Rowan County to Build New Jail


(10/07/2015)
Plans are underway for the new detention center that the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) authorized Rowan County to build in 2014. Frankfort, Ky.-based DLZ, the project architect, presented a design scheme to the Rowan Fiscal Court for a 292-bed jail in late August. Vanceburg, Ky.-based Trace Creek Construction is serving as the construction manager on the project.
 

Georgia Expands Educational Opportunities for Inmates


(09/22/2015)
The state of Georgia is taking inmate education seriously. Building on the success of a pilot program that offered inmates at the Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, Ga. the opportunity to earn their high school diplomas, correctional officials are now working to take the initiative statewide.

VADOC’s Step-Down Program Makes Serious Progress


(09/22/2015)
The Virginia Department of Corrections’ (VADOC) Administrative Step-Down program, established in 2011, offers state inmates a way out of restrictive prison housing while also encouraging positive behaviors. When the program began, 511 offenders were housed in administrative segregation either for their protection or the protection of others; now just 160 offenders remain.
 

Prison in Washington State is Latest to Institute “Blue Room”


(09/09/2015)
Washington Corrections Center in Shelton will soon be the second correctional facility in the country to use a low-tech, but quite effective, method of promoting more peaceful prisons. In addition to offering a variety of education, vocational and sustainability programs, the 1,268-bed male facility will now offer its own version of “The Blue Room,” which first made headlines when it was instituted by Snake River Correctional Institution in Malheur County, Ore.

St. Louis Mayor Unveils Prison Reform Program

By Jessie Fetterling
(09/09/2015)
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay unveiled a pilot program on Sept. 8 that will help reform the city’s inmates. The program, From Prison to Prosperity, targets young adults in the city’s jail system by partnering the city’s correction division with St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) as well as getting support from local Ranken Technical College.

Texas Announces Jail Safety Standards Committee


(09/02/2015)
In August, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Senator John Whitmire announced that the state will conduct an interim study on jail safety standards and practices. The announcement followed the in-custody suicides of several county jail inmates, as well as the high-profile death of Sandra Bland in June, which sparked nationwide protest concerning inmate treatment.

Sonoma County Advances in Building Behavioral Health Facility


(09/02/2015)
Sonoma County supervisors approved construction of a $49 million behavioral health facility in Santa Rosa to house the increasing number of inmates suffering from mental illness.

Utah Lawmakers Select New State Prison Site


(08/26/2015)
Utah lawmakers on Aug. 19 officially selected a new location for the Utah State Prison. The state’s House and Senate confirmed that the new facility will be built on a site near Interstate 80 just west of the Salt Lake City International Airport by 62-12 and 21-7 votes respectively. Gov. Gary Herbert has also signed off on the plan, which will unfold over the next several years as the state proceeds with purchasing the site and completing the design process.

Hall County to Debut New Correctional Facility


(08/26/2015)
A new home for the Hall County Correctional Institute is scheduled to debut in November. Plans for a new facility have been in the works for about five years now, and construction finally started in March 2014.

Iowa’s Johnson County Jail Completes Security Upgrades

By Jessie Fetterling
(08/19/2015)
Renovations to many of the Johnson County Jail’s security systems and controls began in April and were completed earlier this month. The jail, located in Iowa City, now has new door locks, cameras and an upgraded control room.