Nearly 100 weapons uncovered in massive Fulton County Jail shakedown

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A shakedown inside the Fulton County jail reveals an abundance of weapons and drugs either smuggled in or made by inmates, from parts of the jail itself.

“We found nearly 100 shanks and homemade knives made from parts of the building mostly, screws nails,” says Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat. He calls Wednesday’s shakedown of every single cell in the jail, eye opening and just the beginning.

The weapons reveal how some inmates have made shanks and knives from objects they’ve pulled from the walls and other areas of the jail, which is in disrepair.

In the fall of 2021, Sheriff Labat gave Fulton County Commissioners a tour of the Rice Street facility in Atlanta, to build support for a new jail.

“A lot of this, given the age of the building has been going on for years and we just want to make sure that we do the best job possible,” Labat told CBS46.

The sheriff says the shakedown was an effort to make the jail safer for other inmates and detention officers.

“A little over two weeks ago we had a detention officer that was assaulted, stabbed a couple of times in his head as well as some defensive wounds,” Sheriff Labat says.

The sheriff tells CBS46 that the detention officer is recovering and wants to get back to work.

In the past officers have confiscated cell phones from inmates and though phones weren’t found inside the jail during this shakedown, Sheriff Labat says they’re working to find those as well.

“We are implementing some new technology both that will limit the transmission of cell phones at the same time help detect cell phones as well.” Labat says.

Fulton County Commissioners approved a $1.2 million contract to study the prospect of a new county jail earlier this year.

Sheriff Labat estimates a new jail would cost between $400 and $500 million.