Public, Staff, and Inmate Safety
Safety is compromised every time inmates are pursued for arrest warrants, taken to court, or transferred to other counties (because they can’t be housed in the Page County jail). Transporting inmates takes deputies off patrol and out of county, decreasing their focus on citizen safety – a potential security threat. From a design perspective, the existing jail layout stacks iron-bar cells along hallways and acute angles, creating blind spots and the need for closed circuit television or other means to maintain 24/7 visual surveillance. Poor sight lines create contraband problems, staffing inefficiencies, and increase potential for inmate and staff assaults.
Booking is another area of concern as the only way to get inmates into the facility is by a narrow hallway which exposes deputies to the risks of being with inmates in a confined space. Lastly, inmates are moved through general areas as there are not secure corridors to booking, jail, or visitor/attorney rooms. These actions leave the public, staff, and inmates at risk of injury, increase the risk of inmate escapes, and pose potential liability to Page County.
Crowded cells and the loss of privacy increase the odds that inmates will lash out, threatening the staff keeping watch and inmates around them. Also due to limited space it is often difficult to separate violent offenders from the non-violent offenders.
The control room does not have any direct lines of sight into the cells or inmate spaces. All inmate monitoring is done through security camera feeds which can be challenging for staff to monitor multiple screens at once. If a crisis occurs, this outdated control room design presents a risk to both inmates and staff.
Other Safety Risks
Due to facility design, quick medical and/or officer support response is restricted when needed. It's challenging to get help for staff and inmates because of stairways, confined hallway space, and outdated/narrow cell doors.
Staff often has to go into cell to do routine inmate safety checks.
Security cameras cover only 7 beds - 28 beds have no coverage.
The jail has a linear design (vs. podular design) which creates increased potential for inmate and staff assaults. Poor visibility associated with linear design also creates opportunity for a contraband problem.
There are no secure perimeters that provide easy access to electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems so inmates often need to be moved from cells so contractors can enter when systems need maintenance.
Department of Corrections required recreation time for inmates presents a safety risk as inmates are moved from their cell block to unsecure area of jail to get to the yard. Two inmates have escaped from the chain link enclosed yard.
There is no dedicated secure area for minister when visiting inmate. They meet in the booking area - face to face with no separation.
There is no dedicated secure area for attorney visits. They meet in the booking area - face to face with no separation.