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Commission looking at ways to reduce cost of new-jail project

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

The County Commissioners would like to keep you updated regarding the planning process to address the existing jail conditions and implement a community corrections model.

We have presented a plan that reflects one scenario based on bed space projections, facility square footage, and costs. This scenario was carefully evaluated by a planning committee and determined to produce the best outcomes for our county after reviewing with representatives from all participant agencies involved in our criminal justice system.

We have listened and heard many concerns from the Delegation as well as others in the community and are looking at a number of ways to reduce the cost of the project. These include:

— Revisit the projection scenarios and attempt to reduce the number of beds required based on alternate admission and length of stay assumptions; also consider a different projection threshold (vs. the 25 year projection currently utilized).
— Explore alternate options for the Community Corrections Center, new construction or renovate an existing space.
— Consider opportunities to work with a neighboring county.
— Reduce the overall size of the facility.

The Commissioners look forward to sharing these findings with the Delegation as we move forward in addressing the needs of the incarcerated population in a safe, secure, and rehabilitative environment that saves costs in the long run by reducing recidivism.

Belknap County Commissioners

John H. Thomas

Edward D Philpot, Jr.

Stephen H. Nedeau