XENIA — A justice consultant is conducting an assessment of the county jail, one of the initial project steps that could lead to a new facility.
The board of county commissioners sat down with David Bostwick of HDR, an architectural, engineering, and consulting firm, during a work session Sept. 6. Bostwick presented a Jail Needs Assessment Proposal for the consulting and planning services.
“It’s an exciting beginning to the process,” Lisa Hale, assistant county manager, said.
The firm will conduct the process in two phases.
The first phase will focus on the justice assessment. The HDR team will look at the current criminal justice system in Greene County — how inmates move through the system, the characteristics of inmates, and conditions of the facility including capacity limits. This phase analyzes the current status as well as a 25-year projection.
The second phase will review needs and look at facility options — possibly including renovation of the current facility, adding an expansion, or constructing a new facility — and cost for each. This phase will also include analysis of current programs and other opportunities that may be available in the community.
“What we are designing is more of a system and the jail needs to fit the system that you desire,” Bostwick said to the board, Hale, County Administrator Brandon Huddleson, and Jail Administrator Maj. Kirk Keller.
Next steps for HDR include analyzing data from the county, returning to discuss needs with other criminal justice personnel, and inspecting the downtown jail and detention center.
The study will also compare the county jail to state standards and national guidelines, examine area crimes and community profile, develop population forecasts and define operational concepts for the facility.
At the end of the process, HDR will deliver a final report, providing a complete picture of the current jail system and recommending future jail needs.
The Greene County Jail was built in 1969.
Bostwick said if the commissioners decide to move forward and expand the jail or build a new facility, he would estimate 3 to 4 years before the facility would be move-in ready.