Bradley County Holds Grand Opening Of Inmate Workhouse

BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – Punishment for crimes is sometimes a two-edged sword.

Not only will a person lose their freedom–many also lose their jobs and are unable to provide for their families.

Bradley County is trying to minimize that extra punishment with a new 3.1 million dollar workhouse.

Chief Deputy Brian K. Smith, “You all mean so much to me. And I really appreciate this honor. Thank you.”

Brian smith is not only chief deputy at the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department, he is also a former county commissioner and the man who first promoted the idea of a county workhouse.

It’s been 14 years in the making.

Over his long career, smith has seen the negative impact on families of those convicted of crime.

Brian K. Smith says, “Bradley county had a work- release several years ago. They just went out and cleaned up the road and cleaned up the public property. This is where you’re actually going to a place of employment and returning to get credit for your sentence.”

And, after a year building a new facility at the Bradley County Justice Center, local leaders gathered for a formal ribbon cutting.

Mayor Gary Davis said, “I’m glad to have the project behind us and say that it’s ahead of schedule and on-budget. And glad to get it open. Then hopefully, hopefully soon we’ll be able to say 14 years from now that this new project of work release is also self- sufficient. Even in addition to that, it’ll be providing some bed-space and then hopefully get some people working and allowing them to continue to work rather than just incarcerating them all the time.”

The new facility will be for non- violent criminals who apply for the program.

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson said, “We all know that if, usually, you go to jail and get convicted.. you do have to spend time in jail. You do lose your job. But, this program will allow them to keep their jobs and still work, provide for their family, their self and pay their child support as they’re required to do by the courts.”

That new building will also house the probation office.

Categories: Bradley County, Local News

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