Major repairs expected at Unicoi County Jail, Carter County to be reimbursed for housing inmates

Unicoi County Jail Basement
Unicoi County Jail Basement

UNICOI COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – It is only the second time the Unicoi County jail has been evacuated. This time it was a sewer line leak that forced all 62 inmates out of the jail and in to temporary housing.

Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley says massive repairs that have to take place before inmates can move back into the Unicoi County jail.

The unexpected pipe break has to be fixed because inmates can’t use the bathrooms. The heaviest damage is in a service room on the ground level. Sewage, water, and insulation all lumped in a pile on the floor.

The says the sludge is also in the cooling system and to fix it, could take thousands of dollars.

“We all agreed it was time to fix it because this is a main line that goes, feeds all the jail here,” Sheriff Hensley said.

The repairs are expected to take about week and the county will be responsible for covering costs.

“There is money there in the fund balance to do some of this, insurance will play a factor in this too,” Sheriff Hensley said.

The jail is at capacity with 62 inmates. For the time being 48 are housed in the Carter County jail, 15 of those are state inmates.

The remaining 14 are at the state penitentiary in Bledsoe. Tax payers in Carter County don’t have to worry though. Sheriff Hensley says Unicoi county will pick up the bill.

Repairs to the jail are expected to start on Wednesday.

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