It's a program that could help shrink the crowd of inmates at the Hamblen County Jail. This comes after safety concerns within the jail.

"Part of it is underground. One of the last remaining jails in Tennessee that is underground. And in those areas it's kind of dark. The lighting isn't real well done and there is not much ventilation in there," said Lieutenant Garry Hambrick.

It was designed in the 1970's, never expecting to reach the numbers it sees to this day.

They only have 255 beds to offer, but sometimes the population inside gets up to 300. The state has not certified the jail in recent years, due to issues with safety and it's floor plans.

You can also find inmates in the booking room. One person is there because he is an amputee, and it is the easiest way to maintain that inmate with the resources they have.

The county is looking to make some space. Recent commission meetings resulted in a new program. One that could help clear the hallways and help create a cleaner community.

"What we are going to try and do is get our DUI offenders in Hamblen County, along with some offenders the court deems would be appropriate for this type of program. Whether it would be for people in contempt. Just different things like that. Show causes, failure to appears. Things that fit into this type of a program. Just put them on the side of the highway, give them a vest and let them pick up litter on the side of the road," said director of Hamblen County Community Service Don Baird.

People could do community service rather than serving time in the jail cell. It's mainly for misdemeanor charges. This still leaves a number of people back at the jail.

"The potential is real. That's why I always tell my officers, they can't drop their guard. Because at any time, anything can go off with all the tension of the overcrowding," said Hambrick.

This program is funded through a grant from the Alcoa Foundation. And begins in the coming weeks. Hambrick said he believes they will have a new jail, or at least a plan for a new building, within the next few years.

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