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New county jail in operation

New county jail in operation

March 20th, 2013 in News

Reserve Jailer John Lucas, right, books the first two inmates to transfer into the new jail from the old jail. Chief Deputy Kevin Morse, left, and Sheriff Jeptha Gump, far center, oversee the operation.

Photo by David Wilson

With the transfer of eight inmates from the old jail facility last week, the new Moniteau County Jail is in operation. The inmates were transferred two at a time. Each inmate was accompanied on the walk to the new facility by a deputy. Each inmate carried a box with personal items.

As the transfer went forward, each inmate went through the booking process just as new inmates will be, then were assigned to a pod and cell.

Although not used for the inmates transferring from the old to the new facility, the booking station has "live scan printing" technology for fingerprints. No ink is used with this kind of printing. A breath testing device will soon be installed in the booking area.

The officer at the booking area can also take booking photos, sometimes called "mug shots." The up-to-date facility is capable of housing up to 42 inmates, including 12 to 16 females in three pods, all observable from the control room. The increased capacity is a financial advantage to the county since housing inmates elsewhere sends county dollars to the other institutions.

The main pod is for the general population. One of the others is for females and the third is currently designated for other inmates, such as temporary weekend holds. Each pod contains several cells, some on the main level and other on an upper level. Depending on the cell, there is space for two to six inmates. Each pod also contains a common area with tables and seats.

Inmate visitations will be held via new technology of a video visitation station in each pod. The station is connected with one of the three stations in the video visitation room. With the new technology, inmate visitations will be held without the ever being in the same part of the building as the inmate.

The holding cells are off the booking area. The facility is finished off with an outside exercise area, kitchen and laundry room. The new jail is designed to meet certain ADA standards for handicap accessibility.

The design and location of the jail ner the courthouse will eliminate as much transportation of prisoners to and from the facility as possible.

The electronic design of the facility is intended to allow a single jailer to maintain control and security. It is designed to provide adequate security, allow reasonable access, efficiency of operation and ease of maintenance. The pod design is to allow maximum flexibility and a room is available for initial arraignment and hearings and meetings with probation and parole personnel.

Sheriff Jeptha Gump and officers of the sheriff's department hosted an open house for the public on Saturday, March 2.

The old jail will be remodeled as department office space.