Macon amends contract for jail medical services

Macon County commissioners approved two amended contracts that will hopefully keep costs down at the detention center. 

Sisters form Pretrial Justice Project of Macon County

Dawn Todd manages a humane society in Franklin. With a full plate at work, she isn’t someone who would usually get involved in someone else’s criminal matters, but she’s also someone who can’t turn away when she sees people being treated unfairly. 

Haywood jail reaches capacity

Haywood County commissioners may have to start seriously considering expanding the detention center now that the average daily inmate population is close to — and sometimes over — capacity levels. 

To reduce overdose deaths, start in the local jail

By Albert M. Kopak • Guest Columnist

You may have a story about Peter, while someone down the road has a similar story about Rose. Mine starts with George, my cousin who died at the age of 38 from an opioid-related overdose.

Such a tragic event will make anyone with a heart pause and reflect, but this is a special case. I am a criminologist who studies drug use in the criminal justice system, and I have thought long and hard about how George’s experience reflects our failure to implement practices designed to reduce crime, enhance public safety and strengthen our communities. We have opportunities to do a better job and change these stories.

No negligence in Jackson jail death, DA says

After reviewing a State Bureau of Investigation probe into the January death of Melissa Middleton Rice, who at the time was in custody of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office has decided that there are no grounds to press charges in the case. 

Jackson jail death caused by hanging, autopsy says

Hanging was the cause of death for a woman who died Jan. 18 while in custody of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, according to documents provided by the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 

Records shed light on Jackson jail death

While unanswered questions remain in the recent death of 49-year-old Franklin resident Melissa Middleton Rice, which occurred on Jan. 18 while in custody of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, public records reveal new information about the hours leading up to her ultimately fatal collapse.

SBI investigating Jackson jail death

The recent death of a Jackson County Detention Center inmate has spurred a probe from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation. 

Women behind bars: Female jail population quadruples since 1970

Women make up the fastest growing segment of inmates in the U.S. correctional system.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the Vera Institute of Justice, the number of women in jail grew from under 8,000 in 1970 to over 110,000 in 2014 and nearly half of them are in small county jails. 

Snapshots of WNC jails: Not all jails are created equal

In a criminal justice system that is often operated under rigid regulations and protocols, people may be surprised to find the disparities within the walls of local jails. 

All the jails have the same basics — sally port, booking area, magistrate office, holding cells, inmate pods and control rooms with security cameras — but each facility is set up a little differently. 

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