Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler was our guest speaker last Wednesday providing an update on the Public Safety Building. Sherriff Sickler was introduced by past-president Ian Foster.

The existing building opened in 1981 and is over 40 years old. The current cap on occupancy is 300 beds at night. In 2019 a DLR assessment estimated that Jackson County’s future jail bed need at 812 physical beds.

In addition to capacity challenges, the current design of the jail is inefficient from an operational perspective requiring 10-12 minimum security staff for a population of 300.  Increased Safety and Security through design improvements in a new facility could allow for a population of 624-776 people to be served safely with a staff of 13 – 15 minimum security personnel.

Moving forward, the earliest the opportunity projected to get a proposal for a new public safety building on the ballot is May 2025. And, if the measure were to pass, the new jail would take about four years before it was up and running after it passes.

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