Wednesday was the first time since this more than $1.2 million renovation started that we've been able to take a camera inside the Marshall County Jail.
An officer who's worked there for 2 decades said the conditions before were dangerous not only for the inmates, but also the officers.
"The door frames were not completely framed by metal and they could chip the block out and get to the old locking mechanisms and open the doors," said Lt. Frank Mason.
Mason said he's watched the Marshall County jail deteriorate for 12 of his 20 years as a corrections deputy.
"See like this mortar they chiseled out where they were passing stuff cell to cell," said Mason.
He said it got so bad his job was considerably more dangerous. Inmates were getting contraband through the windows and able to open their own cell doors.
"They let them damage the locks and would not replace them," said Mason.
Now as part of the major jail renovation these issues are set to be fixed.
Right now crews are working on cell block A. They've already put in new cameras and replaced the door frames. In the next two months, the walls will be painted over and filled in, the doors and windows will be replaced with new locks, and glass will be replaced.
In the meantime, more deputies are working inside the jail than they have in years and they're keeping the contraband out.
"We're slowly remedying this....We've already stopped the contraband from coming in from the windows to the cells," said Mason.
The Marshall County Commission approved a $167,000 new system that can control all the doors and locks inside the jail.
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