SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Crews are making progress on a big project for the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
Construction of the county’s new jail is well underway near Division Street and Haseltine Road in northwest Springfield.
OzarksFirst was able to get an inside look at what will soon be a new office space and detention center for men and women.
When complete, the facility will be able to house more than 1,200 inmates, essentially doubling the county’s capacity compared to the current jail.
“Right now, the building that we’re in was designed to hold anywhere from 500 to 600 inmates approximately and obviously we are full at this point in time so this whole design will be a lot safer for inmates and officers as well,” says Lt. Stan Hancock with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
The project will also allow for the county’s roughly 400 employees to be under one roof. Right now, the staff operates throughout several different buildings in Springfield.
“This is designed to have everybody in one place so that the general public can come to one place instead of being directed to all over the campus and getting lost and frustrated, so it will be a lot easier to direct them to one place,” says Lt. Hancock.
The main housing unit for inmates will consist of 12 pods with about 50 beds in each.
Unlike the city’s current jail downtown, many of the new jail’s cells will be four-person cells, instead of two.
Lt. Hancock says inmates who are on work release or work jobs inside the jail itself will be housed in four dorm-style pods with about 25 people in each.
With the pandemic in mind, the jail will also have a dedicated space for inmates to attend virtual court hearings.
“The facility we have now is not designed for any type of video court system, so there are some problems that come along with that. This design here is going to help that quite a bit, says Hancock.”
The Greene County Sheriff’s Office says it hopes to start moving staff in by April 2022.
The new construction is being funded by a half-cent sales tax increase voters approved in 2017.