Lewis & Clark County proposes 4 million dollar levy for jail - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Lewis & Clark County proposes 4 million dollar levy for jail

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Lewis and Clark County proposed a 4 million dollar jail levy budget.

We went to the budget meeting and the jail to see living conditions for the people in the jail and the working conditions for detention officers.

The existing detention center was built in 1985 and designed to house 54 detainees. Now the jail routinely sees more than a hundred inmates, leaving some to be sleeping on floors, in hallways, and even in the library.

“The whole mission here is to provide public safety. We want people to be safe, we want the people who are detained to be safe, we want the people who work there to be safe. We can’t do that now we are having a really tough time providing a safe and humane environment, says Commissioner Andy Hunthausen.

The proposed 4 million dollar budget isn't just for renovations, the commissioners also want to lessen a number of repeat stayers and provide programs so inmates learn to be members of the community.

“We have an opportunity to reform our system. We have the opportunity for people to get through our system faster, to divert people from our jail more often. Serve them in the community, provide prevention services. Connect them to community services that can get them off the treadmill of reoffending,” says Hunthausen.

The undersheriff says it’s not going to just affect the inmates and detention officers, but the public will see better service from the county sheriff’s department.

“our crisis in the jail is consuming so many of our resources and our attention that it’s a delay to get people to calls for service,” says Undersheriff Jason Grimmis.

The undersheriff says deputies normally on the streets have had to transport inmates to other facilities across the state.

The ballot for this levy goes out on October 18th and they need to be mailed in by November 7th to be validated.

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