Jackson County

Supervisors approve revisions for jail design

Jackson County supervisors this morning revised the jail design for the new Jackson County jail.

Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor, with Board President Melton Harris voting against it.

Two weeks ago, they approved a brick-and-mortar traditional design. The revision today specifies what the design will look like.

The new design allows for a few more beds, 852 total, and will have two levels. Most of the cells will be in a dormitory style, laid out in a circular pattern so a central guard's desk can see eight different sectioned-off dorm areas.

The jail will be 117,000 square feet and will include a special, maximum-security area where inmates can be housed individually and will allow for individual exercise yards outside. There will be 120 to 130 maximum security rooms that include bathroom facilities.

There also will not be a central cafeteria; rather, each of the eight dorm areas will have its own day room for eating.

Supervisors said this design evolved as the county looked a different designs and had discussions with contractors and engineers. The board voted today to prepare this design for bids and expects to advertise for bids soon.

"I think this is a far better design than Pryor & Morrow came up with originally," said Supervisor John McKay. He went on to say the sheriff likes this design better.

Harris said, "Anytime you discuss an issue, you have a better chance of getting a better design."

Read more about this story in Tuesday's Sun Herald.