Dubuque County Sheriff says updates needed at the jail - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque County Sheriff says updates needed at the jail

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On a typical day, upwards of 150 inmates are held at the Dubuque County Jail.

Some of them in cell block B, the old side of the jail.

"Our existing bars here offer very little protection as our officers are walking through here," said Sheriff Joe Kennedy.

Little protection from inmates.

That's why Kennedy says the jail needs renovations, to make it safer for officers, but also inmates. "You're giving them the opportunity to throw human waste at officers as they're walking by. Throw anything, food, anything that if they're upset, anything that they can get their hands on, that they know can fit through the bars, will come through the bars," he said.

But that's not all. Some inmates flood their cells causing problems to the old plumbing. "The insulation is worn away and that's not from lack of maintenance. That's from people climbing over the top of those," added Kennedy.

The old locking system also needs to be changed.

Administrators are hoping to modernize this section, like the rest of the jail. "Everything north of here is modernized. It's all electronic locks, camera security, and ran by a centralized control room and that includes water, lighting, water works, phones,  everything," said Captain Mike Muenster. 

They're also hoping to renovate the booking area.

At the moment, jail administrators are not sure about the cost, but they're meeting and having discussions with Dubuque County officials.

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