Crime

What to know about the Fulton County Jail where Trump will be booked

Trump and other defendants must appear for booking by Aug. 25.

A prisoner sleeps on the floor of the Fulton County Jail
Ric Feld / AP
SMS

Fulton County Jail, in Atlanta, Georgia, is in the national spotlight because it's expected to be the official building where former President Donald Trump and 18 others will be booked after they were indicted Monday on charges that they interfered in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Because the jail is open 24 hours a day, defendants may choose to surrender for booking at any time.

The Fulton County Sheriff has said that unless he's given other instructions, the booking process will be the same for all defendants, and will include mugshots.

In Fulton County, the booking and arraignment processes happen separately. A judge may allow defendants to appear for arraignment remotely.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has given defendants until noon on Friday, Aug. 25 to turn themselves in.

In July, the U.S. Justice Department opened a civil investigation into conditions at the jail. The inquiry is not related to Georgia's case against Trump.

The department said it had found extensive justification to start an inquiry, "including credible allegations that an incarcerated person died covered in insects and filth, that the Fulton County Jail is structurally unsafe, that prevalent violence has resulted in serious injuries and homicides, and that officers are being prosecuted for using excessive force."

The investigation will review living conditions, health care, the steps taken to protect inmates from violence, and the use of excessive force. The department says it will also determine whether county officials discriminate against those with psychiatric disabilities.

Donald Trump, 18 others indicted in Georgia election case
Donald Trump, 18 others indicted in Georgia election case

Donald Trump, 18 others indicted in Georgia election case

The indictment charges Trump with racketeering, violating oath of office and other charges.

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Conditions inside the jail have been described as a "large scale humanitarian crisis."

In April, Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat led an investigation to document inmate issues and conditions in the jail.

Videos have shown detainees resting on overflow cots in hallways, and flooded jail pods where plumbing leaks caused standing water. Inmates described broken televisions and phones, and nonfunctional plumbing.

Labat described the conditions as "inhumane." He says he's moved hundreds of inmates to different jails in the region, and will make regular checks in the jail to identify short-term solutions.