New Jail Discussions In Beaufort County

Officials in Beaufort County looking to build a new jail met Wednesday as their current lockup has been a costly expense all summer.

The Beaufort County jail committee met to talk about potential plans to build a new jail on county-owned property along U.S. 17 south of Chocowinity.

Committee members say it's a less expensive alternative to connecting or expanding the current jail site in downtown Washington.

No inmates have been in the current jail since mid-June due to electrical issues, estimated to cost the county $500,00 before everything is fixed.

Beaufort County Commission Chairman Jerry Langley says repairs are in their final stages, and the inmates could be back next week.

Langley says, "We're happy to see some end in sight with the present jail, but we also realize that the current jail is just a temporary fix. So we're hoping that within the next 2-3 years that we could be moving into the new facility."

Some of the benefits discussed of the new jail site off of Highway 17 were that it could operate as a one-story building, keeping officers from being in dangerous situations by transporting inmates in elevators or up and down flights of stairs. The negatives are the transportation costs of getting inmates to and from the courthouse in downtown Washington.