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Officials impressed with new jail

Lincoln County officials gave the county’s new detention centeranother good review Wednesday.

“I’m very pleased with it,” said District 5 Supervisor GaryWalker while he and other supervisors, county officials andcontractors inspected cells, control rooms and the renovatedjustice court building.

As officials walked through the building, Clifford Galey, countysafety coordinator, marked items that needed attention before thejail can open. He said some electrical boxes needed covers, butoverall there was “nothing major” that needed to be addressed.

“I think it’s going to be a great asset for the county,” Galeysaid of the facility. “It looks like safety was very much involvedin the planning and construction of it.”

Sheriff Lynn Boyte said there will be some minor adjustmentsneeded once everything is settled, but he was pleased withprogress.

“I don’t see any problems with where we are,” Boyte said. “Mostof the kinks or problems have been worked out.”

Boyte said the new jail’s 24 “maximum security” units, which arecapable of holding 48 inmates, will allow better handling andsupervision of inmates. He said those who misbehave can be isolatedwhile those who follow rules could get limited privileges.

“It just gives you a lot more options to control and to rewardprisoners who go along with the rules and regulations,” Boytesaid.

A date for being in the new jail has not been determined,although it is expected to be soon. Final telephone reviews areplanned for Friday and a new computer terminal and sheriff’s officerecords will have to be moved while work begins on current jailrenovations.

“We’ve got to be able to walk out of the old jail and basicallybe able to go without missing a beat,” Boyte said.

After the county begins operations in the newly-constructedbuilding, renovation work on the current jail will begin. That workis expected to be completed in September.

Overall, the new jail will be able to house around 128 inmates.Of those, 84 will be in the new facility and the remainder in therenovated current building.

At approximately $3.5 million, District 1 Supervisor CliffGivens said the building is costly, but he was proud the county hasit.

“It’s going to be something the people will be proud of,” Givenssaid.

County officials have discussed the possibility of housing stateand federal prisoners in the new jail. With reimbursement funds,Givens said that should help the county in paying for the newfacility.

Mentioning federal intervention in construction of a new jail inJones County, Givens was proud the county moved to build the newjail on its own. If the federal government had been involved,Givens said the price tag could have been much higher.

“Some things we don’t do because we want to, we do because wehave to,” Givens said.

District 4 Supervisor W.D. “Doug” Moak was also impressed withsecurity aspects of the jail.

“It look like they tried to think of most everything theycould,” Moak said.

With crime a constant problem, Moak said a sad aspect of the newjail is that it will soon be full. However, Lincoln County was notalone in that regard.

“It’s not just this jail. It’s any jail in the United States,”Moak said.