Jail working on special housing | CraigDailyPress.com

Jail working on special housing

Collin Smith

The Moffat County Jail has an issue with housing special offenders – such as people charged with sex crimes – but it will have to wait until it has enough money before it can address the problem.

County Undersheriff Charlene Abdella had hoped to bring estimates to the Moffat County Commission on Tuesday for a plan to remodel the jail library into a new long-term inmate pod.

However, the only estimate she received was $4,000 more than the $25,000 budgeted by the county, so she told the commission that the Sheriff’s Office wanted to hold off on spending the money.

“It’s a good project, but we have to be financially responsible, too,” Abdella said.

Sheriff’s Office personnel planned to move the current library – which is inside the jail itself, next to the inmate pods – into a commons room outside the inmate area.

The library space would have been retrofitted with new plumbing and beds for special offenders.

Abdella said jail personnel try to keep such inmates away from the general population because of safety concerns.

“No matter how hard you try to keep what they’re in for confidential, somehow the other inmates find out what they did, and it can be a volatile situation,” she said, adding she did not know about any specific attacks against special offenders.

Deputies often put inmates they want separated inside temporary holding cells in the booking room, outside of the normal inmate area.

This presents a logistical problem for jail staff, because the same inmate can occupy a holding cell for months at a time.

“Most times, they don’t get bonded out because of these offenses, so they can sit for up to four months,” Abdella said. “It can be a challenge sometimes.”

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