Fulton County Inmates Enroute to Pelham Jail

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Pelham's police chief says his jail will be accepting overflow inmates from Fulton County this week. And he says it's an arrangement that benefits both the city and the jail system.

"We've signed a contract with Fulton County to provide a service for them, just like we have with the other counties in the past, and so it covers this food, clothing and transportation."

Pelham officials say the contract is an arrangement that benefits the community.

"It helps our budget because when you're a small city our biggest problem is not having a year-round cash flow, but with these contracts we have a 12 months out of the year cash flow and it also employs many people in our community, plus we provide a service to these counties that need it."

And there are many Georgia jails in need; members of the Georgia Board of Corrections say open door policies like the one in Pelham help the entire system.

It's still undecided just how many inmates will be coming to the Pelham jail. Chief McCormick says he and Fulton County officials will do that soon.

Thus far, only the Fulton County district attorney is criticizing the move, saying it forces lawyers to travel too far to see their clients.