Construction on the new Marshall County Jail is moving forward, right on schedule. Ask jail staff and they'll tell you, they can hardly wait to get into the new jail. We took a tour of the current Marshall County Jail Monday. The sheriff tells us it's especially cramped these days.
The current facility was built in 1974, meant for just 44 inmates. Today the jail is housing about 70 inmates a day, if not more.
Jail staff says they're looking forward to some better working conditions. There is water dripping in spots and it's clear employees and inmates have grown out of the current space. Some mattresses are on the floors, awaiting overflow inmates, which is not uncommon. The new jail will be able to house as many as 250 inmates.
The sheriff says the new jail will still be steel and concrete for inmates, but he says more space means safety for staff and inmates. “You don't have right mix of people, sometimes tempers flare and we have that same situation here, jailers work with it everyday,” says Sheriff Jon Van Vactor, Marshall County Sherriff.
The Marshall County Jail costs 21 million dollars. It's covered by bonds that will be paid back by the collection of county income taxes. The jail is modeled after the new Knox County Jail, only it will be slightly larger.
In the future, if the county needs even more jail space, the facility is designed to add a couple of “pods” or inmate areas.