Lubbock County's New Detention Center Earns National Attention - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/17/08

Lubbock County's New Detention Center Earns National Attention

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One Lubbock County building is earning national attention. For the past week, a production crew for the National Institute of Corrections has been filming the new Lubbock County Detention Center.

Lights! Camera! Action! On this day, the actors are not the paid kind from Hollywood. Instead, they're from Lubbock County Sheriff's Office. The setting is not a fancy movie set. It's Lubbock's soon to open new detention center.

"Here to make a video on new jail planning," National Institute of Corrections, Program Specialist Cheryl Paul said.

Paul is in the Hub City from Washington D.C. She's here not only to film the more than 1,500 bed jail facility. However, it's to document how this $96 million project was born. "We're filming this jail because it's a very well designed and well constructed facility," Paul said. 

Throughout the week, Paul and her crew filmed both the detention center and where the ideas and dollars for it came together. "We talked to the sheriff, the commissioners, we talked to the maintenance people, all kinds of transition teams to learn, help them teach other jurisdictions what their process was," Paul said. 

"We've had Commissioner Kitten, Commissioner Maines, we have had some good lively discussions over the table, pretend this time but it was fun," Chief Paul Scarborough said.

The seed for this more than 400,000 square foot building started nearly 10-years ago. Since then there have been hundreds of meetings and countless hours of planning. It seems to have paid off. Paul says out of the five jails in the training video Lubbock is the first and largest they will film. "It's certainly a model. They have shown NIC and certainly have demonstrated to me personally and I've probably worked in 70 jails around the United States that they have really taken the time and done it right," Paul said.

The film is expected to be complete this summer. Because of how this how the jail was planned and constructed, NIC is now thinking of moving a planning program to the Hub City. The sheriff's office tells us the new Lubbock County Detention Center is now 94 percent complete. It is expected to open spring of 2009.

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