Davidson Co. sheriff discusses moving jails from downtown - WSMV News 4

Davidson Co. sheriff discusses moving jails from downtown

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The Davidson County sheriff says a big move could save taxpayers big money. He is considering a plan to pull the city's jails out of downtown Nashville and move the entire operation, possibly to Antioch.

Sheriff Daron Hall says if the county were to build a jail today, it would not pick a location in downtown, because the land's just too valuable.

He's suggesting the city close its two biggest downtown jails and move somewhere else.

Many people may not realize there are actually two jails downtown, including the Hill Detention Center, which holds about 500 inmates.

The Hill building is on Second Avenue North beneath the sheriff's administrative offices.

"I can look out my window and almost see home plate [at the future downtown baseball stadium]. I expect the experts will figure out this land is valuable for some other purpose," Hall said.

The Hill building is near prime riverfront property and sits about a block from another jail, the Criminal Justice Center, which holds another 800 inmates.

Hall threw out the idea for a possible move at a Monday budget hearing. He also discussed consolidating all sheriff's office operations at a central location, possibly on land near the CCA jail on Harding Place.

Inmates no longer have to be near the courthouse, he says.

"Reality is that technology has changed dramatically. Today, an inmate doesn't have to go to court like they used to. We could be in Antioch and by video arraignment have that hearing with the judge, not having to move. And the inmates could all be here," Hall said.

The idea is a long way from reality. Hall is asking for $5 million for the next phase of a master plan, which would evaluate whether the idea is feasible.

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