Tuscaloosa County Jail 4

The COVID-19 pandemic means public places everywhere are changing how they operate on a daily basis. Churches are streaming online, schools are closed, and the jail and prison system is no different.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy said there are 619 inmates in the Tuscaloosa County Jail, and new measures are place to ensure the safety of inmates and the officers in charge of their care.

The prison system isn’t taking new inmates at the moment, so the jail is making accommodations.

“We’re hoping that this will reduce the number of inmates brought into the facility, but at the same time the sheriff’s office is going to do its job,” Abernathy said. “If someone commits a serious crime, we’re gonna make that arrest and we’re gonna place them in the county jail.”

It’s a country-wide issue, Abernathy said, because jails and prisons contain hundreds of people living in close quarters, and one infected person could make an entire system ill.

“We have implemented a number of policies to try to address those issues whether it be the isolation cells we’ve implemented, increasing the days from a 14-evaluation day to a 21-evaluation days, an additional jail monitor, addition jail housekeeping and cleansing the facilities to try to make sure we keep it as clean as possible,” Abernathy said.

It’s all about eliminating the potential for the virus to catch hold and enter the setting, Abernathy said.

“Right now we haven’t had anybody go out and test positive at the sheriff’s office or in the (jail) at this time,” he said.


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