The Cheatham County Commission voted to award T.W. Frierson the construction contract for the expansion and renovation of the Cheatham County Jail at a special session in February 2022.
Recent success working with Knoxville based architect MBI Companies to deliver the state-of-the-art Hörmann Manufacturing Facility in White County, TN accompanied by our experience and successful delivery of the Dickson County Justice Center played an instrumental role in us receiving the award for this project, along with our teams’ energy and enthusiasm for entering this new market.
The job is currently in the design and preconstruction phase. Our team is working closely with MBI Companies and County officials to provide accurate pricing for county approval.
The project generally consist of renovating the existing County jail facilities and the construction of new facilities. The Project provides for a jail with approximately 200 beds (plus a possible 64 additional beds), sheriff’s office and court facility. The expanded facilities will be located immediately behind and beside the current County Jail located 200 Public Square, Ashland City, TN.
The current facility is certified for 116 inmates but housed as many as 200 inmates before the pandemic. Overcrowding and other issues have caused the jail to risk decertification from The Tennessee Corrections Institute, the agency that provides certification and education for correctional facilities in Tennessee. Mayor McCarver said the overcrowding issue must be addressed, not only because of the risk of being decertified by the State, but also for the safety of the inmates and staff. He said the overcrowding creates high staff turnover, which means staff with less experience and high costs for training new staff.
Also, because of space constraints, having any kind of inmate training or religious services is a challenge, and those activities both help to keep recidivism rates down. McCarver said the jail’s recidivism rate is over 80%, compared to the state average of 55%. “It costs the county to have the same inmates unable to break the cycle and return repeatedly to jail,” McCarver said.