Chattanooga Federal judges on Friday directed that all federal inmates be removed from the Silverdale jail facility.
Sources said the judges are concerned for the safety of the federal inmates at the facility that is operated by a private firm, CoreCivic.
Some inmates have complained that gang members have taken over at least some sectors of the Silverdale facility, sources said.
There were 52 federal inmates at Silverdale on Friday morning and now none are housed there. Federal inmates are not expected to be held there for the foreseeable future.
Sheriff Jim Hammond, who has responsibility for both the downtown county jail as well as the Silverdale facility, said immediate action was taken to move the inmates.
He said eight female prisoners were shipped to the Bradley County Jail.
The remaining federal prisoners were transferred to the downtown jail on Walnut Street. Sheriff Hammond said, to make room for them, an equal number of male prisoners were moved out of the jail and transferred to Silverdale.
Judge Sandy Mattice, after consultation with Judge Travis McDonough, issued an order removing the federal prisoners from Silverdale.
Sources said he told the U.S. marshals to "get them out of there."
Sheriff Hammond said he had been aware of issues at Silverdale and there have been investigations underway.