Sheriff: First steps in planning for new jail
During the past few years, I have taken the opportunity whenever appropriate to communicate the need for us as a community to begin planning for an eventual replacement for our aging jail facility.
Many of us are aware of the past efforts on this issue, and I am fully aware that the mere mention of a capital improvement project will be met with great hesitation. I have stated on numerous occasions that this may be the worst time in our county’s history to take on a project of this magnitude, but it is never a bad time to begin planning.
It is my hope that this process will be an engaging one for all members of the community and that we can arrive at a place and time where our readiness is matched with our resources to move forward.
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Last spring, we had the opportunity to take the first steps in the planning process by completing a Justice and Jail Analysis Study. This study specifically looked at our current criminal justice system and how we can improve upon it. It also provided an analysis of our current jail and ways in which we can mitigate risks and realize potential efficiencies given the limitations of the existing facility.
This week we have had the opportunity to work with the National Institute of Corrections once again on a workshop titled: “Planning of New Institutions.” This workshop along with the Justice and Jail Analysis have been provided free of charge through the National Institute of Corrections. These are just two of many workshops that are offered at no cost to us, and we hope to take advantage of these opportunities as they are made available.
As I write this article, we have just completed day one where we looked at various aspects of public perception, community involvement and the responsibilities we have to those both outside the jail setting as well as within the jail setting.
We have been joined by members of the community from across the county as well as members of our County Board. It is our intention to involve additional members of our community as we continue the multiyear planning process. This will be a long process, the result from which will be not just a jail, but a community resource that addresses accountability as well as rehabilitation and positive re-entry back into our communities.
Our commitment to you the public is to provide as much information as we can throughout the process in each and every step of the way, and to be available to take the time to answer questions and concerns. We ask for your involvement in this process to ensure that all possible options and opportunities are explored so that when the time comes to move forward we do so together as a community. I will be posting the outcomes of the Justice and Jail Analysis as well as this week’s work to our website at www.kewauneesheriff.com.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions you may have. Thank you!
Matt Joski is the Kewaunee County sheriff.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Sheriff: First steps in planning for new jail