March 6, 2019

By Marshanna Hester
Public Information Officer
Jackson County Executive’s Office

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr., Chair of the Jackson County Legislature Theresa Galvin and Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forté are pleased today to announce the formation of a working group for the project development of a new jail.

“There is only one way that this project can move forward and that is if we are all working together,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “During a meeting this morning, the Chair of the Legislature, the Sheriff and I all agreed that we would form a working group that will collectively oversee the planning, design and construction of a new county jail. This project will take time, but I believe today was a big step in the right direction.”

White, Galvin and Forté will serve as permanent members of the working group. Key stakeholders including the courts, prosecuting attorney, defense attorneys and many others, will also be asked to participate to ensure the project is ultimately successful. Notably, the members of the working group decided today that within the next 30 days, the County will issue a Request for Proposals for Owner’s Representative Services. The Owner’s Representative will have primary management responsibility for the planning, design, construction, commissioning and occupancy of the new county jail.

“Last year, the County Legislature, with the support of the County Executive, voted unanimously to secure the necessary funds that can be used toward a new facility,” said Legislative Chair Theresa Galvin, who also represents the 6th District. “It’s a critical need for the future of Jackson County and together with Sheriff Forté, we are taking the appropriate steps to address it.”

The working group will be guided by the reports submitted by the Jail Task Force and the consultant team, led by Shive-Hattery and HDR. Both reports recommend that a new jail is needed in order to adequately address the current needs of the County.

The consultant team explored three new facility options, ranging in cost from $230,000,000 to $270,000,000. Each option would require fewer staff, saving millions of dollars in staffing and operational costs. A new facility would also eliminate the need to relocate detainees during a renovation, be more energy efficient and be in compliance with American Correctional Association standards.

“Building a new detention center that is sustainable for years to come is necessary,” said Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forté. “I am excited about the opportunity to work alongside our County Executive, Frank White, the Chair of the Jackson County Legislature, Theresa Galvin, and others during this process. I know that this decision to work together to build a new facility is in the best interest of everyone.”

White, Galvin and Forté stress that the development of a new jail will not happen overnight and should not be rushed. As a result, the three County leaders say it is critical to continue to fully invest in, and maintain, the current jail during this process. The adopted 2019 budget includes more than $30,000,000 for the detention center, the largest amount of county funding ever for the facility.