Bay County Prisoners Transferred to New Jail

By: WJHG-TV Kristina Hamilton
By: WJHG-TV Kristina Hamilton

Bay County sheriff's deputies and Corrections Corporation of America personnel moved all 350 inmates from the old jail in downtown Panama City to the brand new facility in Bayou George.

Armed tactical teams from around the region came in to oversee the transfer to prevent any escape attempts. The new $39 million jail will house a total of 900 inmates, all on one level without any elevators.

Joe Ponte, Bay County Jail Warden, said, "I think this is CCA's commitment to the county to, you know, fill out this contract and get the inmates in this facility and get this facility operational, and it takes a lot of work to get there, so we're in the process and this will give us a shake down phase to get the inmates in here and running and closing the downtown jail is a big plus."

The county's contract with the CCA expires October 1st. The sheriff’s office will be using the next month to interview and train the new employees in the new facility.

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