After being rebuilt, it resumed to role of being a jail. In the early 1920s, the building was renovated, at this time it also received electricity and plumbing. In the 1950s, the wife of Senator Marshall Williams, had the building painted pink, after which it received the nickname pink palace.
In early 1960, a group of students from two local all black colleges, began to protest racial segregation at a local lunch counter. During this time they held several small sit ins. When this didn't work, they held boycotts and protest marches, due to recently enacted city ordinances, 388 students were arrested, the authorities placed as many as they could in this jail, the rest were placed in a stockade that had been built for cows.
The jail closed in 1980 after 120 years. It was supposed to become a museum, but parts of the building ended up being rented out. It changed owners a few times, and currently sits vacant, with no definite plans as to what to use it for.