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City leaders break ground at site of new Richmond City Jail

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RICHMOND, Va, (WTVR) - A groundbreaking ceremony today will mark the start of constructing Richmond's state-of-the-art justice center.

The old jail was built in the early 1960's, and after years of patiently waiting, a new facility is going up.

The plans to build the new jail were approved by the Virginia's Board of Corrections in December.

Officials are calling the new facility a "one-stop jail" because it's set to include the jail annex, as well as the magistrates under the same roof.

Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody, who has been instrumental in the justice center project, calls the old jail an appalling place to keep prisoners.

"It's overcrowded, it's just inhumane for those that are here. Usually cells are built now to make people better citizens, instead of better criminals," said Woody.

Sheriff Woody also mentioned the state is putting up nearly $30 million, with bonds and taxpayer money also being used to fund the nearly $135 million facility.

The 1,032 bed justice center is slated to open in 2014.