Hamilton County Commission considers ending contract with private jail provider CoreCivic

Silverdale Detention Center was on lockdown Sunday, March 25, 2018, after an "inmate-on-inmate altercation Saturday night.

As protesters march the streets calling for criminal justice reform, Hamilton County commissioners are looking to cut ties with private jail service provider CoreCivic.

During a Friday meeting of the commission's corrections and safety committee - which was called to address growing unrest in Chattanooga and nationwide surrounding criminal justice inequities after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis - commission members pressed Sheriff Jim Hammond on a series of law enforcement issues, leaning furthest into the Silverdale Correctional Facility.

Citing a number of alleged civil rights violations at the facility in recent years, several commissioners suggested ending the county's relationship with CoreCivic and allowing the county to run the facility.

"I think what a lot of the complaints and a lot of the concerns that have been not only recently raised but have been raised for, quite frankly, a long time, has been the culture that existed within CoreCivic," Commissioner Katherlyn Geter said, citing staff treatment of the inmates.