Like it or not, it’s time to construct a new jail for Warren County

Published 8:05 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Warren County Board of Supervisors seem to be on a fast track now toward securing land on which to construct a new Warren County jail.

That’s a good thing.

It’s a shame we need to worry about funding a new jail, but we do. We are human, and as long as that is the case, we will have a need for a place to put those who disobey laws and threaten the lives and safety of others.

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Many think those who wind up in jail don’t deserve comfortable accommodations.

However, we are civilized people and it is our responsibility to provide for those who find themselves in a jail a safe environment. Remember, those in our county jail typically haven’t been convicted and are not serving a sentence. Many are awaiting charges or court proceedings.

Most importantly, it is certainly our responsibility to our men and women in law enforcement who work in our jail to provide for their safety.

The need for a new county jail isn’t a new issue. Ours was built in 1907. A lawsuit brought by a former inmate in the 1970s was settled, the result being the construction of an addition in 1977. Both the new and older portion of the building is still used today.

Repairs and maintenance issues with the jail are constant. Locks can’t be replaced or repaired. They are so old the company that made them is out of business. The plumbing and HVAC are constant nightmares. And the design of the jail itself is a hazard to officers who work inside it.

While no one wants to spend money on funding a new jail, it’s a necessity.

Let’s hope, once the county has secured the land for a new jail, it continues to move forward just as quickly with construction of the facility.