MORRISTOWN, Tenn. - The Hamblen County Jail has been described as a
dangerously overcrowded "cesspool of a dungeon," with inmates sleeping
on mats in the hallways, lawyers forced to meet their clients in a
supply closet and the people inside subjected to "horrible conditions"
And that's the county sheriff talking.
Jail populations used to be concentrated in big cities. But since
2013, the number of people locked up in rural, conservative counties
such as Hamblen has skyrocketed, driven by the nation's drug crisis.
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