YADKINVILLE, N.C. – Workers have installed five air-conditioning units in the Yadkin County jail, allowing it to reopen more than a month after the state ordered it closed until the sheriff could bring the temperature below 85 degrees.
In addition to installing air conditioning, Yadkin painted the inside of the jail and renovated the showers.
After a quick walk-through of the jail by state inspectors, deputies moved 28 inmates back in Thursday night.
"We were fortunate that the state worked with us to get the jail air-conditioned and bypass some of the requirements for design and review and quickly get us inspected to get back in the jail," said Maj. Danny Widener, of the Yadkin County Sheriff's Office.
The N.C. Secretary of Health and Human Services ordered the jail closed jail Aug. 10 after temperatures inside reached the 90s. The jail was thought to be the only one in North Carolina without air conditioning.
More than a year ago, county officials drew criticism after temperatures inside the 39-year-old jail reached 100 degrees and some inmates became ill.
The sheriff moved 38 inmates to jails in Watauga, Davie and Rutherford counties.
Yadkin pays about $45 a day for each inmate housed in other counties. The county paid between $1,800 and $2,000 to house inmates each day the jail was closed, officials said. But because the number of inmates housed each day varied during the closure, deputies estimate that the total cost was about $40,000.
Since 2004, Yadkin has spent more than $600,000 in out-of-county housing expenses. Although the jail has re-opened, Yadkin continues to pay other county jails to house some inmates because of a lack of space.
County commissioners are making plans to build a $7.5 million jail. Because of the poor conditions in the jail, a Superior Court judge has been keeping track of the progress of the new jail.