Authorities in Grainger County are working to make the jail more secure after three inmates escaped a week ago.
Crews worked on repairing broken locks on Friday, and that work will likely continue on Saturday. The chief deputy says the air lock system has been broken and regular keys wouldn't work because inmates vandalized the locks. That meant prisoners could roam around as they pleased inside the jail.
The jail failed its annual inspection this year because ongoing issues, like the locks, weren't fixed.
A complete replacement of the locking system will cost more than $60,000 dollars, and that expense has to be approved by County Commission. There's a meeting on November 25 where commissioners could take up the issue.
Three inmates escaped the jail last Friday.by climbing over a fence in the recreational area. Two of the inmates were caught Wednesday night at a hotel in Pigeon Forge.
The third escapee, David Valentine, is still on the run. Anyone with information on him is asked to contact the Grainger County Sheriff's Office.