Planning in the works to move inmates into new downtown jail

Hundreds of inmates to be transferred
Nashville Jail.png
Posted at 2:57 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 20:56:41-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Hundreds of accused and convicted felons will soon be moving to downtown Nashville.

Secret planning is now underway to make sure the public is not at risk. The exact details of this unprecedented move are confidential, but the sheriff says security is the priority as they begin moving inmates into the new Davidson County jail.

"These folks are facing significant time and this is an ideal time for them to try to do something," Sheriff Daron Hall said, who added the new jail is ready and open for business.

The trick now is moving the inmates back downtown. "When you get them out in public even riding in a car you are exposed," Hall said.

Three years ago, all of the county's inmates were moved to the temporary jail facilities off of Harding Place. Now about seven hundred need to be moved back to the new jail -- about three hundred and fifty of them considered high risk or max security. And there are special considerations for high-profile inmates like the Antioch church or Waffle House shooters.

"God knows if we have to protect Samson or Reinking. These are names we are familiar with and they just can't ride on the bus with other people. We will secure them separately," Hall said.

Exactly when and how the inmates will be moved is a closely-guarded secret. This is for the safety of the inmates, the jail staff and, of course, the public.

Sheriff Halls said there will be two jail officers assigned each inmate for the move, and Metro police will be closely involved.

"In some cases we've asked for their assistance. In mainly traffic issues. We don't want to be sitting at red lights with a busload of people who are not happy," Hall said.

If all goes as planned -- and there are still details to be worked out -- the sheriff said the move should be seamless.

The sheriff said it will take four to five days to move all the inmates to the new jail, and the date and time this will all happen remains a closely guarded secret.