Local leaders explore options to provide mental health resources and improve conditions at 201 Poplar – FOX13 News Memphis


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Shelby County Commissioners continue to explore options to improve conditions and provide resources at 201 Poplar in downtown Memphis.

A commissioner seeks solutions to improve mental health resources inside the prison.

This comes after multiple complaints about deteriorated and inhumane conditions at 201.

MORE: Conditions at 201 Poplar are unlivable, county commissioner says

After a recent tour of the prison, Commissioner Brittany Thornton called the conditions inside “unliveable”.

“We’ve seen everything from leaky ceilings, to mold on panels, to cells, which are just questionable,” Thornton said.

After a four-hour visit that included District 12 Commissioner Erika Sugarmon and District 6 Commissioner Charlie Caswell, Thornton told FOX13 she felt numb.

“I would never want to go to jail after this experience,” Thornton said.

201 Poplar was built in the 1970s and opened in 1980.

Since then, the establishment has undergone several renovations that have cost millions of dollars.

Thornton said 201 Poplar currently holds about 2,200 inmates.

Because the prison is overcrowded, they have had staffing shortages, forcing correctional officers to work overtime.

Thornton said it would cost over $300,000 to rebuild 201 Poplar.

MORE: Family seeks answers after death of inmate at 201 Poplar

Earlier this month, a 33-year-old inmate died in prison.

His family told FOX13 they had received little information about his death and wanted answers.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it is investigating the inmate’s death at the request of Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy.

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