Bristol, Va. Council votes to join Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority, close city jail

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BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — The Bristol, Virginia City Council approved joining the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority and closing the city jail.

Council members voted 3–2 Tuesday night in favor of closing the city’s 53-year-old jail and housing inmates at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield instead.

The jail authority includes a number of counties in Southwest Virginia and the City of Norton.

Bristol’s move will have to be approved by each of the governing bodies of the authority’s member localities and the Virginia Resources Authority because the city would become partially responsible for helping pay off long-term bond debt.

There are currently more than 1,800 inmates at regional jails located in Abingdon, Duffield, Haysi, and Richlands.

The council also approved a 60-month contract worth $530,000 with Axon Enterprises for the purchase of stun guns and body cameras.

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