In an earlier post (week of June 14th), we referred to the number of beds. I thought it would be good to take a deeper diver into those numbers and try to explain them in a different or a better way that may make better sense.
We are planning to build a 512-bed jail but have a facility that holds 569 beds (projected 30 years from now)
The demographics show that over the next 20 years (we will use a range of 20-30), we will require 384 beds, which is the expected number of inmates who will physically be in the jail. That does not include the behavioral health beds. These 57 beds are what skews our numbers somewhat.
The octagons you see represent a 256-bed "pod" or jail. The jail area is built as prefabricated cells to save costs and the time to construct them. Building this way also allows us to create a building that looks more like, let's say a manufacturing building than a typical "jail" We can do this in a multi-story fashion, or we can do this side by side with the Sheriffs administration building, the Sallyport, and other support areas in between the two as depicted in the conceptual drawing at the top of this post. Building multi-story, however, presents challenges and does not afford us the same opportunity to control the "look" of the structure.
This construction style also takes advantage of the inmate to officer ratio that as we grow does not cause the Sheriff to add staff continually.
If we had a second 256-bed "pod," we would have room for the entire 384 and up to 512 inmates. (Consider the following scenario) In 20 years, let's say we meet the demand as represented in the expected growth and have 384 inmates between the two pods. Still, unfortunately, we have more incarcerated individuals than expected, and we have it packed with 512 inmates. We can still manage the population with the same number of staff as if we only had 384.
It is cheaper to build the facility today at 512 beds than to add 50-75-or 100 beds in the future. It's never an exact science, and we can never guarantee these things, but we are trying to build a facility that does not need to have an addition made in 10, 15, or 20 years.
Now, none of this includes "Behavioral Health beds" All the numbers above regarding the graphic are inmates NOT included in behavioral health bed calculations. Regardless of "Inmate" expectations, the behavioral health expectations are different. The anticipation over the next 20-30 years is that we need 57 behavioral health beds. (Note I am lumping the number of beds between things like behavioral health, suicidal, and administrative segregation into one category for simplicity). We must have those available from the start, we may only have one individual, or we may have 30, or we may continually wobble back and forth on the numbers, but those beds need to be there.
Long story and a long explanation, but. It's cheaper today to build a 512-bed frame than to add beds in the future, even though we expect 384 inmates over the next 20-30 years.
The current work release will be enveloped by the new facility and contain the 57 Behavioral Health beds needed to meet that different expectation. The 569 number is created as the 57 beds are added to the 512-bed frame size.
Also, this is a "County" jail and not a "State Prison" (?), maybe some have an image of a state prison or jail with tall fences and concertina wire, bright lights, and tall poles in your head? That is not our plan. This building once complete we believe will be complementary to the area.
I hope this helps.