Every quarter the Lincoln County Board of County Commissioners are required to take an inspection tour of the Lincoln County Detention Center.
Not all the Commissioners go at the same time, and Paul Donohue represented the board most recently. He reported on the tour he took earlier this month. The most pressing need he noted, and which has also been pointed out by Sheriff Kerry Lee at other times, is for more housing for female inmates and making repairs to the shower facilities that are located in the booking area.
Lee put the project out to bid recently and is going over the bids that have been received.
The women inmates the detention center does have usually come in for short periods of time, however there are those who might be sentenced from six months to a year.
Lee said the numbers are down at the present time but could go back up again at any time, so they want to be ready. Currently the detention center has only one small room which is not adequate enough for more than five at a time.
Lee has said his plan is to remodel the existing laundry, commissary and bulk food storage room as a place to house the women inmates.
Donohue had recommended purchasing a specially made modular jail facility, but understands something more in-house might work just as well. “That seems to be the quickest mend on this issue and probably the least expensive overall, and the quicker, the better,” he said.
Lee said the plans are to convert the existing storage room by putting in a steel ceiling with ventilation, three bunk beds and open a door to the shower area that is currently used for when inmates are booked in. “We don’t use that shower very much,” he said, “but if someone comes in who needs to be cleaned up, or who has blood on them, they use that shower. It could also easily be used for the women inmates by just putting in a new door. Plumbing pipes from the shower room would also need to be brought into the women’s room, but Lee did not expect that to be much of problem.
Lee said an extra steel building would be purchased to go behind the detention center in a fenced area to serve as the new storage facility for the linens, commissary items and bulk foods.