FARMINGTON — The Franklin County jail will reopen as a fully operational, full-time jail in six weeks, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said Monday night.

The state Board of Corrections approved the measure in a special meeting Monday to help ease overcrowding in the consolidated county jail system.

Franklin County jail was reduced to a 72-hour holding facility when the consolidated system went into effect on July 1, 2009.

County residents, Nichols and others have pushed to reopen the jail.

The Board of Corrections rejected the effort to reopen the jail as a full-service facility in September 2013, basically saying that the consolidated jail system needed the $600,000 or so the county sends in each year to run other jails.

Nichols made the announcement that the county jail would reopen via a Facebook group, “Give Franklin County Our Jail Back” and the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.


This time around, the jail will be a leaner operation to make sure the county stays within the $1.6 million cap, Nichols said Monday night. The county raises that amount each year, and it only takes about $1 million to run the reduced-service jail. The remainder is sent to the state to help other jails.

They won’t be hiring as many corrections officers as they had before the system was consolidated to make sure they stay within the state’s $1.6 million cap, Nichols said.

They will expand inmate beds from 29 to 42, he said, to help with overcrowding around the state.

That was the plan when the county proposed reopening the jail in 2013.

Franklin County inmates will be brought back to the jail once it reopens.

“We pretty well know what we need to do,” he said. “Tomorrow will be a busy day.”

County commissioners held back $100,000 of the $730,576 the Board of Corrections requested for 2014-15. The county had built up a surplus of $500,000 and the state wanted more money than the $630,576 that the county had been paying until this fiscal year.

People from around Franklin County congratulated Nichols and the jail reopening efforts via Facebook, while Nichols thanked residents for their support.

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