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Whiteville Jail

The following is a proposal for the construction and operation of a new jail in Whiteville, North Carolina. The current jail was designed for 150 individuals at one given time, while on a daily basis, there are at least 287 inmates incarcerated, which means the jail is way over capacity. Due to the jail being over capacitated, the jail can’t meet the minimum standards for a correctional facility. It’s over capacitation creates issues for the inmate to bathroom ratio. The male housing units have 3 shower and 3 toilets while the female unit only has one of each.

For a dormitory style facility there should be at least 1 toilet and 1 shower for every 10 inmates. In addition to being over capacitated, the old jail does not have a way to separate the youthful offenders from adult offenders. The 16 and 17 year olds are currently being kept with adults 18 and older. According to PREA standards, youthful inmates should not be placed in the same housing unit where they are able to see, hear or have any physical contact with adult inmates. The new jail will large enough so that there are separate housing for 16 and 17 year olds, in order to adhere to jail standards indicated by PREA.

The old jail also lacks a functioning security system. Cameras are too old and will need to be upgraded in order to ensure the safety of the inmates as well as the staff. The larger jail will have a CCTV dispatching room with brand new equipment and a security team focusing on cameras located on the interior and exterior of the facility. Dispatch will be located at the entrance of the jail and surrounded by glass made of polycarbonate composite which is endure any deliberate attacks and protect the staff.

Food service is also an issue at the old jail. Food is being brought in instead of being made on site. The new jail will have enough space for a kitchen, to guarantee freshness. Also because the jail holds youthful offenders, their caloric intake may be different from the older inmates which will require cooks to make another set of meals for the younger population. Many jails have inadequate mental health services. The old jail only had one nurse who only worked about two days a week. At the new facility there will need be more medical staff.

Jail suicides are the highest during the first 48 hours of incarceration and there needs to be enough staff equipped to handle newcomers with mental health problems. Moreover, the new jail will have separate housing units for individuals with mental health problems and those who are screened at being of high risk for suicide, this will be done to ensure the safety of the individual and everyone else in the jail. The only alternatives to building a new jail is to build onto the old jail. Most of the issues regarding the old facility is that there isn’t enough space.

The jail was designed for fewer people than it holds. The size also impacts the amount of staff and services that the jail is able to provide to offenders. Food must be brought in from an outside source and there is only 1 person for medical staff who doesn’t even work half a week. Consequences of not building a new jail are the already 45 year old jail falling apart in addition to not meeting jail standards. Because the old jail is not equipped with the staff or the space to care for mental health patients.

Suicide rates in the jail may rise because there is no one there to treat the inmates and no safe space for them to go. Whiteville, North Carolina is located in a very rural area, and property is always up for sale. In order to build the jail, we can buy property from a local person or from the state. Although the town of Whiteville is very rural there will the process of building the jail will have a definite impact on the environment. Tress will need to be cleared from the area before any building can take place causing the wild life to move elsewhere.

Building the jail near homes may also cause the value of those homes to decrease since we will be housing criminals as well as increasing the taxpayer dollars in the area to fund the building and operation of facility. The new jail will house a maximum of 300 inmates including ones housed separately with mental illnesses. Only female and males ages 18 and older will be housed in the jail. Restrictive housing units will be available for inmates suffering from mental health issues as well as units for LGBTQ inmates and pregnant inmates who may feel threatened.

Health screenings will be provided upon entry for mental health, any communicable or sexually transmitted diseases. Medical co pay plans will also be in place for those inmates having a hard time paying for their health care. The new jail will also contain classrooms that will be used to educate offenders on re-entry to society. Some other classes offered will be for inmates that want to learn a trade, such as cooking, electrical work and other programs. Studies show that inmates who receive vocational training and education are less likely to be incarcerated again.

One of the goals of the new jail is to ensure that inmates have learned from their time in jail and do not have to come back. To secure the new jail there will be security officers, correctional officers, and county Officers will be available to monitor and keep the jail safe and secure. A private contract security company will be used to check in people coming into the jail. Security will be stationed at all entrances assuring anyone who tries to come in the jail is properly checked in with security and making sure that inmates are no escaping.

The correctional officers will supervise inmates and ensure the safety of them by completing rounds of patrols each time looking into each pod and observing the inmates. County officers will also be available to provide assistance with any troublesome inmates and to assist security with visitors checking in and inmates checking out. Jail staff as well as correctional officers and law enforcement will be able to take their lunches and breaks in the staff lounge. When the classes for inmates are not in session, the classrooms will be used for training for correctional officers to keep up with the changing aspects of the job.

In the staff breakroom is also where lockers will be for individual’s to keep their belongings. Physical training will also be held on site in a grassy area also used for recreational time by inmates. A courtyard will be built for inmates to have time outside. There, they can play sports, work out, sit or walk around to enjoy time outside. In order to build the new jail, we must be provided with a grant from the state to help fund it. Most of the jails funding will come from the state while another portion will come from citizen’s taxes.

The budget for building the jail will be about $28,000,000, which is a onetime expense for the land to build on, construction and equipment. The operational budget will be about 1,759,841 per year. The building of this jail will facilitate new jobs and allow offenders with mental health issues to be treated with medical care instead of harsh punishments. It will cost a great deal of money to build and keep up, but with the treatment and classes from the new facility the recidivism rate will decrease.

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