Fulton commissioners to consider reopening Alpharetta jail

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners are set to consider a contract Wednesday that would reopen a North Fulton jail.

The annex, located at 2565 Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta, would hold people arrested on the Northside before a possible transfer to the county’s main jail in Blandtown on Rice Street. The annex has been closed since March 2020 due to staffing and COVID-19 concerns.

The deal as laid out in the agenda packet dictates the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office would run the Northside facility, paying the city of Alpharetta $60 per inmate per day. County staff and the sheriff are in charge of ensuring the facility is clean and staffed. The county would renew the contract every September for five years. The city can terminate the deal with 90 days of written notice to the county and sheriff.

The county has already spent a half-million dollars to fix up the annex. Commissioners approved Sheriff Patrick Labat’s request in May to spend $517,000 renovating the facility so it could reopen.

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Labat wants access to this Northside facility in part because the county’s main Rice Street jail is so over-crowded that hundreds of inmates, who are innocent until proven guilty, are sleeping on the floor.

It’s also for the cops. No Northside annex has left some officers to make a 30-mile drive, putting them in traffic instead of patrolling city streets. Five mayors in North Fulton tried to reopen the facility themselves under a new jail authority because they were so unhappy with officers in traffic, but Labat ended that nascent plan in February when he said a renovation would have the annex open by summer.

The Alpharetta annex can hold 70 people, but the deal with Fulton gives them only 20 of those beds.

Fulton commissioners are set to meet starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday inside the assembly hall at the government center, 141 Pryor St. in downtown Atlanta. The meetings have been streamed at http://bit.ly/WatchFGTV.