Cold temps cause heating problems in Atlanta jail

Atlanta officials said Tuesday heating problems in their jail have forced the city to move corrections officers and inmates to other portions of the building.

Deputy Chief Operating Officer Luz Borrero said the problem began Thursday because of a malfunction in the heating system. City officials said the malfunction was caused by the recent cold snap.

The temperature in the impacted areas dropped to as low as 60 degrees, Borrero told the City Council's Public Safety Committee. Borrero said guidelines would warrant temperatures to be in the 72-74 degree range.

Borrero said city contractors are getting the necessary parts to fix the system. The problem should be repaired by this Thursday, city officials told Councilman Michael Julian Bond.

City officials said they gave inmates extra blankets and clothes to help them stay warm.

Bond, a former city corrections officer, said he is concerned about the problem.

"It is a very dangerous situation," he said.

About 1,000 inmates are housed at the jail.

The city jail is located on Peachtree Street, near I-20. City officials have been in discussions with Fulton County about a proposal to sell the jail to the county.