It’s not every day that the scent of barbecue meatballs wafts through the open doors of a jail filled with smiling people wearing slacks, sport coats and blouses. But it’s also not every day that a sovereign nation finishes building its first-ever justice facility.
“This is not just about a building,” said Principle Chief Michell Hicks as he prepared to cut the ribbon on the $26-million building in a ceremony that had nearly all of the building’s 175 parking spaces full. “It’s not just about having a place to put our stuff. We’re going to change who we are as a people.”
A rash of medical complications hit inmates in the Haywood County jail over the past year, socking the county with a $100,000 cost overrun.
Blame lies in part with a handful of big ticket procedures — a major stroke, heart bypass surgery, a heart catheterization following a heart attack for another. But there was also a run on more minor hospitalizations.
For most people, the word “jail” stirs up mental images of vertical bars and stark concrete walls, not of rows of books or orange-clad inmates studiously reading them. But bars have, for the most part, turned to Plexiglas and metal doors, and thanks to the collaborative research of librarians and criminal justice faculty at Western Carolina University, an initiative to expand book collections in Western North Carolina jails is gathering steam.
Who knows what Anita Vestal saw in Jeffrey Miles, or why she sprang him from jail and ran away with him, or how she justified leaving her husband and four young children behind, possibly forever.
The jury deciding the fate of a former Swain County jailer who helped a murderer escape and then ran away with him to California began deliberating Tuesday morning (Dec. 3).
It was a fairly simple inside job in the end, one easily borrowed from the playbook of any Hollywood jailbreak.
Anita Vestal was just a novice jailer, with less than six months on the job at the Swain County jail. But she single-handedly sprang an inmate charged in a bloodbath of a double murder.
The jury trial of a Swain County jailer accused of springing a murderer from jail more than four years ago will conclude next week with a certain guilty verdict.
Illegal drug abuse and its repercussions are costing Haywood County taxpayers.
An increase in drug use has led to more drug-related arrests. That means more inmates in the county jail, which it turn takes more jailers.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians could make the inmates housed in its future jail pay — literally.
Swain County’s oversized jail will lose about one-third of its current inmate population and a sizeable revenue stream when the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opens a new justice center, complete with its own jail.