Most of the adult inmates housed at Mecklenburg County’s 22-year-old Jail North facility will be moved to the main Jail Central uptown by April 1 because of a dwindling inmate population at both facilities, Sheriff Irwin Carmichael said Friday.
Carmichael decided on the move after he appraised staffing needs for the county’s reduced inmate population and cuts to his department’s budget by more than $6 million.
Under his plan, youthful offenders 16-to-17 years old will continue to be housed in units built for them in 2009 at Jail North on Spector Drive in Charlotte. So will some adult inmates who work in the jail’s food service, which provides meals for the county’s entire inmate population.
My commitment continues to be to operate detention facilities that are safe and secure for staff and inmates, and to do so efficiently and effectively.
Sheriff Irwin Carmichael
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That population ballooned to a daily average of 2,610 inmates in 2008, but during the current fiscal year that average has dropped to about 1,454, Carmichael said.
“I said from the beginning I wanted to determine the staffing needs given the reduced population,” said Carmichael, sworn in as Mecklenburg’s 44th sheriff in December 2014. “The goal has always been to optimize resources within the” sheriff’s office.
In the review, 13 housing units were closed between the two detention facilities, allowing the sheriff’s office to consolidate the facilities as the populations continued to decline.
Moving the adult inmates to Jail Central will require opening a closed housing unit and reassigning many Jail North officers to the uptown facility.
“My commitment continues to be to operate detention facilities that are safe and secure for staff and inmates, and to do so efficiently and effectively,” Carmichael said.