Two new Wichita County Commissioners are preparing to take over their new roles. While the 2014 Elections are over, political promises remain. Both new commissioners, Lee Harvey, and Jeff Watts, have one common problem they're vowing to address. That's the growing need for improvement to the County's jail.
"When our facility was open in 1985 it was made specifically to take about 8 to 10 prisoners a day," said Sheriff Duke. " Our average right now is 18 to 33."
There are many safety issues because of the lack of room, according to Sheriff Duke. But plans are in the works to add on to the current Sprague Annex. The goal is to create a booking space that can handle all prisoners, and have up to date technology that doesn't cause officers to waste precious time.
"Moving the entire Sheriff's Office to the Annex will not only enhance the security of the whole facility, but will have everyone working under one roof," said Sheriff Duke.
The new jail addition would have more office space, an infirmary, to care for sick prisoners, and even a new kitchen. Currently the kitchen at the jail serves 1500 meals a day, something that Sheriff David Duke said is hard to accommodate with the equipment now.
"One of the major things that we will improve is to build a state of the art, up to date booking area that's safe," said Wichita County Judge.
The current facility must be updated according to state standards. County officials said they are taking their time to finalize plans and create the and most cost efficient facility.