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Jail expects to serve hot meals this week

Since late last year, inmates in the Clayton County Jail have not had access to full, hot meals, due to cracks and loose seals on three industrial-sized food kettles in the jail.

In November, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners signed off on an emergency purchase of $52,113.93 to replace two, 100-gallon kettles and one, 60-gallon kettle.

In a report during Tuesday night's BOC meeting, Clayton County Chief of Staff Alex Cohilas reported that the replacement kettles should be installed and fully functional at the jail by the end of today.

"The kettles have arrived and the installation process began on Friday and will be completed tomorrow," Cohilas said Tuesday night. "The ability of the Sheriff to deliver hot meals ... that problem will be resolved."

Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough said the installation of the kettles will keep the county compliant with the state constitution and "keep the federal courts from intervening in Clayton County."

"Our provision of hot meals has nothing to do with being soft or tough on crime," Kimbrough said. "It has to do with complying with federal and state law. Most of the people in the jail are pre-trial and not adjudicated, yet. Anyone of us could end up in the Clayton County Jail. We need to be thinking about treating people the way we would want to be treated, whether it [their jail time] is for 24 hours, or 24 months."

-- Joel Hall