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Judge pushes for more jail funding

ATLANTA (AP) - A federal judge is threatening to slap Fulton County commissioners with fines or lock them up if they fail to bolster funding to the county's beleaguered jail.

U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob's order Tuesday reminded the commissioners that their obligation to the jail is "unconditional" after he received a report that Sheriff Ted Jackson's budget could be cut by more than $4 million.

Fulton County commissioners proposed cutting the budget from $98 million to $93.4 million. Shoob said in the order he believes that funding is "insufficient" for the sheriff to meet the requirements.

The order is part of a case filed in 2004 that claimed the jail was understaffed and overcrowded. The county pledged in a February 2006 consent decree to improve the conditions.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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