Posted by William Cain (+66) 9 years ago
new jail --I do have 36 cents left over from my ss check-hope they don't go any higher than that--????
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11816) 9 years ago
The county has known for more than a quarter of a century that the jail needed to be replaced. For years, various officials have recommended setting money aside for that purpose. But the PTB, as usual, kicked the responsibility down the road until it became a crisis.

Sound like the water tower or the dike situation?

As soon as that third railroad arrives and the town starts booming again, I'm sure something will done.
Top
moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17184) 9 years ago
Maybe the "Eastern Montana Data Center" can be repurposed as a jail.
Top
supporter
Posted by Kelly (+2717) 9 years ago
Amorette is spot on. Having grown up in Miles City, it is the same old story, be reactive instead of proactive. I love how the Miles City Star blames the ACLU for all the mess, and states how the 30 day limit given was unreasonable. They don't take into account that if you don't give strict deadlines, people won't get off their A$$. They've had years to address the problem. Do you think they would do anything if a deadline wasn't given?
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9224) 9 years ago
But at least the old jail has air conditioning.

Sorry. I just can't help myself.
Top
supporter
Posted by Jeff Denton (+753) 9 years ago
I heard the jail really sucks. Bad. And I heard that forty years ago.
Therefore I pretty much tried to stay out of it. I don't suppose this plan occurs to most people though. So I hope your new jail is comfy and has all the amenities needed to make it fun. Hey, you wanted a recreation center, now you get one and they even feed and clothe you.
Top
supporter
Posted by Art (+206) 9 years ago
I agree with Kelly that The Star editorial lambasting the ACLU was unjustified. This problem hardly snuck up on the city and county. When government knows it has a problem and continually avoids dealing with it they have little grounds to complain when put in a bind. Deadlines with teeth may get action. Pointing out problems with no teeth gets more of the same. More talk, little action.

Maybe this push by the ACLU will result in more concrete attention to the issue. Time will tell.
Top
Posted by Dillpickle (+36) 9 years ago
It is unfortunate a crappy jail doesn't deter crime.

Do they have cable?
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 9 years ago
No, but the major networks come in clear.
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 9 years ago
I hope the new jail has a trap door for hanging people like the old one does.
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14970) 9 years ago
I am for a new jail. I thought this was supposed to happen when the EOC was built.

That said, I don't understand how the ACLU has any legal standing that would require action on the part of the county.
Top
supporter
Posted by Mrs. M (+712) 9 years ago
Richard,I think the ACLU is threatening litigation. Of course this will be very costly and more dollars down the drain with nothing to show for it. Are there any buildings on federal or state land that are or will be empty that we could retrofit and it just wouldn't be a temporary fix? I hate the thought of building a new complex but don't want to sink money into something else that will be borderline suitable.Glad I am not one of the people who have to solve this! Just a preliminary study will probably cost an arm and a leg...
All you younger brains need to get to problem solving...nothing like good old brain storming.
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14970) 9 years ago
I understand that the ACLU is threatening legal action. I don't understand why or how they have legal standing in the issue to bring the case against the county.

I am hopeful that Wendy or some other legal mind will explain it to me.
Top
supporter
Posted by Mrs. M (+712) 9 years ago
Just posted on facebook by a staff member ...
As of October 1st Custer County Jail is closed. People who need to be detained will be transported to secure locations within the state. So far no one has lost their job as trained people will be needed to do transports and be available around the clock. So far... Custer County voters will have to make their preference known to the commissioners: do they want to pay money to other counties to house our problems, do they hope gas,transportation,and incarceration costs won't continue to rise (and they will)? or do they want to endure this cost only as long as it takes to build a new facility? Rent or own? The choice is theirs.
Top
supporter
Posted by Mrs. M (+712) 9 years ago
Richard, I think it goes under human rights...same standing as they had to sue to remove the nativity from the courthouse. We are accused of violating the prisioners' human rights by providing inhumane incarceration vacilities. Does that make sense?
I am once again going to try to see your mom this p.m. So far, she is out of her room or sleeping.
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14970) 9 years ago
Thanks for going to visit. I appreciate it and I sure she does as well.
Top
Posted by ABE (+422) 9 years ago
Will the new jail have an indoor pool?????
Top
Posted by Tim Wagoner (+761) 9 years ago
I wonder if a chain gain would be classified as outdoor activity...

Maybe this could satisy the need to an outdoor area.

I wonder how much it would cost to haul big white rock into town so they can break it down into small white gravel.

This could help beautify a lot of driveways and gardern and flower beds. Around trees.

Maybe the new change could be used for some good.

Now I hope all of you realize my sarcasm in all of this.....
Top
Posted by Tim Wagoner (+761) 9 years ago
In all actuality, A new jail would be welcomed by all involved. I am sure that the PD, and Sheriffs office along with all the staff would like one. The major problem as I see it is that it comes in a year where finances are hard everywhere.

But as history proves, Miles City and Custer County have had issues with financial burdens for years. Anything from maintaining rural roads, snowplowing to the need for infastructure improvements with water and sewer lines being a large one. With a demand such as has been placed upon the Miles City and Custer County, I am sure this will affect other needed improvements.

