Public tours Jackson County Jail, to vote on $6.9 million bond r - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Public tours Jackson County Jail, to vote on $6.9 million bond referendum

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After two inmates escape from the Jackson County Jail, community members will have to vote for a $6.9 million bond referendum.

The public was invited to tour the facility to get a better idea of the long list of problems,

A big concern is how staff are constantly exposed to inmates. It's an issue in multiple areas, including the front office and visitation room.

According to officials, the facility doesn't have enough capacity with the average daily population of 12 inmates. About another 30 people are waiting to serve their jail sentences. Women are also not able to be housed there. 

The state jail inspector has told administrators, if changes don't happen, it will get torn down. This comes after two inmates escaped from the exercise yard, last year. "They pried open that hydraulic gate and took off," said Chief Deputy Steve Schroeder. "Fortunately, we caught them a few days later down in Clinton."

Those who took the tour said it was eye-opening.  "Seeing it first hand, it's far worse. I'm surprised it was considered acceptable at the time it was built," said Kurt Reiff of Maquoketa.

According the sheriff's office, the $6.9 million bond referendum would mean a person who owns a $100,000 house would pay about $24.00 a year, over the course of 20 years.

The bond vote is scheduled for August 7.

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