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McDonald County Jail Anticipating Another Round of Renovations - KOAM TV 7

McDonald County Jail Anticipating Another Round of Renovations

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Joplin, MO -

The McDonald County Jail is under renovation. One part is done, and now staff are moving inmates and equipment over to that portion to get work started on the other.

County commissioners expect that work to begin tomorrow.

Jail staff like Sheriff Hall are going from the at least 10 year old old static security cameras, to new zoom-able and moveable, higher resolution ones to oversee what's going on with inmates. It's making them easier to identify if something like a fight should happen

"Before, we had escapes. They were going through several different areas. That has all been resolved at this point" says Commissioner John Bunch.

The new part of the jail is also more secure.

"They're solid concrete walls, they're not block walls. We have metal ceilings with girder behind that, they're all put together with security screws and with stainless steel rivets"

The next order of business is remodeling the old and now empty part of the jail to match the security level.

"We're gonna go in and re-paint, clean them up and put in new fixtures. That includes the lighting fixtures. The sinks and toilets. They'll all be identical to what we have on the new side so there wont be a mix and match of materials." 

The remodeled older half of the jail wont only open up additional cells, but additional opportunities to help out neighboring jails booked past capacity or with problematic inmates.

"We work with other counties, Newton and Barry primarily. And if we have a problem with one or if they have a problem with one, we'll trade them out with one. That way maybe their problem person doesn't have any problem with inmates in McDonald county. So they'll bring him over here and we'll do he same vice versa" says Sheriff Hall. 

One of the county commissioners says as of now, they are about 100,000 dollars above the original bid, due to complications such as flooding damage. 

Once the older side of the jail is remodeled, they'll be able to hold double the amount of inmates and officials say they will likely hire additional jail staff.

Opening the remodeled old half is a ways away, but for now the jail staff and commissioners are grateful for the smooth transition of the first group of inmates.

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