To the editor:
In response to the two letters about building or remodeling the Rice County Jail, I found the comment made by Ms. Rost about “donuts” insulting. I was with the Rice County Sheriff’s Office for 29 years. Most of the officers never even got a break in during their shifts and many had to leave their meal because of emergency calls. I started in the old jail that is currently being used for Community Corrections in 1973.
I saw enormous changes over the years and the demands that the Department of Corrections put on the county. I know what it costs to relocate inmates to out of county jails and isn’t cheap. I was in charge of processing and verifying our departments bills. It’s extremely expensive to board out of county and you have no control.
When a task force was set up during my employment it was found the Department of Corrections would not allow an addition to be attached to the main jail without requiring the entire jail be remodeled to bring it up to the current regulations. That is why building a new facility would be a huge savings over a remodel. In fact, when the current jail was completed in 1976 it was already out of date and we had to get special permission from the Department of Corrections to double bunk as the new jail housed less inmates than the old one. Everyone forgets that when a new law is put into place, more individuals end up in jail, which require more cells. It also makes sense to have one facility to maintain rather than two. Our commissioners have common sense and know sooner or later both the jail and annex are going to have to be replaced because of the age and condition they are in.
They money that it will take to upgrade and maintain both buildings would be better spent on a new, up-to-date facility that will be acceptable to the Department of Corrections demands and the counties future.
Susan M. Kaderlik