New Howard County Jail On Schedule

By: Haley Burks
NewsWest 9

HOWARD COUNTY - After years of trying to get a new jail built in Howard County, that nine miillion dollar facility is almost finished.  

And that means inmates will be kept in a safer, more modern facility, and the County won't have to spend money to keep those prisoners in other Counties.

"A lot of work we are spending, a lot of hours prepping for it, and we are excited to get to move out here," Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker, said.

The new jail will replace the current jail that is in need of many updates and help alleviate overcrowding.

"We are housing elsewhere to the expense of the County of about 40 thousand dollars a month. So opening this will actually save us money from the beginning," Parker said.

Stark white, reinforced concrete makes up the design scheme of the interior and while it is not pretty, it is designed for safety.

"Indirect supervision facility where we will have very limited contact with the inmates, so it is a lot safer," Parker said.

The facility will utilize the latest in technology including video conferencing.

"Everything for the inmates is controlled from a central control room, all computerized, all the visitation is video," Bill Dean, the Superintendent of Dinosaur Valley Construction, said.

Voters approved the jail bond in 2007, but with a more energy efficient, larger facility Sheriff Stan Parker says he hopes to save money.

"It will house 96 and if we can keep our numbers down, keep same population, we can actually contract out so that will be some income for the County in the neighborhood of four to five hundred thousand a year," Parker said.

The jail is scheduled to open April 1st.