Lancaster County prepares to open new jail - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Lancaster County prepares to open new jail

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By: Brittany Paris
bparis@klkntv.com

It has been almost four years since they broke ground, but Lancaster County officials said they have plans to open the new facility's doors this summer.

The final touches are being put on the Lancaster County Adult Detention Facility, and it has all the bells and whistles.

They have installed things like video visitation, where inmates can video chat with guests, to scan-cards that open doors for officers.

This new facility is full of technology.

Sitting on 37 acres of land, the building is 288,000 square feet and holds 779 beds.

Mike Thurber, Director of Corrections, said the facility is intended to make the staff's job easier.

"Staff that we have working in corrections, they're going to spend more time behind these walls than any of the detainees," Thurber said. "So you're trying to build something that's safe for them as well as a play they feel comfortable coming to work."

The jail houses different sized cells, the men and women divided.

Each cell was built in Texas then shipped here and installed.

Thurber said he visited different jails to see what works and how to use technology to their advantage.

What's the price tag on a facility like this? $65 million.

"It's an investment," Thurber said. "It's one that is not taken lightly and it's one that's very serious in nature. And it's one I think Lancaster County can be proud of."

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Monday at 1:00 p.m. with an open house tour to follow.

They're also hosting an Overnight Shakedown April 4-6 where kids can spend the night in jail.

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