UF Law Students Tour Alachua County Jail
Officer Maggie Donnell (pictured, right) led UF Levin College of Law students on a tour of the Alachua County Jail Thursday, Nov. 1. Hosted by the Criminal Law Association, the annual tour of the jail provided participants access to the entire 314,000 square foot facility. The jail, which is under the authority of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, is currently overcrowded with only 980 beds for approximately 1,100 inmates. The jail houses individuals arrested within Alachua County to include detainees awaiting a first appearance and bail hearing, defendants awaiting trial, and convicts with sentences up to one year. The tour included views of the first appearance room, which utilizes a video conference link to the Alachua County Courthouse, the library, which has a Westlaw account for the inmates’ use, and the inmates’ living spaces, which are organized by pods. The inmates are assigned to the pods according to a classification system that takes into account a variety of factors including the alleged crime, age, and adherence to the rules.