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Jail standards bill sponsored by Greeneville, Morristown lawmakers headed for governor's OK

Staff Report • May 12, 2009 at 12:00 AM

A bill to align state jail space standards with federal standards was passed Monday by the Tennessee House of Representatives.According to the Greeneville Sun the bill , which has already be passed by the Senate, was sponsored by state Rep. David Hawk, of Greeneville,.The bill will now be going to the governor for his signature, Hawk said. State Sen. Steve Southerland, R-1st, of Morristown, was the sponsor of the Senate bill.The bill is intended to help local governments across the state that may be facing jail decertification on the basis of per-inmate square footage.The bill stipulates that Tennessee shall follow the national standards for county jail facilities in terms of square footage for inmate space, as opposed to the current standards of the Tennessee Correction Institute.Hawk said this will reduce the required minimum amount of space per inmate in a single cell from 50 square feet to 35 square feet, which is the national standard.Last year, the Greene County Jail, or detention center, faced loss of certification by the TCI because of overcrowding and related issues. CLICK HERE for the full report.

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