COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman released a statement on Sunday in regard to the Muscogee County Jail exceeding maximum capacity.

As of the 1st of July, the Muscogee County Jail inmate population increased to 1,076. The maximum bed capacity is 1,069. Sheriff Countryman says this is due to inmates who have been sentenced to prison, but have not yet transferred to State custody.

“As Sheriff, I will continue to make the necessary decisions and work with our public safety partners to avoid potential issues that can arise from overcrowding. Furthermore, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office will continue to be open and transparent about these matters, as I have been since my first day in the Office of Sheriff.”

Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman

Inmates who have been sentenced cannot be transferred to prison until all appropriate documents have been completed by the Clerk of Superior Court’s Office. The Clerk’s Office is dealing with backlogged documentation. Countryman says this is due to, “some of the same infrastructure and personnel challenges this office endures, and has also recently had to close because of a COVID-19 outbreak.”

Once the backlog is resolved they say the current inmate population will greatly reduced as inmates will be removed from the Muscogee County Jail to Georgia State Prison.

Sheriff Countryman outlined additional issues the jail has faced, which include, “a crumbling infrastructure, COVID–19 infections, medical services/costs, food services/costs, staffing shortages, plumbing, and
HVAC issues.”