Bradley County officials: More cells aren't the answer

The Bradley County Jail, located at the Bradley County Judicial Complex.

In Bradley County, where officials are sweating the next state inspection of the county jail, a recent discussion focused on alternative ways to deal with packed cells.

Overcrowding is acute at the Bradley jail, with 408 beds and more than 520 inmates when the county commission's law enforcement committee met June 13. The facilities director, former sheriff Dan Gilley, had just resigned in despair, saying overcrowding, understaffing and a laundry list of maintenance problems made it unlikely the jail would get a passing grade from Tennessee Corrections Institute inspectors.

A new, 140-bed workhouse opening around mid-July will help, but with 7,400 or so unserved warrants stacked up and more coming in every day, it isn't enough to relieve overcrowding, committee members and sheriff's department officials agreed.