City looking at new bill helping to fund renovations at Buchanan Co. Jail

The Buchanan County Jail will be undergoing some renovations to better accommodate inmates with certain medical issues.

Posted: Nov 18, 2019 3:32 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2019 3:38 PM

(BUCHANAN COUNTY, Mo.) The Buchanan County Jail will be undergoing some renovations to better accommodate inmates with certain medical issues. 

Buchanan County Sheriff Bill Puett said the renovation project has already been approved, and construction should begin within the next 60 days. It includes the add-on of five new incarceration cells, including one Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant cell, two padded cells and two isolation cells.

"We'll have a couple of cells to deal with individuals with self-harm issues or problems that way to better address that, and we'll have a couple of segregation cells if those are needed," Puett said. 

Right now, the project only calls for the addition of those five cells. However, Puett said somewhere down the line the jail does have the compacity to mirror those cells on the opposite side of the building, potentially adding ten new incarcerations cells altogether over the course of the project.

"The infrastructure and the cell project will all be put in place, so they would be able to add the five on the opposite side if and when funding and those types of things could be raised," Puett said. 

At Monday night's city council meeting, the councilmembers will be taking a look at a bill up for first reading regarding the city's portion of the funding for the project. The ordinance covers an agreement between the City, Buchanan County and the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) Commission for the total amount of $100,000. 

If passed in two weeks, half of the funding would be allocated during the current fiscal year and the other half during the next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020. 

Puett said the new add-ons will allow the LEC to better accommodate the inmates who come in with certain medical needs and attention.

"We are seeing people that are being incarcerated that have a variety of medical issues," Puett said. "Just like the people in the community have a variety of medical issues, those that are incarcerated have some of the same issues. So, we have to be able to address that."

The bill for the City will go up for a second reading and final vote at the next council meeting on Dec. 2nd, 2019.

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