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One Week After Fire, Cumberland County Jail Not Ready To Reopen

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FAYETTEVILLE — Last Friday, a fire shut down the Cumberland County jail. It costs thousands of dollars a day to keep the inmates in other jails across the state. Now the county will have to find the money to keep the inmates behind bars.

The cleanup process at the Cumberland County jail is still not finished.

Initially, jailers, prosecutors and defense attorneys had hoped the inconvenience would only last a week, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

"We have got to complete the duct work which controls the air in the facility," says Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler. "Hopefully, they will be through with that phase of it Sunday or Monday, then we will have an organization out of Charlotte come and test the air."

Butler says the cleanup and transporting of inmates will cost at least $100,000. Inmates cannot be brought back in small numbers, so many will have their cases rescheduled.

"They have to be returned in the bulks of units that they were in when they were taken into the Department of Correction," says Linda Priest, trial courts administrator. "For that reason, it is very difficult for us to bring a defendant back for a particular court date."

Inmates will not be back in the jail until late next week at the earliest.