Dallas County to study needs of building/renovating jail
Dallas County commissioners have agreed to move forward with a study on whether to renovate or build a new county jail. There also will be the formation of a building study committee to review the current state of the jail and criminal courthouse, including infrastructure, environmental concerns, safety issues, capacity for operations, current work processes and issues, and opportunities for improvement.
Commissioners decided to hire a firm to complete a Master Facilities Plan for the Dallas County Jail within six months. The outcome of this work would be a roadmap of options for the Commissioners Court to consider for the jail facilities. The Master Facilities Plan will identify the following:
- Assessment of projected inmate population levels disaggregated by offender type.
- Analysis of factors impacting bedspace needs.
- Assessment of options to control detention population.
- Suitability for purpose evaluation to determine how existing facilities align with evolving system needs.
- Development of facility scenarios to confront current and future facility needs.
- High level evaluation of location options for detention facilities.
- Identify opportunities for population management by consolidating, remodeling, and where necessary replacing current facilities.
- Cost/benefit analysis of system plan alternatives.
Dallas County maintains jail facilities covering over 2.5 million square feet, servicing over 6,000 persons in custody on any given day. Dallas County’s 50-year-old jail has failed inspections two years in a row. Every month, the county spends $12 million to run and operate the jail.