Have You Read the 600+ Page Jail Report?

Posted July 23rd, 2014 @ 9:16 AM by

I don’t know anyone who has . . . Here it is if you want to attempt it!

My first look at it, here’s my thoughts.

1. 637 page report? So you don’t really want anyone to read this, eh?

2. A Table of Contents with no page numbers? And only 7 chapter headings as a guide for reading this document? So you don’t really want anyone to read this.

3. Equity? If ever there was a place for it, it is here. In forming their recommendations the seemed to analyze lots of issues, but what happened to those nice sounding equity principles of ” Enhance equity via effective and active engagement of the communities that are impacted by county policies. Engaging residents and forging partnerships towards equity in all decision making.” I don’t see any of that here:
Needs Assssment
– Evaluate existing facilities based on physical plant, adjacency and legal requirements
– Conduct inmate population forecasts for fifteen years, in five-year increments using historical jail population data
– Profile projected jail inmates by classification type and special needs
– Analyze defendant processing through the system related to special needs and intake and its impact on the jail population
– Recommend enhancement of mental health/medical and intake housing
– Examine trends in the criminal justice system related to special needs and report on best practices that can be implemented by Dane County
– Analyze current methods of Food service and Laundry services and prepare a cost-benefit analysis of providing in-house services
– Identify key operational changes in Law Enforcement functions for the Sheriff’s Office
or here
Pre-Architectural Components Study
– Develop a comprehensive operational philosophy for a Jail facility that will accommodate all anticipated jail population beds including all inmate categories and security classifications as well as special needs housing, identifying types of beds and treatment space needed based on needs assessment study.
– Conduct a facility assessment of current facilities (PSB, CCB, and FC) to determine feasibility of relocating some or all of the functions described in the Needs Assessment Study. Provide “space fit” recommendations.
– Develop comprehensive space needs for a facility that will accommodate special needs, intake, pretrial and sentenced inmates.
– Develop adjacency requirements for each recommended area.
– Develop operations scenarios and detailed architectural space programming for functions described.
– Provide a building life-safety code analysis for the Jail facilities.
– Create initial staffing plan for suggested changes.
– Evaluate the operational impact and costs of all options.
– Evaluate the impact of proposed/recommended changes in the present system, with emphasis on impact on the Jail population management plan, staffing and contracted services.
– Develop an overall construction and project cost estimate.
– Provide a preliminary macro staffing and operating budget for up to 2 concept options.
– Develop a potential cost per square foot for each area and an opinion of Probable Construction Cost for the entire Jail System.

4. Madison arrests and Dane County District Attorney cases are significantly down (1,000s) as the population continues to increase. Electronic monitoring is also bringing down the population (100’s).

5. They expect less than 1% increase in the jail population through 2028. 828/day – 873/day.

6. They looked at the Huber Center, the new jail (Public Safety Building) and the old jail in the City-County Building (floor 6 and 7). Surprise, the old jail is old and out of date and they don’t think rehab is an option. The new jail and Huber are ok, but need updates.

7. Some key findings are that:
a) The three facilities are more expensive to operate, less efficient, and requires more staffing. Inmates are housed in more restrictive settings than necessary. Inmates with mental illness can’t use the Huber Center because mental health services are not
available at that facility.
b) The old jail design makes it hard to use new supervision principles.
c) The old jail would be unsafe in an emergency.
d) New inmates are placed in a dorm and don’t have direct supervision.
e) They reiterate that mentally ill and people with health issues aren’t properly housed.
f) The old design creates opportunities for sexual assault
g) The foodservice, laundry, and commissary programs need more space and can use inmate labor and then they can reduce costs.
h) The public safety building was not designed for good staff interacions.

8. The jail should have direct supervision, better facilities for mentally ill and those with medical needs, they should provide outptient services for those groups, they need more programming and inmates running food service and commissary to learn skills.

9. Option A is a Greenfield site, Option B is staying downtown by building up and using

10. They are recommending more staff (32), supervisory and line staff. A large part of the increase is due to having special housing for youthful inmates.

11. Currently it costs $125/day per inmate, and they say they can reduce that to $108/day – $112/day. (Funny, I thought the sheriff told me $85/day within the last year or two)

12. It will cost $121-168M according to the 6 options in the report, expect that to go up.

That’s what I got out of reading the first 22 pages. Not sure what you’d find in the other 600 pages, not sure we’ll ever know. Anyone want to read it? How many supervisors will? (My optimistic guess, 1/3 of the county board?)

Sorry I can’t give you the “read between the lines” version of this since I think a lot of people are trying to figure it out. I just took it at face value and only read the basics. The cynical reading of it that I have heard is that they will sell beds in the youth unit to other counties so they can bring the kids in to work in the laundry and food service – i.e. child slavery. More to come, I’m sure.


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