State mandates reduction of inmate population at Nash County jail

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NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A letter from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone ordered the inmate population at the Nash County Detention Facility to be immediately reduced.

The letter, which is dated Thursday, said that “barring an immediate commitment to resolve the issues outlined … (NHDHHS) will avail itself of its statutory authority to require depopulation and corrective action in order to protect the safety of the inmates and staff.”

The detention center will depopulate to a maximum of 56 inmates in two areas of the facility. Each area will require at least six guards for every shift.

According to the letter, many of the issues that need correcting have to do with fire detection and response. They include the smoke evacuation system, repairing or replacing non-functioning two-way communication, installing fire alarm A/V units, and a firefighter control panel.

Until those items are corrected, the detention center must have a person on each shift dedicated to watching for fires, the letter said.

In a press release, Stone noted that he began noting deficiencies upon being elected as sheriff on Nov. 4, 2014.

Nash County citizens, employees, and inmates are treated fairly under my direction. We are working to adhere to the inmate reduction mandate and taking care of the security issues documented in this letter. I have had numerous meetings with the County Manager and Chairman of the County Commissioners to get these concerns resolved and will continue to work with them to bring closure to the issues.

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone

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