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  • Carolina Public Press

NC counties base jail decisions on controversial consultant work

Recommendations to build bigger jails often come from same firms that land jail design contracts. Consultant methods may stack deck in favor of big investments in jail construction.

Adjacent cells at the Catawba County Detention Center in Newton, which were undergoing renovations in September. Jordan Wilkie / Carolina Public Press

When Sheriff Greg Christopher was appointed in 2013, he inherited a Haywood County jail that was already full. The county was just coming out of a recession, money was tight, and he did not want to ask the county commissioners for the funds it would have taken to add on to the jail, he said.

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