Fulton County will lease space from Atlanta detention center to combat jail overcrowding

prison fence, razor ribbon, wire
Photo by jodylehigh on Pixabay

ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta and Fulton County have reached an agreement to temporarily lease up to 700 beds from the Atlanta City Detention Center to alleviate severe overcrowding in Fulton County facilities.

The four-year agreement is subject to approval by both the Atlanta City Council and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners in the coming weeks.

Mayor Andre Dickens is additionally announcing his intention to work with the Atlanta City Council to repurpose the Atlanta City Detention Center following the end of the lease agreement.

“As I have continually supported since my time on the Atlanta City Council, I remain committed to fully repurposing the ACDC facility for non-incarceration purposes,” Dickens said. “But we are also confronted by a real and immediate crisis of overcrowding at the Fulton County Jail. Many of these detainees are Atlanta residents, and our conscience calls us to act. This temporary lease agreement will allow the City of Atlanta to play a role in alleviating this humanitarian crisis and provide the time necessary for Fulton County to develop and implement a long-term solution.”

Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat has described overcrowding at Fulton County’s Rice Street Jail as a crisis that has left detainees having to sleep on the ground.

The City of Atlanta and Fulton County intend to enter into an agreement to lease up to 700 beds from the Atlanta City Detention Center to Fulton County for no more than four years. The agreement will see the transfer of approximately 250 inmates from the Fulton County Jail annex in Union City and up to approximately 450 low- to medium-custody level detainees from other facilities.

Atlanta’s work to develop and open the Center for Diversion and Services as part of the repurpose of the ACDC property is on track to open in 2023 and will be unaffected by this agreement. The Administration will also soon release a Request for Information to seek proposals for alternative uses of the building at the end of the lease agreement with Fulton County.

Mayor Dickens intends to invest revenue from the agreement in public safety, diversion services and homelessness services that are priorities of the administration.


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