After escape, Jackson County looks at new jail

Jail also cited for numerous violations

After being cited for numerous violations and the escape by two inmates in February, Jackson County's Sheriff's Department has been told they need a new jail.

Last night a committee met for the first time to chart the course that will likely result in putting the issue to voters.

According to Deputy Chief Scott Schroeder, the current 11 bed facility, built in 1971 is too small, has outdated security and doesn't have the capacity to house female inmates or those dealing with mental illness issues.

The county has been having to spend more than $27,000 a year to house about 500 inmates per year in neighboring county jails.

On February 28, two inmates, Andrew Mark Combs and Brian Joseph Willey, escaped from the exercise yard by prying open an entry gate, stole a truck and were later captured in Clinton.

Both were being held on charges of burglary and theft. Both pleaded guilty to escape and theft charges and are now cooling their heels at a more secure lock-up -- the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility -- serving out a five-year sentence.

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