The Monroe County sheriff says the current system of farming out prisoners to other areas outside the county is too expensive and time-consuming to continue.
The old Monroe County Jail is falling apart, literally–with sandstone blocks crumbling into dust when they are touched.
It’s been more than a year since they’ve been allowed to house prisoners.
“We had a lot of violations,” said Sheriff Charles Black Jr.. “We can’t come into compliance anymore. So we use the current facility for a holding facility only. Otherwise, inmates are all transported out to other counties.”
In the last eight months since they’ve decided to keep track, they’ve logged more than 37,000 miles hauling prisoners to other jails and back.
“We’ve been basically from the state line, all the way out toward Indiana, all the way up toward the lakes, just any place we can find to house a prisoner,” the sheriff noted.
So they’re going to build an $11.5 million facility at the industrial park.
It will be called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Center.
Construction should start in May of 2016, and be complete and ready to inhabit by May 2017.
It will have either 92 or 112 beds, depending on cost at the time of the bids.
It’s a huge project, but one that can’t wait any longer, according to the sheriff.
“It’s not going to subside with the oil and gas,” Sheriff Black said. “The pipeline’s coming in. The county’s only going to prosper and grow from here.”