Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee says the Lincoln County Detention Center needs to expand. Commissioner Paul Donohue had noted in his report to the commission board on the latest jail tour taken by commissioners, that a rapidly increasing problem is the number of female inmates.
Sheriff Lee said, “I don’t know why, but recently we are getting inundated with them, both local and from Las Vegas, and we don’t have adequate facilities for them. We are having to put some in holding cells intended for men when they have to be separated from the other population.
As of this week, the detention center was holding five women inmates.
Donohue recommended the commission board consider looking into the cost of adding a modular jail unit that would be designated strictly for women inmates. He said it could be attached to the east part of the existing building.
Lee said a planning meeting needs to be held to look at that option as well as others, including converting a storage space in the detention center into the women’s facility. But Donohue countered by saying the storage space is “extremely small, and then we would not have any place for storage of the washing and linens.”
Another problem Lee said the detention center is facing is Las Vegas has been sending up different classifications of male inmates, and they sometimes have to be kept separate from others, and finding the space to do that is a problem, too.
Lee said they don’t want to empty out a whole pod for a handful of women inmates, “and we have several who are going to be there long term.”
He thought the storage room would be good if it could be remodeled, but being that it is small, “the problem would be if you have some women inmates who could not be housed together.”
He said another problem might be in getting the plumbing of the modular hooked into the plumbing of the central building and to the lift station, and there are other concerns that need to be addressed as well.
Donohue said he wanted to go get answers of “brick and mortar versus modular”, and put it on the Sept. 7 meeting agenda.