Candidates running for Fulton County Sheriff speak on recent jail deaths during town hall

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — On Wednesday, The ACLU of Georgia hosted the “Know Your Sheriff” town hall.

During the town hall meeting, Channel 2 Action News heard from five people running for Fulton County Sheriff about the recent deaths inside the county jail.

So far this year, three inmates died while in custody at the Fulton County Jail and last year that number was 10.

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At a town hall forum, Fulton County Sheriff Pat LaBat and FCS candidates Charles Rambo, James “J.T.” Brown, Kirt Beasley and Joyce Farmer discussed what they would do to keep inmates from dying inside of the jail.

The moderator at the Ali Events Center asked the five candidates for Fulton County sheriff what they would do to prevent another death at the jail.

“Again, that’s why I said you have to have proper, competent staff. You have to have people who are well-trained. For you, it’s staffing but it also means you also have to have accountability,” said Rambo.

Incumbent Sheriff Pat Labat said deaths in the jail are a “decade-upon-decade issue.”

He repeated his call for a new jail.

“Ultimately, we have to understand until we build a new jail and until we change the culture, the problem will persist,” said Labat.

Candidate James “J-T” Brown said deputies need to do more consistent check-ups of inmates.

“Make sure that deputies do 30-minute rounds and hold the supervisors accountable for those deputies doing the rounds to ensure the safety of everyone in that facility,” said Brown.


For Kirt Beasley and Joyce Farmer, it all comes down to staffing.

“Mass hire. Make sure we have enough staff to oversee the detainees. We have to have staff hired and you have to ensure they’re properly trained and you need those levels of management in place,” said Beasley.

“And to continue to say that people are dying because of the jail...the jail is not killing these people. It’s inmates on inmates. So once you treat your staff right, treat them with respect, they will come to work and they will be there to do the job,” said Farmer.

The primary day is May 21.

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