Inmates at overcrowded Tennessee jail outnumber beds

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JACKSON, Tenn. — Authorities say a Tennessee jail is so overcrowded that inmates sleep on floors and squeeze into cells meant for smaller groups.

The Jackson Sun reports the Madison County Criminal Justice Center has failed to meet the Tennessee Corrections Institute’s minimum standards since 2014 because it continuously exceeds inmate capacity. Officials hope to expand the jail in response.

Madison County Sheriff John Mehr says he doesn’t want to “put the fear in people” but the situation is dire. The jail is built to hold about 300 inmates, and it held about 401 in August. Mehr says he loses sleep over the jail’s condition — and so do the inmates, who outnumber the beds and have to sleep on the floor.

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