Jail transition nearly complete

Published 7:57 am Wednesday, September 22, 2010

With the courts enjoying their first full week in their new home, Mower County Jail staff are still preparing for their move to the new three pod jail.

“We knew that once that building was complete that we would not be ready for some time,” said Sheriff Terese Amazi. “Court doesn’t have the training issues that we have.”

The move is scheduled for mid-November, and Amazi jailers are currently split between training and operating the current jail. Staff needs to spend a great deal of time learning the direct and indirect supervision methods that will be utilized in the new facility.

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One group of jailers is currently training in the Steele County jail, another group is training in the new Mower County jail, and another group is operating the currently jail.

Amazi said it’s been difficult to have jail staff so spread out. Until the move is complete, groups of prisoners will need to be transferred to the new court rooms via vehicles for court appearances.

Though they are not fully staffed yet, Amazi said there will be 30.6 jailers in the new facility.

The old jail was built in the 1960s, and can currently only house about 30 inmates. The new jail will be able to house about 128 inmates — 40 in each of the two special management units and 48 in the general population unit.