To say the least it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months and years.

I am sure if we do get a boost/boom from the oil, that the jail improvement might be a welcomed improvement. This is not to say that the people involved with the oil are bad, but with more people, always come more problems large and small.

On the plus side... Maybe the Bucking Horse Sale will get back to what it used to be and still not strain the jail system...
Top
Posted by Steve Allison (+983) 9 years ago
This is not a matter of the jail not being nice enough. It does NOT meet fire codes. So any fire from any reason and we will be paying off lawsuits from inmates and staff for generations. A jail has to have 4 separate areas to hold prisoners and suspects. One for juvenile females, one for juvenile males, one for adult females and one for adult males. We do not. Any unwanted contact between groups means law suits we have to pay off for generations. Lack of sanitation standards, sun light and air flow, means if we jail someone with a communicable decease with out knowing it, we will be paying off law suits for generations. This is not about touchy feely hippy issues, these are real problems for both employees as well as inmates.
Just a final note, it is people making light of the problems that have pushed them off from being solved for better the 20 years and sent the cost of fixing them into a big orbitally high sum instead of smaller amounts through out the years.

[This message has been edited by Steve Allison (8/31/2012)]

[This message has been edited by Steve Allison (8/31/2012)]
Top
Posted by Tim Wagoner (+761) 9 years ago
That is what I was referring to when I said it would be welcomed. The functionality of the jail would make all tasks easier, and safer. The recirculated air has been an issue for years. I remember talking with staff about concerns of airborn sicknesses and that air system.

It is such a confined space as it is. And I am sure there are many many codes that could be corrected by having a new jail.

I do agree on the need of a better facility.

[This message has been edited by Tim Wagoner (8/31/2012)]
Top
Posted by Judy Roos (+10) 9 years ago
The commissioners have been told by the Sheriff's department often and for many years that the jail had to be replaced. When I talked to Pat about it after he toured jails all over the state to see how they built their jails and paid for them, he said there would be no new jail until the county was sued. Now, they are blaming the sheriff's department for the problem instead of taking responsibility for ignoring Pat and Tony and spending money on a fire station and a useless ambulance among other unwise choices. They need to grow up, admit their mistakes and get on with the business of solving the problem. As for spending $80,000 on a study, ask law enforcement what they think and take their advice. There is no federal grant money thanks to the tea party so the taxpayers will have to bite the bullet and fund the jail. It would have been much cheaper if they had listened a long time ago but they didn't as usual so we all pay but as you said, this is typical Miles City thinking. If we hide our heads in the sand long enough the problem will go away.
Top
Posted by tax payer (+346) 9 years ago
Why don't they turn the old depot into a jail?
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14970) 9 years ago
Milwaukee depot I would agree. Not the NP depot.
Top
Posted by tax payer (+346) 9 years ago
I bet with government regulations the new jail will have to be fancy. No this is not a put down on Obama. The regulation of building this or any government building has been around for a long time.
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 9 years ago
Put some bars on the windows of that ambulance.
Top
Posted by amydwright (+60) 9 years ago
They could talk with Pine Hills and use ones of there pods they are low in population and have all the stuff needed for booking and fingerprints and all that
Top
Posted by Phil Shifley (+118) 9 years ago
Judy, I haven't talked to, or am aware of a single person that has placed blame on Tony or Pat. Tony has made it very clear for many years that a new jail was needed and if nothing was done it would cost us dearly.
If there were any blamethrowers to be fired up they should be pointed at the commissioners, past and present. Action should have been taken years ago and even today I don't believe they (commissioners) comprehend the total sh** storm that is about to hit. Possible ACLU action aside, simply losing the use of the facility itself is going to be catastrofic. If anyone thought the costs of operating our old jail was something, wait until our costs of operating in someone elses jail start coming in. In addition to this, the jail staff may have to more than double. Depending on where they end up going with the "detainees" it may be a two day turn around for at least two jail staff just to take one or two people, not to mention any more in-coming while they're on the road, they too will have to be hauled off. This will require another team along with the required EOC jailing staff. Meals, lodging and so many other variables quickly turn this matter into a nightmare.
As far as other buildings around town,,, they're no different than what we currently have. An adequate facility has to meet requirements, there are no candidates that don't require complete overhaul. My vote goes to Sundance lodge at Pine Hills, they don't really have any other choice and even then it's going to cost to get up to standards. Sometimes it takes money to save money.
Now, as far as the other costs, hey Tony has been telling them for years that being sued wasn't a matter of "if" but a matter of "when", if they didn't build a new jail. Just like the city, they don't listen until it's too late.
Top
Posted by SLA (+171) 9 years ago
Leave the Jail the way it is. Morons who spend time there, deserve a "S---hole" place to stay until they
fly right! It's bad enough that we feed the SOB's. Put State money into a Home for children who haven't got a chance.
Top
Posted by Steve Allison (+983) 9 years ago
So you are saying everyone in jail or working in the jail deserve to die if there is a fire blocking the only way out, you are saying everyone in or working in the jail deserve to get sick from poor air quality and any minors who might be in there for a minor offense deserve to be molested by an adult pervert being held there. Well if so would you mind signing a contract to pay off all lawsuits that result so the rest of us don't have too. Oh and do not forget, just because one is being held in jail does not mean they are guilty, some are just being held until a trial determines guilt or innocence, you feel they deserve what ever happens also?
Top
Posted by tmc (+14) 9 years ago
I am not interested in any controversy. I work for the county and I wanted to clarify a few points so people have factual information (if they are interested in that sort of thing).
First, any new facility would still have the Custer County 'motif'. There will be no pools, mints on the pillow. We are not interested in any luxury or day spa atmoshere. People who make these comments have never stayed here or don't know the staff well. We are about being professional but not about pampering. We want the bare minimums that allow for safety and meeting the state and federal standards. I think it is safe to say all staff are sick to death of the thought of having to ask voters for money. It's been about 40 years since we last asked and it's too soon. But we need a facility. We have needed one for a long time.The community needs a safe, professional, up to standard, facility most of all.

