Federal judge removes Atlanta jail sale deadline

ATLANTA (AP) -- A federal judge has removed the Nov. 1 deadline for Fulton County to buy the Atlanta city jail.

Senior U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob, who had imposed the deadline because of the county jail's chronic overcrowding, said Thursday the sale is now off the table.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Shoob says he will hold the county commission accountable if it does not find a solution to its overcrowding problems in a reasonable amount of time.

The judge says the focus now will be setting terms for the county to lease beds from the city as a short-term fix, while the county explores the possibility of building new jail space.