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Ala. jail evacuated due to ‘health and safety issues’

The Autauga County sheriff didn’t specify the issues at the jail, but he mentioned having “a moral obligation for the safety, health, and security of all individuals”

Autauga County Jail

Autauga County Sheriff’s Office

By Jeremy Gray

PRATTVILLE, Ala. — The sheriff of Autauga County on Thursday announced he was evacuating the county jail.

“I have a moral obligation for the safety, health and security of all individuals who come through the doors of the Autauga County Metro Jail , whether it’s my staff, Law Enforcement Officers or inmates,” Sheriff Mark Harrell wrote in a statement posted on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page.

“It will be up to the County Commission to properly and adequately fix the issues to prevent health and safety issues before I ... will place another individual in the jail,” Harrell wrote.

The statement does not state what exact issues the sheriff believes threatens the health and safety of those in the jail.

“We have worked out the logistics with several agencies to house inmates. We have made arrangements to process individuals quickly and house them in a safe environment,” the statement continued.

“I am aware of the ramifications of this decision but it is my obligation ... Further information on when these issues will be resolved need to be addressed to the Autauga County Commission .”

County Administrator Scott Kramer said the commission is “aware of certain facility issues at the Autauga County Metro Jail .”

“We have been working diligently, and in good faith, with Sheriff Harrell and his staff to address their important concerns; we will continue to do so and ask him and his staff to do the same,” a statement from Kramer read.

“Just this week the County Commission had workers in the building to assess and attempt to address those concerns. We have also had multiple experts inspect the facility.

“We will persist to make improvements, but within the scope of the law and the resources available to us, to ensure the wellbeing of anyone – inmate, staff, law enforcement officer, or member of the public – who enters the jail.”

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