Second, people need to understand the difference between jail and prison. Prison is for convicted felons, where they keep you. Jail is where they hold you. Detainees are innocent until proven guilty and those who are convicted that are here are here for misdemeanor time serves, usually less than 3 days, and mostly because they can't afford the time pay schedule or the law requires a jail stay (as in the case of 1,2,3rd offense dui). These people aren't in the "they should rot" category. In all honesty staff aren't all that concerned with guilt or innoncence. Those are legal terms and it isn't our job to punish. It is all about safety and security. The main principle is you get what you give. We strive to be professional and respectful. We want to maintain custody so the public is safe and those that need to be detained are done so in a manner that reflects our community.

Third, Pine Hills is not an option. The reason we can't use one of their existing pods is because there are very strict laws about juveniles being kept out of sight and sound of adult detainees. Outdoor rec would be an issue. Also that facility is owned and operated at the expense of the state not the county. The state has no vested interest in county matters. Sundance lodge is roughly 30 years old. It would still require a significant amount of money to get up to standards. If the voters will give us a new facility let's pay a little more up front to get something completely suitable and not have to ask for more funds sooner than we have to for a building, upkeep, etc.

Fourth, The average number of inmates at our facility last year was 16 inmates. What many do not know is that the department fought hard to keep that number at only 16. It is all too often that time serves for city court and probation violations have to be turned away because we can not safely make the room. The jail population could easily have been 24 every day last year or more. There are frequent times when the jail can only accept people accused of felonies and partner family assaults because of our numbers. The County Attorney's office has been very cooperative in issuing summons instead of warrants for non-violent felonies when that is a possibility. The jail is spread out over 3 floors. The physical plant is a challenge to supervise even when there are 2 staff on let alone the times when only 1 staff is on. This doesn't account for public fingerprints, sitting with juvenile detainees while they are either picked up or transported, assisting officers with dui suspects, lawyer and public visitation, court and medical appointments, etc, etc. A single level for detention (and more staff) would help immensely. My wife grew up here and always assumed the jail just had a couple of drunks in it drying out. She was shocked at the numbers and offenses that people are held for. Most average citizens would be and I don't mind because part of my job is doing it well enough so average citizens don't have to think about that daily. We do not even have a holding cell.

Many of the ACLU's complaints were unfounded and frankly offensive. There is, however, no denying the facility is antiquated, out of compliance with state and federal standards, and in need of replacment. The sheriff has been working hard long before the aclu showed up to grab a headline, speed things along, and try to take all the credit for what was already going to happen.

No one wants a penny more than what is really and truly needed. So please get some facts before making wild accusations about swimming pools and what not. Thank you.

In anticipation of the coming weeks numbers have already been thinned out. However the public should know that the county's website, custermt.com, has an EMERGENCY SERVICES page. From there you can navigate to the Sheriff's pages. Detention lists the roster for who is jail for what. It is updated fairly regularly
Top
Posted by Tim Wagoner (+761) 9 years ago
+5 for TMC. You summed it up very nicely.

http://www.custermt.com
Top
Posted by SLA (+171) 9 years ago
No, I never said anything at all like that. Police personel can get out, as well as the inmates. If fire had been the real issue, the jail should have been checked out a long time ago, and the problem rectified. As
far as inmates are concerned, they have no rights. They gave them up when they broke the law.
Top
Posted by Steve Allison (+983) 9 years ago
The jail was checked out a long time ago, at least 25 years ago, and was found to be in violation of fire safety regulations. Nothing was done. Not then and not sense. There is only one exit and if a fire starts between the people and the exit they all die. The other point is not all the inmates have been convicted yet. Some are awaiting trial which means they may be guilty or they may be innocent, not determined yet. Another point is these are Not hardened felony criminals. Those go to the state pen. Those who have been convicted, are your friends and neighbors sentenced to a few days for minor infractions or serving a few days because they can not afford the fine on some minor ticket. They still have rights to be alive after they serve their time.
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 9 years ago
Nice post tmc.
Top