WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Future Of Lee County Jail To Be Explored

Fort Madison, IA – Two Lee County Supervisors have been tapped to explore the county's options when it comes to the future of its jail. The special committee will initially consist of Supervisors Larry Kruse and George Morgan. It could expand to include other county leaders and residents. The group will look into whether the county shoudl build a new jail, expand the current facility, or join with other counties to form a regional jail. Lee County Sheriff Buck Jones says the county's main jail facility is still in good condition. He says the concern is because the temporary trailers that are used to house about two dozen inmates were installed in 1997. The usable life of the units was originally 3 years. Jones says the trailers could be used for a year or two, if the constant repair work can continue. He says the jail also lacks the space needed for female inmates and for those with special needs that must be isolated. It is likely that if the county decides to build a new jail, residents would be able to weigh in because the county would have to borrow the money.