After lengthy delays, a new jail in McIntosh County is finally open and running. Today, many people, got their first look at it.
"There's a lot of unruliness in the classroom and I think trips like this will put kids in a different direction," said Ronald Williams, who took kids with the McIntosh County Boy's Club on a tour.
Williams says sometimes lessons have to be learned the hard way, but showing kids first hand where their lives could end up if they make the wrong decision, may help them stay on the right track. "They hear so much about the jail and they know relatives or someone in jail. I think there is a great curiosity about it," said Williams.
With all the controversy that surrounded this facility over the last 10 years, these kids almost didn't get the chance to see life behind bars. Construction of the jail actually started back in 1995. It was completed last year, but because of conflicts with previous county officials, the sheriff said he couldn't get the people he needed to run this facility until this year.
"We went from court battle to court battle but as soon as a new commissioner came aboard we received the 16 additional personal that we needed to open this jail," said McIntosh County Sheriff Charles Jones.
The state of the art facility not only serves those who've committed crimes, but it also serves as a good reminder for those who still have the chance and the choice to make the right decisions in life. "This is not the life they want to lead. They want to stay in school and not have to come here," said Williams of the boys he's taking through the facility.
The McIntosh County Law Enforcement Center now houses 81 inmates. It can hold up to 114.