Fulton County took a leap toward ending federal oversight of its jail Wednesday. The County Commission awarded a $4.8 million contract to replace almost 1,400 faulty door locks that inmates have been able to open at will to assault guards and other inmates.
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For more than six years, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has covered the difficulties Fulton County has faced in complying with a federal consent order to improve conditions at the county’s jail. Reporters have used public records to calculate the total cost of compliance to taxpayers — nearly $150 million. One of the last required renovations is replacing nearly 1,400 locks. Today’s story reports that the county has awarded a contract for the job and describes challenges ahead.