Marion County Jail

County celebrates jail groundbreaking

From left, Bob Burleson, Keith Nichols, Dale Holt, Angela Berry, Kevin Williams and Tim “Ears” Estes break ground on the new Marion County Jail facility in Hamilton. Not pictured is Commissioner Kenneth Cochran.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams and the Marion County Commission joined with government officials and leaders in the county to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Marion County Jail in Hamilton.
The event took place at the future jail site located at the Bedford Industrial park in Hamilton located near Marion County DHR Friday, Nov. 4.

Commissioners award jail bids

Groundbreaking for the new jail will be Friday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. at the Bedford Industrial Park. Shown is the old jail.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — In a decision that may have been too close for comfort, the Marion County Commission voted to award several bids that signals the official start of the Marion County Jail construction.
Commissioners had eight bid packages on the table for their meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, at the commission office in Hamilton.
Bids were opened just last month, giving commissioners the cost of contracts for general works, detention and security, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, concrete, masonry and sitework to be done for the new jail facility.

Jail looms, county budget blooms

Marion County projects $1.9 million surplus in this fiscal year’s budget.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON —Things are looking up at the perfect time financially for the Marion County Commission. With the new Marion County Jail looming over the county's head, things have seemingly been looking negative due to the high cost of the jail’s construction.
According to the county's approved budget for 2023, however, Marion County is in the best financial shape it has been in quite some time.

One big step for the Marion County Jail

Andrew Jackson, president of WAR Construction, is shown opening a bid package during a Marion County Commission bid opening for the new Marion County Jail in Hamilton.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — The new Marion County Jail in Hamilton is a giant step closer to having a price tag on it after bids were opened for the project on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the commission office in Hamilton.
Many were present during the bid opening, including Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams, who has been waiting desperately for the new building to be completed.

Yielding involved in second murder and suicide

Chris Yielding

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Two Hamilton residents died after a murder and suicide shooting involving a murder suspect who was out on bail.
Chris Yielding, 43, and his father, Charles Yielding, 80, were reported dead to emergency dispatchers by Chris Yielding’s mother on Monday, Sept. 19, at 3:15 a.m.
Yielding was arrested in August of 2020 for the murder of his partner Mandy Dozier and was released from the Marion County Jail in Hamilton on Jan. 25, 2022, on a bond amount of $506,000.

Sheriff faces burden of old jail

Pictured is the Marion County Jail in Hamilton, which has remained unchanged since its construction in the 1970s.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams has his hands full as jailer turnover has been high and jail construction is revving up.
“The issue I’ve got is that jailers are underpaid, in my opinion,” said Williams. “People are leaving the job for other jobs that pay a lot more.”
Williams stated that top-out pay for jailers lands at $14.56 per hour.
“The jailer’s job is not a strenuous job, it’s not a manual (labor) job, but it is very stressful,” said Williams.

Commissioners want money

Dana Peoples and Bruce Miller, jail committee members, and Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams look over plans for the new county jail.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
HAMILTON — The Marion County Commission and the jail committee met on Thursday night, Feb. 3, to discuss finances in regards to the new county jail. Plans are moving forward to construct a 208-person jail with a $14 million budget.
Marion County Administrator Kalyn Moore presented two options for paying off the bond. One option would allow the county to make lower payments over 25 years, which is around $635,000 each year, or make higher payments for 20 years, which is around $745,000 per year.

Heat wave sparks riot


Staff Writer

HAMILTON - Marion County jailers, Hamilton Police Officers and Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies had their hands full after a riot broke out in the Marion County Jail in Hamilton on Thursday night, Aug. 12, in Hamilton.
Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams spoke briefly about the incident to the Marion County Commissioners on Monday, Aug. 16, during a regular commission meeting at the commission office in Hamilton.
Williams said that the inmates became angered due to the high temperatures within the jail on the day of the riot.

Roster hits all-time high

HAMILTON - Vaccinations and COVID-19 are complicating the logistical aspects of correctional facilities. Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams told the Journal Record that on Tuesday, April 6, the Marion County Jail marked an all-time record of 189 individuals in custody. The jail, which was built in 1979, is designed to house just 86. One reason for this super-capacity is the presence of nearly 50 state prisoners who have not been accepted into the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), according to Williams.