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Georgia State Senate Committee to investigate Fulton County jail conditions

Matthew Pearson

A Georgia state Senate committee says it will start its own investigation of jail conditions in the state’s most populous county, three months after the U.S. Justice Department unveiled its own inquiry of Fulton County jail conditions.

Fulton County’s main jail, which opened in 1989 in a neighborhood west of downtown Atlanta, has been plagued by overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and violence.

Six people have died in Fulton County custody since the end of July. Sheriff Pat Labat has campaigned for a new jail which could cost $1.7 billion or more, which would likely result in a tax hike for that county.

It’s not clear what state-level remedies lawmakers could come up with. Lawmakers could increase the number of judges in the county, which could allow more detainees to come to trial and leave the jail.

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