JOHNSON COUNTY (WISH) – The Johnson County Jail is currently structured to house 322 prisoners they have almost reached full capacity.
For this time of year, the number of crimes committed and people checked into the facility are up. The final check Thursday evening was 297.
Sheriff Doug Cox drafted a proposal that is currently being reviewed by the county commissioners as a possible solution. He wants to utilize empty space onsite. Showers and bathroom facilities would need to be built. If this project receives the green light, the soft estimated cost would be $1.6 – $1.8 million. It would house an additional 62 inmates.
The sheriff wants to take a proactive approach he feels could also help alleviate facing a lawsuit down the line.
“If an inmate gets hurt or something happens and they claim it’s because of an overcrowding issue. This would result in civil litigation, “ Cox says.
Mayor Duane Burgess said the number is taking a toll.
“The number of serious crimes reported are increasing. This has taken a toll on figuring out where to house people and it’s also impacted employees too,” said Burgess.