County Wants Jail Facelift

1 decade 6 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, May 24 2007 May 24, 2007 Thursday, May 24, 2007 7:05:48 PM CDT May 24, 2007 in News
The money would go to make a bigger--and safer--county jail.

Commissioners and the sheriff's department say the current jail doesn't have enough room.

"It's always full, and we're always sending prisoners to other counties, which we have to pay. We basically pay double," said presiding commissioner Marc Ellinger.

"With this jail the way we have it right now, it's just bleeding us in money," said Ellinger.

And beyond cost savings, additions to the current jail could improve safety for kids at a local church. A mutual concern for the sheriff's department and the church, is how close to the children's daycare dropoff, inmates are often taken in or transferred out.

"We have taken whatever measures we have needed to, in order to keep our children safe," said Debra Walker of First United Methodist Church.

"With this newer jail we'll have a sally port set up so whenever the vehicles pull in, you close both doors. That way it reduces the risk of flight," said Captain John Walker of the Cole County Sheriff Department.

The proposal will cost about 24 million dollars. Ellinger says the half cent sales tax increase to pay for the project won't last more than 15 years. He says the city has expressed the desire for good law enforcement, and this jail proposal is one that comes from the voters themselves.

The proposed new jail will have 90 cells that will hold 180 inmates. Next Tuesday, a citizens' committee will meet to discuss the proposed jail.

Cole County Presiding Commissioner says there will be more information on the proposed new jail on either the Cole County or sheriff's website soon.  Click on the links above to find out more about the jail.

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