NewsChannel 11 Takes You Inside The New Lubbock County Jail - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/26/07

NewsChannel 11 Takes You Inside The New Lubbock County Jail

After two years of construction, NewsChannel 11 is getting an inside look at the new Lubbock County Jail.  This is one of the few jails in Texas built to maximize prisoner supervision.

Downtown Lubbock has been the home to the Lubbock County Jail for more than 70 years, but in 2009 prisoners will be housed here.

Lubbock County Sheriff's Office Chief Administrator Kelly Rowe says it's designed around traffic flow and direct supervision of inmates.

"This will put the officers in control of all the housing units and they'll be able to see everything that's happening and control everything 24 hours a day," Rowe said.

This facility is nearly 4 football fields wide, 2 levels and built in an octagon shape with more than 1,500 beds.

"So if you looked at the footprint of the new facility, the newer portion of the existing facility, that same size is just about the same size as the entire processing area for this building,"  Rowe adds.

Another thing that makes the facility state of the art is video visitation. A visitor will walk into a room, sit in front of a computer screen and pick up a telephone. The inmates will stay in the housing facility and walk over to a computer screen, pick up a phone to talk to their visitor.

"Our main mission in this facility was to obtain as many beds as possible. So we did everything to keep that in mind and try to maximize that count. So in certain places when we can see options like that, we made some changes," Rowe said.

The price tag on the new facility is $96 million. If needed, it can be expanded to hold up to 2,500 inmates. Right now, the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office is currently looking at hiring more than 140 more people to run the new jail.

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