$5.3M approved for Fulton County Jail after family claims inmate ‘eaten alive’ by bed bugs

Fulton County has approved more than $5 million in funding for emergency improvements to the jail.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was at the Fulton County Government Center when the Board of Commissioners announced the funding.

This comes just days after Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat asked for three top jail officials to resign. Chief Jailer Col. John Jackson and Assistant Chief Jailers Lt. Col. Derrick Singleton and Lt. Col. Adam Lee resigned from their positions earlier this week.

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Both come after the family of inmate Lashawn Thompson claimed their loved one was eaten alive by bedbugs in September. He was reportedly found dead in a dirty cell. Photos show Thompson’s face, mouth and torso covered with insects.

The sheriff says he is looking into how the cell became infested with bed bugs.


He asked the council for $5.3 million to make several changes to the jail, including cleaning and sanitizing it. The board approved that money.

The Board of Commissioners broke down the investment:

  • $2.1 million for devices to track detainee heart rate and blood pressure

  • $485,000 for sanitizing and decontaminating medical and psychiatric observation units

  • $630,000 for 4D imaging of mail contents to detect narcotics and other contraband in mail sent to inmates

  • $1.1 million for 91 additional surveillance cameras

  • $1 million for additional emergency management support with Emergency Management Services, Inc.

They also invested another $869,893 into a feasibility study toward a new Fulton County Jail.

Civil rights leaders will gather in front of the jail on Thursday afternoon to question why it took so long for the public to learn about Thompson’s death and why the sheriff has not spoken with his family.

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