April 11, 2013

Farmington residents protest for jail upgrade

The sheriff tells the crowd he will make changes with or without state approval.


FARMINGTON – Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. told a crowd during a protest Wednesday that he plans to upgrade the county jail's status from that of a 72-hour holding facility, with or without the state's approval.

click image to enlarge

Protesters in Farmington listen to Sheriff Scott Nichols, Sr., speak during a protest Wednesday at the Franklin County Courthouse over the Franklin County Jail's reduction to a 72-hour holding facility.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

About 100 residents came to the demonstration organized by Nichols, carrying signs and at one point briefly chanting "Give us our jail back." Nichols said he hopes the protest sends a powerful message to state lawmakers that the system is broken and needs to change.

Nichols said his department will start hiring the personnel it needs to reopen the jail as a fully operating facility instead of a 72-hour holding facility.

He said the department will begin hiring more corrections officers, asking those who were laid off to resubmit applications and searching for someone to work in the jail's kitchen.

Nichols said recent overwhelming backing from the county's residents got more of a reaction from the Legislature than he and other county officials have been able to elicit.

Franklin County residents have been emailing, calling and sending letters to the Board of Corrections and state representatives and senators after a Facebook group administered by Nichols' wife and son called "Give Franklin County Our Jail Back" urged them to do so. The group provides its 600 members with template letters and the contact information for the officials.


Kaitlin Schroeder can be contacted at 861-9252 or at:



Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)