Work on the new jail in Sumter County is set to resume later this month.
A.G. Gaston Contractors out of Birmingham have been hired to finish the work. In April, work came to an abrupt halt when it was discovered that the previous contractor did not have an operating license. Sheriff Johnny Hatter says this week's escape of two inmates is just more proof why a new jail is needed.
"We have bad locks in the old jail," Hatter said. "It has gotten to the point that the old jail will take too much money to upgrade, something must be done!"
Work on the new jail is set to resume July 2. It is expected to be complete sometime early next year. Hatter says compared to the current jail, which can house 54 inmates, the new jail, will be equipped to house 85.