Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Opens New Medical Unit to Take Care of Inmates, Saves Taxpayer Money and ResourcesDouglas County Sheriff’s Office has opened their new eight bed medical unit and is already taking care of inmates with medical needs. The medical unit is part of the completion of the justice center expansion project. The ability to house inmates with medical needs saves money and resources for the county and ultimately, taxpayers. DCSO now has the ability to care for inmates with certain medical needs in its own facility instead of having them rehabilitate at a hospital which can cost more because of hospital fees and 24 hour on-site security by DCSO deputies.
Sheriff Spurlock said: “The vision and commitment to better serve our citizens, employees, judges and inmate population while also increasing safety and security was a collaboration of Douglas County Government (including the Board of County Commissioners, Douglas County Facilities and DCSO). This collaboration included careful deliberation and forethought while being fiscally responsible stewards of taxpayer revenue.”
The Justice Center expansion started in August of 2012 which comprised of the renovation and expansion of the County’s justice center to address serious concerns about facilities for inmates with mental illness, inmates with medical issues, ADA requirements, overall site security as well as lack of secure parking for staff department assets and Judicial staff.
The first phase of the project was the parking garage, which was completed in November of 2013. The completion of the parking garage now affords additional employee parking, along with secured parking spaces for law enforcement vehicles as well as security needs for other department assets.
The second and final phase, renovation and expansion of the detention facility are now complete. This expansion phase was the reconfiguration and repurposing of existing housing areas to provide for ADA requirements, plumbing issues and other internal space remodel needs and to enhance site security, and ingress and egress issues. DCSO now has the capability to house and treat special populations, minor medical issues and recovery on site, mental health populations, additional females and segregation of female special populations more effectively and efficiently.
The total project was allocated $25 million and was completed on time and on budget, funded by the Justice Center Sales tax which was approved by voters in 1995 and extended in 2007.
The dedicated funds used for these expansions have come from the sales tax paid for by, not only Douglas County citizens, but an estimated 65% of non-citizens who shop in Douglas County. Ironically, this percentage is not that different from the Detentions Center average non-resident inmate population of approximately 50-60%.
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