Brown County officials approve $2.9M jail expansion

Brown County officials approve $2.9M jail expansion
Posted at 8:07 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 20:07:44-04

GEORGETOWN, Ohio -- Brown County officials have approved plans to expand the county jail which the county commission president says should ease the costs for taxpayers in the long run.

The Brown County Commissioners accepted a $2.9 million bid from WAI Construction Group of Piketon this month to expand and upgrade the Brown County Adult Detention Center, Commission President Daryll Grey said.

Construction of a 40-person dormitory is expected to begin this fall and should take about a year, according to Grey. The addition will house nonviolent male offenders, and free up other cells for violent offenders.

Plans also call for the addition of another six cells and administrative space on the south side of the building and for new offices to be built near the entrance, Grey said.

The county has been sending inmates to Butler and Clermont counties since 2015, when "unsafe working conditions" led to the jail being shut down. The jail reopened last summer, but some inmates were still being sent out of county due to overcrowding.

The current jail can house 68, though they try to keep fewer than 63 inmates at a time, according to Grey.

The county was spending between $30,000 and $35,000 each month to send inmates to Clermont County, Grey said. Earlier, they had been sending inmates to Butler County at a cost closer to $60,000 per month.

Officials are hoping for bond payments on the jail additions to run between $20,000 and $25,000 each month, according to Grey.