Wichita County Jail: Officials plan to build a new county jail

Wichita County Jail: Officials plan to build a new county jail

The Wichita County Jail has been working to make improvements to their current jail for the last 20 years, but every day the work orders continue.  The Sheriff's Office along with County Commissioner's is working to change that by building a new jail.

"It is a whole new process to get this thing moving continually," said Sheriff David Duke with the Wichita County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Duke said building a new jail is something that needs to happen.

"It would be something we have been needing for a quarter of a century," said Sheriff Duke.

The new jail is being built to keep regulations up to code and to house inmates properly.

The process of building the jail is still in the early stages, one big deciding factor is where to put the jail.

The two locations the department is considering is downtown west from the Vernon skill center, a property that is already owned by the county.  Another option would be to purchase the property across the street from the courthouse.

The county jail is the only building owned by the county that must pass inspection by a state jail commission.  Past inspections have resulted in a failing grade for the jail, because of the state of the roof and more recently the showers.  After receiving the failing grades, maintenance worked to get the jail up to code.
"Every day that goes by it's just one more problem that pops up," said Sheriff Duke.

He says it is something that must happen in the county.  

"We have to have a jail," said Sheriff Duke.  "A safe and secure jail to provide for our inmates."

Sheriff Duke said to determine whether the new jail would end up on any future ballot, the first step is to decide on a location.

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