have to go in and it was difficult to see who was doing what and what was going on because there were so many obstructions in there," Major Anglin said.

E6 is just the first phase of the project. Officials plan to expand the jail with more female dormitories.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.