published Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Sweating out jail time

Micah Wilkerson sits in front of a fan inside of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Chattanooga in order to cool down from the rising temperatures inside the building while the motor for the air conditioner awaits repairs.  In order to accommodate the heat, the inmates were permitted to wear their jumpsuits to their waists and were given Popsicles.
Staff Photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Micah Wilkerson sits in front of a fan inside of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Chattanooga in order to cool down from the rising temperatures inside the building while the motor for the air conditioner awaits repairs. In order to accommodate the heat, the inmates were permitted to wear their jumpsuits to their waists and were given Popsicles. Staff Photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Extra hours of late-night television.

About 1,800 ice-cold Popsicles.

Twenty floor fans to keep the air circulating.

One water-chilled unit constantly blowing.

That’s what’s necessary to keep the peace while one of the air conditioning units is broken at the Hamilton County Jail, Corrections Capt. John Swope said.

“You have to realize in jail, you don’t get desserts. You don’t get sweets. We just don’t do that,” he said.

A motor went out on one of the jail’s air conditioning units six weeks ago, but went unnoticed until the weather warmed up recently.

Now it will be Monday, at least, until the air conditioning is restored.

The unit that controls the booking area and the kitchen is out.

“It’s kind of a losing battle between opening the doors, closing the doors. As you can see, when you open the doors, the heat comes all the way into booking because there’s nothing to block it out,” Swope said when asked about the cooling efforts.

Otherwise, the six floors of the jail remain at a comfortable temperature with the other unit still working, he said.

The 508 inmates at the jail are allowed to lower the tops of their jump suits, and corrections deputies can don polo shirts in the meantime.

And cold lunches may be served rather than hot meals, Swope said, if it becomes necessary.

The extra perks are made in an effort to keep tempers from rising along with the temperature and cut down on the chance of fights, he said.

“We’re giving them a little break as long as they behave themselves,” Swope said.

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correctioncrap said...

Well i'd like to say that beats working at a jail house that does not have enough staff to function properly, causeing a very dangerous situation for the few correction officer that actually work. underpaid over worked 12 to 16 hours with no brakes, makeing more than 5 dollors less than the county jail but yet put up with more crap., at the county the officer do not have to strip down or have their food pulled apart before they can go to work, because of the distrust the upper management has for its employees.

June 4, 2011 at 11:52 a.m.
correctioncrap said...

I take it you have a good job in this economy or still sitting on your butt collecting unemployment, i would be to if i didn't take the job and the salery at the county where i live is start at @ 32000. your web sight is for TN in general not by the area thank you!

June 4, 2011 at 12:49 p.m.
correctioncrap said...

oh and by the way most people already realize it's a shift work job !and i do work 12 to 16 hours a day so if you would really like to know what it's like come on down and put in a aplication in 7902 stanifer gap rd only then will you have the right to make the comments such as yours. have a nice day!

June 4, 2011 at 1:01 p.m.
HannaBeckman said...

Capt.John Swope, I bet the inmates just tremble when you walk past! Do they bow down and retreat out of the room ,eyes on the floor? I hate prime donna jerks like you,and I am NOT, OR HAVE EVER BEEN IN YOUR JAIL, just hate your sorry ass attitude.A popcycle, some chilled water, jumpsuits rolled down to the waist, I can see where that is such a burden on you, your staff, and the Corrections department. FIX that damn motor you , saying you did not know it was burned out for 6 weeks, yeah right! Outright lie!!!!

June 4, 2011 at 1:45 p.m.
enufisenuf said...

Correction crap, it your anything like the fat deputy fliunkies in the courhouse with their noseds up the crooked judges backsides, the heat must be making your otherwise brainless demeanor unbarable. Whiner

June 4, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.
NoMyth said...

I don't care how hot it is, inmates don't need popsicles. We all lived without AC just a few decades ago; inmates should do the same all of the time and save the taxpayers the cost of supplying their comfort.

June 4, 2011 at 4:58 p.m.
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