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History
Early image of the Shelby County Correction Center135 Years of Service
The Shelby County Correction Center, now known as the Shelby County Division of Correction (SCDC), has been a vital part of the local community for more than 135 years. Established in 1819, as the Shelby County Work House (later known as the Shelby County Penal Farm), the SCDC is recognized for its emphasis on changing human behavior to more socially acceptable attitudes that can result in crime reduction in our community.

As long ago as 1883, Shelby County maintained a detention facility for criminals convicted in the local courts. Back then private contractors paid the county 10 cents a day for convict labor to build Tennessee roads and railroads. These jobs plus laundry and cooking chores and raising produce on the Shelby County Penal Farm land made it a nearly self-supporting facility.

Old photograph of the center's mess hall About the Center's Facilities
The Correction Center's main cell blocks were completed in 1928. Thirteen other buildings were added between 1989 and 1991. Maximum bed space for male and female inmates is 3,680. As a correctional facility, SCDC is larger than any other county, state, or federal facility located in this area of the south. There are two adjacent complexes:
  • The Shelby County Correction Center (SCCC), which is the main building and incorporates the weekend detention center on the second floor
  • The Adult Offender Center (AOC), which holds inmates classified as levels one, two, and three, and those participating on work release and work lines

In addition to the SCHC also features a women's building on the SCCC grounds. Read more about the SCHC facilities.

Client Information
Clients' sentences range anywhere from a few days to eight years. The most common sentences range from two to three years for felony drug-related charges. Medical services are contracted through Correctional Medical Services (CMS).

Vasco A. Smith, Jr. County Administration Building • (901) 222-2300
160 North Main Street Memphis TN 38103
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